Home tournament match played on 21 November 2015.
Kicked off at 9:30 AM

Top communicator: B W

Winter had arrived! A biting wind at Mayhill ensured the players were feeling the cold long before KO, as the Tigers hosted Alton Utd Orange for their final Tournament match... Needing a win to ensure their tournament hopes remained alive, the manager told them he needed to see more fight than was showed against Farnham the week before, and that they needed to keep the formation narrower, given the heavy pitch and the difficulty in the longer passes, and TALK to each other!

The match got under way with a reasonable showing from the Tigers. B E made himself heard right away, trying to marshall and buoy the Tigers in to an early dominance. Showing good intent to play football and keep the ball down, as well as some reasonable pressure and covering, such was the early commitment, there were a couple of early injuries requiring substitutions to allow the injured to recover.

However, as the game went on, the Tigers started to take their foot off the 'pressure' gas, and allow Alton more time on the ball. The loose balls were being picked up too easily by the opposition, and the Tigers were finding themselves on the back foot. Ultimately, a good, but unchallenged shot from Alton, from the right corner of the penalty area, found the back of the Tigers net.

The Tigers should not have been bothered by this slight set-back, but the goal only seemed to worsen the already diminishing drive. As the match continued, the Tigers fell quiet and only seemed to want the ball 'on a plate' and at their feet. This in itself caused issues as, on a number of occasions, the ball was constantly being played to feet rather than the space in front of the advancing team mates - either causing the receiving player to have to stop his run, or ricocheting of their feet to become a loose ball - or the ball was not being passed with conviction and was often under-hit, not reaching the intended Tiger.

Certainly, by the time the second half was underway, albeit only 1 goal down, the Tigers had staunchly taken up a silent, static approach to their play. All throw-ins, free kicks and goal kicks were met by a lack of Tigers both moving for, and calling for the ball. Any Tiger taking any of the throws/kicks would have had an impossible task on deciding who to pass to...

The inevitable second goal for Alton came; a very soft affair, as Tiger after Tiger passed up on the opportunity to get hold of the ball and clear any danger, allowing a rather free shot from well inside the Tigers' area.

That's not to say the Tigers didn't have their own chances. A number of opportunities were well worked, through nice passing football, but critically, a lack of tenacity and taking too long or too many touches, ensured the opportunities were quickly shut out. Ultimately, there was only 1 shot on target that remotely troubled the Alton 'keeper (although he did nearly turn it in to his own goal).

The final 2-0 score line was a fair reflection of the game, but not a result that should have been, given the Tigers' ability - but how many times can their potential be referred to before it becomes a moot point? The Tigers must take ownership of their matches and ensure they are playing up to their abilities if they are to get their rewards.

MoM was in some ways easy and in some ways difficult. With all of the Tigers playing below their best, it left only 2 players notable by their conviction. However, D S just edged it from S G. Both showing real intent in their play with both looking to take the ball forward from the back, as well as numerous tackles and blocks to ensure Alton did not extend the scoreline. With D S recovering from an early muscle pull, his commitment earned him the award.

Top communicator, once again went to B W in goal for constant direction to his players, trying to make sure they kept their shape and moved forward, or got back, as needed. In his own right, B W had another assured performance in goal, and a particularly busy few minutes in the second half, where he made a handful of stops of goal-bound shots.

Win, Lose or Draw, Tigers Roar!

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