Top communicator: C N
A bright, sunny but cold morning greeted the Tigers for their first match of 2016. Hosted by Alton Utd Oranges, the Tigers were able to enjoy the spectacular new facilities of Alton's 4g astro pitch, complete with supporters' stand and sub benches. Given the playing surface, the manager had a feeling it would suit the Tigers' playing style, and allow them to play quick passing football, with an edge of counter-attack.
The Tigers also welcomed the debut appearance of H M, who had progressed well in his training during the first half of the season, and had shown he was ready to take to the pitch with the rest of the Tigers.
The match started well for the Tigers and, as predicted, they started to impose themselves on the Oranges, attacking with speed when able, and relatively comfortably soaking up the pressure when the Oranges attacked. It wasn’t long before the Hook pressure payed off, a free kick taken well by B E, finding a sharp S G at the back post to knock in. 1-0. The match continued in a similar vein throughout. All of the players digging in and playing some really good football. The defence covered each other well, assisted often by the midfield. The front men ran hard putting pressure on the Alton defence throughout, one notable run by C N saw him stay on his feet really well after being clipped going past the first of 3 players before winning a corner. A D in goal had little to do by way of full-on shots to stop, but his dominance in his area ensured he nullified the play at every opportunity.
The second half saw a very similar approach to the match by the Tigers, as the first half. The pressing continued, although there was a slight dip in tempo as the match wore on; the covering was very good; the wide midfielders made some good surging runs and linked well with the central players to ensure Alton had a lot to do; and there was a spectacular reaction save by HM, taking a last quarter stint in his favoured goalkeeper position, that kept the Tigers in it. Overall, the football that the Tigers played and were always trying to play, was a joy to watch, and raised compliment from the Alton manager. Fitting that a second goal was created by a lovely bit of wing play by T Bu, who cut it back to the edge of the box for S G to get a shot away. C N was able to nick a touch to it, to turn it past the covering goalie. 2-0!
By the final whistle, the result was no less than the Tigers’ performance deserved, and they should be rightfully proud of their performance, to a man!
Top communicator went to C N, who displayed great encouraging spirit throughout, particularly on the odd occasion the Tigers started to quieten down.
MoM could have gone to a number of players who shone. C N, S G, H M, B E, M R… All were in the thoughts of the manager for the award. Instead it went to T Bu for a very potent display on the left of midfield, causing Alton problems, creating intelligent passes, and linking well with his team mates.
Win, Lose or Draw, Tigers Roar!