Top Communicator: B E
Saturday was a day of 'At Last'... At last, a home fixture that survived the weather; over 3 months since the last match at Hartletts, and on a fantastically sunny (but chilly) morning too... And at last, a performance that we all know the Tigers are capable of! Facing the Beacon Hill Meerkats, a team that the Tigers played only 4 weeks ago and suffered a 5-0 defeat to, the difference in the performance at home compared to their previous meeting was clearly reflected in the result!
During the pre-match team-talk, the manager reiterated the need for the players to communicate, communicate, communicate; and he allayed concern towards the Beacon Hill No. 10 and his ability to influence the match by suggesting that quickly putting him under pressure would affect his game and that the Tigers needed to ensure they played quick football.
What transpired was nothing short of fantastic! Not only did the Tigers communicate, with every single player being heard by the manager from the first whistle to the last, but the pressure put on the Meerkats was superb and very obviously affected their own great passing-style of football. Across the pitch, all of the Tigers' performances were improved from recent weeks, with, hopefully, the consistency of players positions helping them to become familiar with their roles. Despite conceding the first goal, as ever, the Tigers kept their heads up and mounted the pressure resulting in a superb equaliser from a team move that started with the defence winning possession, quickly turning in to a counter-attack by passing the ball wide before a quick run and cross pass fell in front of not 1 but 3 attacking Tigers and the inevitable score! Clearly bouyed by the performance (and hopefully the manager's half time team talk), the Tigers started the second half where they left off. Eventually, a 3-1 lead was assumed before a cheeky late back heel consolation finished the scoring.
A D - A great first half in goal, with 3 or 4 superb saves, was followed up by a solid pressing midfield display. Won a number of tackles and took his goal well when the opportunity was presented. Despite all of the attacking runs, he must ensure he is quick to get back and help the defence.
D S - A monumental defensive display allowing nothing past him. Blocks, tackles and interceptions...he had them all. He even managed a number of surging runs to get the counter-attacks going quickly. Very little wrong with his game and, on any other week, would have won MoM.
B W - Looking more and more comfortable in a defensive role; read the game well making a number of good interceptions and tackles. Got his head up well and found some terrific passes to his midfield. Second half goalkeeping was solid with a couple of very good saves, to boot.
T Bu - Solid wide play on the left of midfield, moved the ball quickly to ensure the Tigers kept the pressure on the opposition and demonstrated some very intelligent and accurate passing. Must make sure he gets back quickly when the attack breaks down and can afford to play the ball a little quicker when under pressure.
T B - Another sound central midfield display similar to the previous week; won a number of tackles both in defensive duties and when pressing the opposition's defence. Can afford to play the ball a little quicker at times rather than keep running with it.
S G - Played both wide on the right of midfield, where he caused issues running at the Beacon Hill defence and produced a number of sound crosses, and in defence, where he still got forward at times as he did when assisting the second goal. Must try not to jump in to tackles, instead, he should stay close and keep the pressure on.
T L - Made some good running across the width of the pitch this week as striker, as the ball often switched wings. Held the ball up well and made some nice passes before setting himself for an attack. Must also look up for passing options, even if they go backwards, to avoid running in to a dead end.
C N - Played up front and led the line well. Won possession a number of times, not just through tackles but by pressuring the opposition in to panicked, wayward passes, particularly from Beacon Hill goal kicks. May have had a handful of opportunities on goal but often takes too many touches rather than testing the goalkeeper.
L C - A cracking attacking performance where his pace and strength caused issues for the opposition. Scored the equaliser and could have had a handful more goals on another day. Must make sure he covers back to take up his defensive duties when an attack breaks down.
B E - A captains performance by example. A goal, an assist and the Top Communicator award, as he not only vocalised his intent with passing and receiving, he aided his team mates with some reassuring direction. Covered the pitch well in both attacking and defending. Must ensure he takes his time when taking corners to maximise chances of accuracy!
A performance the Tigers can be very proud of!
Win, Lose or Draw, Tigers Roar!