Managers Notes: Another really good performance today from the whole team. We started brightly and played some really good football but again we just lack that cutting edge in front of goal and it almost cost us again today. Was very impressed that our heads didn't drop when we went 2-1 down after dominating much of the play. Hats off to Dynamo who gave us a very tough game today. Marcus Debling picked up the Man of the Match award today for a superb performance again at left back but in all honesty there were 2 or 3 players that deserved it. Overall, very pleased with the win, keeps us in touch with Chartham who certainly seem to be the team to beat this season. Also a mention to Joey for 2 fantastic strikes which made sure we got all 3 points.
Thanks again to Alex for the below match report.
It was an overcast day; the grass a bit too long and the ground a little cut up, due to a two hour game being played before we took to the field. Of a complement of sixteen squad members fifteen had been available and at training on Friday. These boys arrived in a buoyant mood, perhaps the belief is slowly coming to the fore. After a few moments of testing the opposition a long ball by Lewis in the sixth minute found Fin who controlled and flashed in our first, 1-0 we had announced an intention of sorts, but within a minute the opposition came away and forced a corner. Lewis clutched at the ball, which ran free and was struck against the outside of our post. From the goal kick Callum fed Charlie Steine and his shot from outside the box was on target but comfortably saved. The game was a toing and froing affair. Slowly we began to exert control of the middle of the park and with it the game. Callum fired in but his shot went over, immediately Michael was called upon to perform acrobatics to hook an overhead clearance, so our opponents were dangerous enough despite us now having most of the play. We began to rain in shots on their goal, a corner forced by Sam-who's hold up play was once more impressive-another free kick found Fin who put it wide, and then in the eighteenth minute Sam forced the ball home but was flagged offside-he is still searching for that elusive first goal, but it will come, how about next week Sam? From an attack Tom Skinner was struck by a goal bound shot as he guarded the post, which kept things all square. As we moved into the last ten of the half Charlie Steine found space to strike a shot into the side netting, a moment later Del shot but it was held by the keeper. The second goal had to come soon, or so we thought, as Sam harried the defender and found Mateusz who shot and hit the post. There then followed a passage of play where Fin rolled a pass to Mateusz which the keeper pushed over. From the resulting corner Sam forced another and this one ran free to Del who's shot asked another question of their keeper-he was perhaps their MotM at this stage. We turned around 1-0 ahead.
The first half had been another example of us not moving the ball fast enough. The propensity to hold onto the ball too long may be skilful in it's application but it affects the shape of the game. If we cannot overcome this we are likely to be undone. A quick illustration, a player receives the ball as we attack. If the play could be frozen the players would be static, generally with the attacking mode in the ascendancy. To drag the ball back, twist, turn around, do the oki koki may be interesting to watch but the static players have now all become activated. They have moved into different positions on the pitch and often the chance is lost.We should work on this mentally. We dominated Deal Town Rangers and got just a point, we could have suffered a similar fate on Sunday, or worse. Within a minute of the restart a long ball caught us napping and Lewis, always second to the ball crashed into the leaping forward-penalty. The ball was driven straight, and flew past Lewis. Forty minutes of hard work had now counted for nought. Within a few moments their attack saw them strike the post, we were living dangerously now. Two minutes later Fin was put through with a 'one on one' but skied the ball. A moment later Sean had a good shot which again just cleared the bar. At the other end Tom Barker made a last ditch interception getting his toe to the ball and preventing a certain goal. A move which deserved a goal was when Joey slipped a pass to Galin who kept the move going as he found Callum, the keeper turned his shot away for a corner. From it Callum shot but the keeper tipped it over. Twelve minutes into the second half another long ball punted upfield found us light at the back and the forward finished well. We were now 1-2 down yet should have been over the hill and out of sight. This was almost a signal for the best part of our game. Thankfully we drew level within four minutes. It began with Callum feeding Finley who drove on and beat the keeper with a great strike. For the next few minutes we pummeled them. A shot by Fin was saved. Then Fin found Mason who had a full-bloodied strike pushed away for a corner. In the sixty fourth minute Galin found Joey lurking in space on the right. Joey personified the correct way of doing things in all I am trying to put across to you. He took the ball under control, looked up and struck a well placed shot into the net. The speed of thought was matched by the speed of action. At last we were back in front. Our passing and movement was dictating the way the game was progressing. Are we so much fitter than these other sides? I think we might be, as the last quarter of an hour was dominated by the Vikings. I mentioned in a previous report that training was now taken far more seriously, and with the resulting application a new approach is showing the benefits. It needs to be maintained. From the kick off the ball was swallowed up in midfield, a pass by Marcus was worked with surprising speed via Mason to Sean, the ball then found it's way to Finley. There was Joey unmarked in that same position on the right and as the ball came to him all the spectators anticipated the outcome. Quick feet, immediate control, and the ball zoomed past their helpless keeper. 4-2 to the home side and now with a two goal cushion. In all this the tackling back of Mateusz was an integral part of our play; when our attackers defend as well it sends out a frightening message to the other team. There was still time to defend and Marcus-who had given arguably his best performance ever in a Vikings shirt-was a stalwart. He drove forward whenever possible to aid the base of the midfield and was always present on his flank whenever required, he was ably supported throughout by Tom Skinner, Tom Barker and Michael-who had another solid and reliable game, well done Michael. A couple of minutes after our fourth they saw a chink of light to get back into the game but Lewis made an important save, and in doing so closed the door on them. There followed another shot by Mason who worked hard in the middle; a save by Lewis was pushed out and a slick move between Galin to Joey to Charlie Steine saw the ball forced for a corner. That explains the speed of movement well, a save at our end resulting in fast paced counter attacking, which gave us a corner at the other end and relieved the pressure. It is so simple fellows, really it is. Del managed a shot from the corner, and even as the clock ran down we were chasing and working and the last piece of action saw Mason pass to Sam who had his shot saved.
With a comparison of the results and linked with our own three match experiences, it is already clear that at the moment all the clubs in the division are of a similar standard, except we are just a little better than the rest. It is obvious to me that we are the best footballing side and our speed of movement can pay dividends, it has so far. Our fitness can still be improved upon but in all three matches we have appeared stronger as the game wears on. The way we approach training is much better and it needs to be maintained-David is the best you are likely to come into contact with, so keep listening, and keep learning. Second in the division is the lowest we ever need to be this season-you are playing like champions, so become champions.