Home league match played on 28 February 2016.
Kicked off at 2:00 PM

Managers Notes: In all honesty, this was probably the most disappointing performance for me from the team this season. I also feel that the team felt they let themselves down so for me, that says enough.

Man of the Match was Marcus Debling. In all honesty it could have been, Marcus, Galin, Ben or Finley at the back.

Match Report From Alex : Sorry if this report isn't a blow by blow account of how good we are-it's because we aren't! I don't wish to appear brutal but this is a sort of last throw of the dice for me, and before anyone rushes to say we have two games to play plus training sessions, I seize this opportunity for the simple reasons that follow. We may win our games, and in good style, therefore my reports will resume in normal fashion for them. We may flounder and in which case I shall not need to say anything in a report as I shall have said it in this.

In a recent report I asked a rhetorical question, and do so again. This question is, what makes a footballer? There are two main distinctions. One,and without which there would be little or no desire to become footballers, or even attempt to play the game, is natural skill and ability. These techniques are there to be enhanced and developed, to polish until they gleam. This squad has these qualities in abundance, more so in some individuals than others, but there all the same, spread across the entire playing staff. The second aspect of becoming a footballer is far more nebulous, difficult to pin down and explain-like trying to catch wisps of smoke. I can best explain in analogical terms, it is like playing chess. You have to move the pieces-that is the natural skill; you have to think and know where and when to do things-that is the brain of the person directing the pieces on the board. I am about to set myself up ready for a fall, as in teasing, or even derision, but it's because I want the best for you, all of you; so try to go with that concept and think-this is not an old wrinkly writing, but a 'greybeard', (this means someone who has been there and learnt and understood, and is prepared to pass on that knowledge). I was reasonable at the former-good enough to be 'knocking on the door'-they wouldn't let me in, but I at least got to that door and knocked, and exceptionally good with the latter as a youngster. I am a good chess player too!

On Sunday we utilised the former well enough-you are a skilful bunch of players, but the latter we didn't-because you are not yet a bunch of footballers. To begin I should produce some facts. Of the two better teams in the division-we have met six times-our record is, 1W-1D-4L. with a 14-18 Goal Difference. Not so impressive is it? I can make it worse and will do, to illustrate my point. We won the first game, therefore failed to win in the following five, drawing only one. We led in five of the six matches-do these statistics suggest a pattern to you guys? It does to me, and I have been banging on about it since last season, throughout the close season and all of this one. Sadly the message didn't register, hence this being a 'last call' approach. After the two matches we will all head off in different directions, I assume that everyone will continue playing and derive some success, and hopefully huge amounts of enjoyment, but how many will be able to maintain that they became footballers-irrespective of the levels attained? The pattern I talked of is this, but firstly imagine a puppy chasing around after a tennis ball because that will help with a mental image. We begin a match with good shape, and the best of intentions. As the match progresses we allow ourselves to be duped, to push just a little further forward and that puppy image should now be springing to mind. We are not patient enough, we chase the game down, we lose our sense of responsibility and our shape. It becomes the 'charge of the light brigade' approach, and we nullify ourselves. As mentioned before we are the best footballing side in the division, with the most skilful 'on the ball' players, so why descend to a lower level, giving the opposition an advantage? We boot the ball long and 'hoof' it into the air. We run with it into blind alleys, we hang onto it too long, destroying the speedy movement built up. When that momentum is lost and invariably possession, we are out of position, the formation is affected and it becomes a last ditch clearance-another lofted ball which immediately becomes a 50-50 ball. Think! We have possession, that is 100% possession, we kick the ball up in the air, or long, and it becomes a 50-50 ball. Where is the sense? On Sunday I was pleased that we held them at 1-1 by Half Time, a tribute to our work rate and application, battling a strong wind off the sea and the incline. I said to Britt the evening before that the wind was strengthening and would blow down the pitch at KO time. In snatches of conversation before KO I said the ball has to be kept on the deck, play it to feet, be patient, keep your shape, snappy passing and movement. Now this isn't remarkable insight, it is utilising what is known and understood, and passing that information on. It was hardly absorbed. It is why I hold out little belief that things will ever change, and why I boastfully stated that as a young player I benefitted by my awareness of what had to be done. As we kicked off the second half I was fearful of what was to come. For about ten minutes or so we kept our shape, but I had seen enough to worry me. Then the descent. We failed ourselves. So as a summary, we led once more, and against the odds, certainly the elements. We were impatient to become that little puppy and it perhaps took us ten minutes of the second half before we fell. We lumped the ball forward, with it going from one end to their keeper, completely bypassing our most skilful men in midfield. We ran with it into cul de sacs, destroying our shape and the other team members lost waiting for the ball. We hung onto the ball for far too long before a weakened attempt was offered, or losing it-ditto the previous sentence. We didn't keep it on the floor, didn't pass to feet, didn't keep it simple. That easy ten yard pass became the reckless, longer, 'hit and miss' pass. And we were rightly punished mby a more inferior team, but a better functioning one. I mentioned to Charlie Steine that his game was ineffectual, before I had time to qualify my statement to part excuse him he responded by saying he never saw the ball in the second half. I asked why he didn't go looking for it and replied that we were too weak down our right and it would have been the wrong decision to weaken it further. I happen to agree to a point. In my day I would have barked at others, would have demanded-Charlie is a quieter player on the pitch. I believe he received around ten passes in the entire match-most in the first half. This is illustrative for a reason, and not to make a case for Charlie. David mentioned a while ago to feed him, I have said there is a natural propensity for some teams-this one in particular-to favour the left and once more it was the case. A dangerous attacking player and under utilised. We don't think. We didn't switch play. We became predictable. The same style of play and in the same areas. We were bogged down in the middle and we concentrated all our play down the left hand side. They defended it easily, and we gave away possession with hopeful long balls. It is fair to record that substitutions sometimes do not help matters. They can be vital sometimes, and necessary at all times. They can improve matters, but can also disrupt the rhythm of the side, on Sunday they played their part in the latter. A substitute should enter the fray with one objective in mind, to improve upon or at least match the player they have replaced-no one wants to perform worse than. In a couple of training sessions I took, one last season, one this I floated the idea that the most important aspect in football is passing. You need all the other requisites and the higher the level the better, but without passing skills a team becomes-well, a Hugin Vikings side. Two requirements for passing are accuracy and weight of pass. Much of our passing on Sunday was inaccurate-long and hopeful, rather than the simple short and punchy pass; and the weight was poor-over hit, not allowing for conditions of wind and incline. That in a nutshell is a big contributing factor with where we went wrong on Sunday-and that is a basic gentlemen, without it's mastery one cannot ever claim to be a footballer. The game itself saw us take the lead after three minutes-there was that early goal again-a sumptuous pass by Ryan, just asking Mateusz to put the ball into the net. A half save by the keeper but with perfect poise Mateusz kept his feet and delivered the coup de grace, 1-0. After twenty two minutes we failed to clear the ball which pinged around our box and it was stuck away, 1-1. We turned around at half time at 1-1. On fifty three minutes a good through ball by Marcus was latched onto by Charlie Steine. As he controlled on the run the ball stood up, and he hit a vicious left footed shot from around twenty five yards. It left the keeper standing and hit the top of the bar. A goal then may have changed matters dramatically. In the sixty sixth minute once more we dithered a little in the penalty area and it was tucked away, 1-2. With three minutes on the clock a corner into our box allowed for a free header and it was 1-3. David naturally was disappointed and mentioned that there was no MotM awarded for this particular game. Yet on a positive note I would say that you all worked so hard that you deserved something for that at least, so a big thank you, gentlemen. As a spectator, I also thought that Ben and Marcus were immense in the first half, and Sean's performance endorsed my view that he is the best target man in the division.

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