Capt: B E
A great Spring morning in Bourne was the setting for an exciting game between the Tigers and Bourne Blades Badgers - and for the second week running, the commitment from the Tigers management was demonstrated as one of the coaches arrived from the United States immediately prior to the game (looking very tired).
The focus on training last week, and the emphasis for the match this week, was for the players to concentrate on their positioning as well as quickly closing the opposition down. Well demonstrated at RMS the boys did well at the positioning during the warm-up match and carried that well in to the game itself. Good positional discipline was complimented by quick pressure on the opponents and the Tigers were readily demonstrating some nice football. If the coach was being picky, he would say they were a little slow to regain their positions when the Badgers quickly countered - which they did often. As such, the first half was more like a game of tennis with some real end-to-end action and only the 2 goalkeepers' great performances keeping the scoresheet blank. The Badgers' 'keeper demonstrating some great stops from a number of Tigers attacks, and the Tigers' own J R again looking confident to command his area and cut out a number of opportunities by closing the attackers down. 0-0 at half time.
The second half made for a more dominant affair for the Tigers who were much quicker at getting to the ball first. Maintaining their formation was again good, as was the pressure they put on the Badgers but their sharpness to get hold of the ball improved as the half progressed. And the results were deserved as the Tigers eventually went 2 up before the Badgers's consolation preceded another 2 Tigers strikes. The quality of the goals was pleasing, ranging from quick pass-and-moves, to a lovely quick left-footed volley by D S, and a beautiful quick strike from distance by B E - the theme was how quick the players were to threaten the goal.
Overall, though, the players worked incredibly hard with a lot of running (and fewer prompts from the coaches for the midfield to get back when necessary), worked well as a team across the pitch with some wonderful linked passing moves, again coming from all the players, and good defensive cover a number of times by the midfield players helping out the last man and goalkeepers.
One performance that stood out well was G G. Having played in 3 different positions throughout the match, he covered a good deal of ground covering a number of times as a midfielder, holding his position well and breaking a number of Badger attacks when last man, and set a number of Tigers attacks going with a good couple of half-chances for himself that, on any other day, may have been more fruitful for him. On top of all that, he often spotted danger and communicated that well to his team-mates to cover and generally had a good idea what was happening throughout the game. A difficult call as L C, A D and B E all stood out but G G demonstrated a worthy MoM performance.
With only 1 league match left of the season before the Summer tournaments, this is shaping up to being a successful season in all respects for the Tigers!