Well played today all, especially in the second half. It was good to see that when we did go a goal down we never let our heads drop we continued to push on to get the result. Do however be aware that if we play against Deal next Sunday like we played today we will not be let off so lightly.
Man of the Match today was Mateusz, excellent hat trick, however there were some other top performances throughout the team as well.
Thanks to Alex again for the below match report.
We kicked off this game in light drizzle, and we had thirteen men! Well we finished the game with only eleven fit ones so we maintained a level of consistency there at least. The two walking wounded-Charlie Steine and Tom-are both eager to be fit enough to figure in our last match of the season next week. We played downhill(?), on a pitch shaped like a slightly tilted tortoise shell, and made for our own difficulties.
We played a far too high line, possibly influenced by a belief that we would roll this team over, but they resisted, they were like a rock-so it was a case of 'rock and roll'. In truth, without the added cover required for any set of defenders it becomes a gamble. We gambled by not tracking back and working at basics, playing a gung ho style can work if the entire side moves in unison-too often we left space in between the attacking group and defensive one, so after four minutes of breaking with reasonable intent they scored, simples! We didn't lock the gate because they came close a number of times during the rest of the half but Charlie Howard and Gallin played superbly well; we began to see more of the ball in advanced positions, a case of defending in their half, perhaps.
We pushed for an equaliser throughout and shots began to mount. Gallin pulled one wide, then it was Ryan's turn, a threaded pass by Charlie Steine put Alfie in but he too shot wide. Tom came from deep and fired a long shot which was blocked. Despite the chances they were from distance and time ticked on. Back in defence Mason and Brad (returned to the centre), were busier than was comfortable, but the whole defence performed admirably, as was testimony to the limited number of times Marcus was called upon. As the quarter hour passed Charlie Howard made a decisive tackle then Marcus smothered a through ball, before Mason played a long ball which Mateusz latched onto and fired over. Finlay curled a fine ball around the post and Gallin found a couple of chances presented to him of which one flew over, the other was blocked. Surely that equaliser was coming?
To endorse the point made earlier David was screaming for our defence to move up as we attacked-to deny the space for their forwards to run into. Remember gentlemen, a defence moves up with the advanced midfield and forward line-they in turn work harder by tackling back in support of their defence when necessary-hard work with total commitment is the formula. Well on twenty one minutes Charlie Steine carpet-slippered a pass to Finlay who tied a defender in knots before slipping the ball to Alfie. He answered that unspoken question by controlling the pass and setting himself, before accurately driving the ball into the corner of the net. When you register your first goal you want it to be a goal like this, well done young man! We showed a greater belief after the goal and continued to pummel their defence. The drive of Gallin and Ryan, the artistry of Charlie Steine, Finlay, and Joey, were creating chance after chance, with Mateusz looking very dangerous. Jack had come on and found the pass to set Mateusz away, who drove to the edge of the box and shot in off the post to give us the lead. It remained 1-2 as the half time whistle sounded.
David's half time talk must have been, 'More of the same, please.' (whatever words he used). The second half was a continuation of play we'd seen at the end of the first. We were performing as that unit. Joey and Finlay skilfully toyed with the opposition's midfield, and the driving work of Ryan and Gallin created so many opportunities for Mateus and Finlay's forward runs. After forty six minutes Charlie Steine sprinted back and hurtled into a tackle to win the ball, Ryan came in too a split-second later, winning the ball, Charlie Steine and the opposing forward. Charlie limped off with a dead leg, none survive the 'Ryan James crash tackle'! After a quarter of an hour Mateusz was fouled in the box and Jack stepped up to fire the ball low and hard into the corner. Tom had encroached and the penalty had to be retaken. Immense pressure was on the young fellow but Jack was more than equal to it. He stepped forward and once more drilled the ball into the net. We looked irresistible for the next ten minutes and twice Finlay went close to adding to the score. Charlie Howard reminded us we hadn't quite learned the lesson by clearing a goal bound shot off the line-he was called upon again to make a last ditch goal line clearance a few minutes later, whilst sandwiched between these two incidents Joey had two good efforts at goal. You can sense the flavour of the game in that last sentence.
In the seventy first minute a sweet move saw Joey play the pass to Jack, who fed Mateusz for his second and our fourth. A moment later, in perhaps the best move of the match, Joey found Mateusz who helped it onto Finlay. He then pushed it wide to Jack and his pass was collected by Ryan who curled a delicious ball inside the far post, 1-5. Only two minutes passed on the clock as Mateusz broke free and shot, it was blocked, he followed up crashing the ball home for his hat trick and our sixth. A minute from time a reminder was served that concentration is required for the entire game. They attacked through the middle, and two missed tackles later the ball ran loose in the box. Marcus went to ground but the ball didn't stick and the ball was swept home, 2-6. The whistle followed soon after and we moved into fifth place in the division. For the first time this season we recorded a positive set of statistics, Played 15, winning 5, losing 5, with 3 drawn and a goal difference of plus 2. Second win of the two games we spoke of Tom, one to go-win that and fourth place this season will be occupied by Hugin Vikings.