Thanks again to Alex for this weeks match report.
So, with an overcast and somewhat threatening sky our noon kick off got under way. After a full house at training on Friday evening David elected to bring a full complement of sixteen players to the game today, it would be a game of rotations. Seeing the entire squad interested is always a good sign and the mood before the kick off was good to behold. The 'feel good' factor lasted all of thirty seconds before the bounce of the ball beat Tom Skinner, and the ball found itself nestling snugly in the bottom corner of our goal before we had taken a breath. Tom quickly put this gaff out of his mind and began in earnest to organise the defence, onwards and upwards Tom. We started to play our game; probing runs down the line, quick inter-passing from the middle and a lively interest from up front. Del, who had rescued us last week with two goals in quick succession did so once more, finding the net in deliberate fashion on each occasion. Preceding these two goals, both brought about with very good deliveries from corners and wide positions on the right, we had peppered their goal. It was a deluge of attacking football with Finley and Mateusz on marauding runs and Charlie Steine feeding the ball into the danger zone from a wider position and from the many right-sided corners that the team won. With Del, Callum and Galin powering through the middle we looked potent. Our defence was strong enough to repel the isolated attacks competently; Tom Barker, Charlie Howard and Marcus were able to respond to Tom Skinner's prompts and organising skills to even find time to play out of defence, rather than rely on a long clearance. With each passing game Charlie Howard's positional awareness seems to improve, well done to you Charlie, (that's the mention I owed you Charlie, the one that Britt pointed out was missing from last week). The opposition did get through on a few occasions, but Reece was on top form and we were almost as tight as a drum in defence-there's that 'Tom-Tom' reference again. Our third goal was again from another delivery from the right. It found Galin, stealing in and jumping to get some part of his body to the ball. It looked from the touchline that it was a combination of head, shoulder and chest that forced the ball home, rather a little of the hands, knees and boompsy-daisies, but the lad wanted that ball so badly he made sure he got there, and got something on the ball to turn it home, a definite improvement on some of our attitude displayed in the earlier part of last season. The ball hit under the bar into the roof of the net and sprung back down and out, then was hooked away, by a defender's boot. The appeals to the ref from David and some supporters caused a change of decision. Glancing towards his linesman, (the visitor's man), to see him indicating a goal-the goal was awarded. The ball had crossed the line, and it was now a more comfortable 3-1 lead that we enjoyed-well done to the lino! Shortly after this we again won a corner on the right. David was heard to instruct Marcus to get in the box and 'get his head on it!' Another fine delivery dropped onto the far post where Marcus leapt to plant a header into the back of the net. A really good goal...and David was awarded an assist! At 4-1 we played out the rest of the half still looking for our fifth. During another goalmouth scrimmage Sam, who had looked sharp throughout, dipped his head a fraction and collected a defender's boot in the eye for his trouble. He had been told to keep his eye out for any goalmouth opportunity, but not literally-as he left the field he was reminded of this piece of advice, but he didn't quite see the joke, or if he did it was only through blurred vision! Sean partnered Mateusz in the second half, who had worked hard throughout the first half without a personal reward. We huffed and puffed a little but Alfie-the player who wasn't convinced that he could play an attacking role when David converted him to a wide raiding position last term-was given a berth on our left, and his substitution was inspired. His greatest asset is his powering runs; his determination took him past men and helped him retain the ball when others may have lost it. He also found time to curl a delightful shot just wide of the goal with the keeper rooted to the spot. Remember, all the time we have the ball our opponents cannot hurt us with it. Joey had been grafting this half, but the whole midfield were driven on by a rampant Callum, who gave a superb performance. There was a spell in the half when we had to defend stoutly and we did, Michael was a stalwart once more. The good thing about Michael is his ability to get forward when needed, resolute defending when necessary. His judgement is amongst the best in the squad-I bet even he doesn't realise this about himself. Reece came to our rescue on a couple of occasions when required, and so continued the standard he had set for himself in the first half. As the game played out our chances still came. We entered the last ten minutes when a cameo role by Sean grabbed the attention. Put through and chasing a one on one the keeper made a good stop. The ball ran loose and Sean fired another effort which the keeper gathered. He only had to wait a minute or so to be fed through the middle once more. This time with a perfect ution he gave a delightful dink over the onrushing keeper to send the ball dropping into the net, to give us a 5-1 lead. The lad's arms raised in celebration showed he had arrived as a Viking. Within a minute of the restart the ball was won, worked through Alfie, and Mateusz coming in from his favoured left side, drilled the ball into the net beating the keeper at his near post for a 6-1 winning margin. Just a point, we have one or two players who would rather dribble their way around opponents towards goal, or drive through the defence with only a personal desire to score. This in itself is a plus, however when it's done to the detriment of a simple five yard pass to a teammate it's a minus. Simple! Knowing where and when to release the ball is something which has to be learned-learn it well and a player becomes a better footballer immediately. A mention of Joey. His application this close season has been exemplary, it, and his effort yesterday says much about the lad and the spirit this club needs. More of the same in the cup in two weeks time please, gentlemen. Managers Notes: Good performance today from everyone. When I say it's time to get focused for the game, I mean it. To give away the goal like we did was very frustrating. However, we got the result we needed so well done to everybody today. Top of the league and that is where we need to stay, that is now the challenge for this set of players. Man of the Match : Callum Piper Thought Callum was fantastic in midfield today, from the first whistle to the last. Controlled midfield with Delroy, held the ball up, was composed on the ball and looked to always pick the attacking pass. Superb performance.