The rapport was strong in the squad and we had lots of catching up to do after a fruitful festive period. A wet and windy Saturday morning in london meant our usual pitch was unavailable due to water logging. Luckily the king of admin himself was able to pull together a last minute turf field which was a luxury we aren’t always used to and created a buzz in the dressing room.
When the referee on the day came over and introduced himself TC said very confidently“I love a northern referee” and I was hopeful it was going to be indicative of a fruitful afternoon for the lads - this wasn’t to be but we will delve into more detail later in the report.
Kiwi started the match with a strong lineup and we had depth and quality all over the place. However, we knew this would not be an easy game as the Irish were always a fit and well drilled side.
With a front 3 of Kane, Liam and Shaydon we were hoping to capitalise on our skill and pace up front, utilising the huge pitch. It was a cagey start with both teams testing the waters. There were chances at both ends but the breakthrough came from Hibernian in the 21st minute when they had a shot which was well saved by Kieran and their striker was on hand to slot in the rebound. We were now in search of an equaliser and we had some great chances, most notably Liam making a great run in behind but putting his effort narrowly wide. Hibernian would add a second just before the break with a pinpoint cross to the far post where their striker made no mistake.
We would go into the break 2-0 down on the scoresheet but not down in spirit. After a great team talk by Fin the boys were more ready than ever to mount a comeback for the ages.
Kiwi were the more dominant of the two sides in the first 15 minutes of the second half and our midfield was showing its class bopping it around like prime Barca creating chance after chance.
Here’s where we get into the moment in question and perhaps the reason I’ve been asked to write this report… At the 65th minute mark, with the kiwis piling on the pressure the ball came to Robbie on the left wing who i’d gone to support leaving 3 of their strikers in my wake with only Seb to stop them. They missed and we ended up scoring in the 67th when Angus slotted home expertly so some may argue that was a piece of tactical genius from me. The jury is still out.
In search of a second, Shaydon made a great run jinking and jiving between the defenders and was bought down on the edge of the box. The ref, who had been pretty inconsistent all game decided not to blow his whistle and the Irish went down the other end to score and make it 3-1.
Shortly after they would add a 4th and a 5th. We showed the fighting spirit we are renowned for and battled back to get a 2nd goal through Angus again who is creating quite the name for himself in this league.
Unfortunately the game would end 5-2 but as always there were a few positives to take away. With the news of a new team joining the league on 0 points it gives us a new lease of life and much needed motivation to keep the dream alive.
Obviously the boys went and indulged in a few beers and burgers after the game with some continuing long into the night. Man of the match was big BT who had a great game alongside Fionn in the middle of the park.
By Jevon Williams ??