Home league match played on 30 September 2014.
Kicked off at 7:30 PM

Inspire played their 2nd game of the season in the magnificent Abu Dhabi national stadium. Inspire had a free week last week so didn’t play so this meant they started the day 5points behind the title chasers but with a game in hand. Knowing this, nothing but a win would do to keep Inspire in the mix at the right end of the table. This match seen some slight tactical changes to a more solid 4-4-1-1 formation. Also debuts where given to: Saif, Yasser, Mikki and Alex to reward them for their contribution in training over the past 2months and a chance to prove themselves in the physical 11 a-side league.

Team: Player coach Colin started in his old natural position in goal with Charlie, Romeo, Ronald and Nico leading the defensive back line. In the center: Amro, Saif, Akram and Taofeek. and Leading the attack was Mansour and Sanhouri. As a new team, Inspire are still trying to find their feet and gel as a unit and so this team selection was a positive throw of the dice from Colin which would hopefully bring results while allowing the players to learn to play as a team.

The game started with the Saracens dominating possession and capitalizing on some nervy defensive work from Inspire which resulted in a corner kick which was delivered deep into the box which found a Saracens head cleanly and forced Colin into a bottom corner reflex save. With Inspire rattled, again the Saracens piled on the pressure and the second corner was mopped up by some strong athletic heading from center back Romeo. From this point inspire raised their game on the flanks to hit back with Nico combining well with Mansour on the left flank. Saif also came close when he found space in the box and unleashed a thunder bolt which was dragged just wide. As the game went on some simple mistakes in midfield resulted in loss of Inspire possession and Saracens enjoyed plenty of counter attacking from their tricky number 5 who managed to dribble his way to 2 free kicks on the edge of the Inspire box one of which resulted in a yellow card for Romeo the other was caught from keeper Colin. It was at this moment the game was turned on its head, with the ball in Keeper Colin’s hands and the Saracens pushing very high on the pitch Moe Sanhouri and Saif where in a 2v2 position. The Keeper hit a 70yard pass behind the Saracens defense which resulted in Moe Sanhouri receiving the ball and playing it square to Saif who back heeled it to Taofeek who smashed home from close range…..GOAL 1-0 Inspire.

Now Inspire looked dangerous and shortly after piled on the pressure after the 2nd goal which came but was deemed offside by the referee. With Inspire looking strong the game took another turn of events with Thierry making an error on the left and Nico and Mansour where out of position which forced a 1v1 with an Inspire center back who was beaten for pace. Keeper Colin came out showed his lack of match sharpness and made a positional error which resulted in a well-deserved goal for the Saracens capitalizing on the consistent mistakes. GOAL 1-1…….The match was equal until the end of the half with neither team managing to find a way through. Inspire midfield stared to showed glimpses of their potential with: Saif’s heading and Akram’s passing most certainly noted.

At half time all the coach wanted was to cut out the easy mistakes because Inspire kept hurting themselves and this does need to be addressed in training but apart from that all the players knew that with the squad we had and the formation it was Inspire’s match to win. Only change that was made was Alex was brought in for his debut in goal for the 2nd half looking to challenge for his place.

The second half seen Inspire really fall into their stride and dominate the possession. You could sense that a goal was coming but time was running out. Could this be a repeat of the last match? With Inspire constantly pressing the Saracens looked an equal threat on the counter however nothing serious to trouble keeper Alex. Thierry came close after a neat run by Nico and Maradonna dribbling around created space where Thierry smashed one which whistled just over the bar. The game was closing to the end and Inspire just couldn’t find a way to kill the game. Assistant coach Nico lost his cool and was shouting about what we need to do in training which we all know but didn’t help anyone. Nico put in a fantastic shift for the team and was sharp all game. As he was tired and lost his cool Mikki was brought on who also made his first debut and looked sharp and could play a important role for the team in the next few months. Time was running low so Colin brought himself back on for Yasser to rough up the Saracens with his Joey Barton style of play and try force the goal. Inspire continued to pile on the pressure and Colin won a free kick for Inspire 30yrds out. The ball was delivered deep into the box by Thierry which bounced around in the box and came back out wide where it was delivered back inside which found the feet of Sanhouri who was unmarked near the penalty box who expertly hit it home into the bottom left of the keepers goal to seal give Inspire the lead. GOAL 2-1. It was almost a repeat of the last match but this time we done it.

In the dying minutes Inspire did indeed tighten up the defense and made it difficult for the Saracens to break. With 2minutes left Colin gave away a free kick near the halfway line and Inspire where completely out of position and it could have been a costly mistake. Saracens looking to capitalize on this with a quick free kick with a potential 3v3 on the cards Colin (although not proud of it) showed a little bit of professional and comical gamesmanship by kicking the ball away to stop the quick free kick and allow Inspire to settle into formation which of course resulted in a yellow card for wasting time. This was the last real chance of the game which resulted in a long hopeful ball being well dealt with by Inspire.

The referee blew and Inspire got the 3points where they now leapfrog the Saracens and still have a game in hand to chase the table toppers.

It was a nice feeling to get the result today even though we are not playing our best. This is a real positive. We took plenty of information from the game about individual players and as a team to move forwards and address in training. That being said there were: 6 teenagers that played, 4 debuts and a slight formation change and we still get 3points…NOT BAD! Inspire’s early fixtures are all going to be tough matches against experienced teams that have played together for at least a year. We have shown great character to start the season the way we have. It must also be noted that we have players who have still yet to make an appearance who will continue to help push us in the right direction. With the youth improving and the older players getting match fit when this team gels I truly think we can be one of the strongest teams in this league. The next matches are a real test of character now and if we come away with points we can do some damage on this league.

Man of the Match: Moe Sanhouri got this not just for scoring the fine winner but he was really fighting as a lone striker for the whole match and always looked dangerous. Well deserved!!!

Numpty of the Match: Nico who sometimes lets his mouth get the better of him talking about training and individual players weaknesses ‘whilst on the pitch’ instead of concentrating on the game. This is poor from the wide man which overshadowed his fantastic effort on the left.

Next Week is a good one we are playing last year’s Champions who drew 0-0 with the Wolfhounds B. I am really looking forward to the challenge so see you 8pm on Friday for training.


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