The lads returned following the festive break filled with food, booze, bags and respiratory viruses. Hoping that the only positive result today would come on the pitch and not the LFTs. We faced a tough fixture to start the new year with; against a well drilled, trained and committed Irish outfit, who were reeling from the 2-1 lost they've had to live with since our previous encounter.
Kiwi FC took the dawn of a new year to bring in a slick new kit, courtesy of one of our club sponsors Kiwi Movers. The gaffa was keen to capture the team in the prestine shirts before they got covered in mud...some were more successful than others with this!
The continuous rain cut through the cold snap to melt any hint of frost from a fresh looking pitch, which during the summer months would present a platform for free flowing football. However, with it being January the glorious green pitch lasted about as long as a bag at a kiwi fc post match party. The mud was so bad Finn (C) opted against getting the cones wet or dirty in the infamous Kiwi FC warm up.
The match got underway with the Irish applying pressure on the white wall defense almost immediately. They started the game the stronger of the two, carving out a few chances which called the Fox into action. The Irish really got settled to the conditions and controlled the tempo, getting their reward with a neat finish at the near post. It would have been 2-0 very shortly after if it wasn't for an Aaron Ramsdale like save from the Fox. Unfortunately, it was 2-0 before the 25th minute. With the conditions worsening due to the none stop rain, the grass begun to disappear on the pitch, and it felt like the Kiwis were in for a long afternoon.
The team rallied and started to adapt to the classic English conditions. Conor produced an opportunity down the left wing which reminded the Irish that we weren't going down without a fight. The game started to balance out as it turned into a gritty game, which allowed us to fashion a chance which Sam (Sking) hammed in from close range at the second time of asking. Half time arrived and at 2-1, after absorbing the Irish bombardment against the wind for 45-minutes, the feeling was the game tide was about to change.
The tacticians discussed second half plans, debating whether to push or hold with the formation. But the best laid plans can't help you if the other team are quicker out the traps at the restart. 2-1 became 3-1 relatively quickly, followed by more saves from the Fox and a classy header off the line by TC. The gaffa began to make changes in the hope that some fresh legs would help on a pitch that simply sucked the strength out your quads and clafs with every turn. Every indulgent treat and postponed Xmas run was being regretted as the minutes counted down as we endured the relentless Irish attack. With a couple players showing their versatility by filling in a few positions across the pitch. But before the 90th minute the defense would be breached a further two times, finishing in a humbling 5-1 lost.
Full credit to a very well equipped opponent who were just too good on the day. The tired kiwi squad were treated to a crate of speights by the one and only Shano, which proved to be too much for recent recruit Jamie, who opted to empty half a bottle on Goodwin's kit bag. The team retired to a near by drinking establishment to drown their sorrows and assign fines. Knowing that in only a week's time WE GO AGAIN!!!!