CPR Raiders 1 v 1 Hook Panthers, Capt Rob, MOM Ellis, TOC Joab, Goal Ellis
Boys had an opportunity to watch a top premier team (CPR Spartans) in action before the game who were very impressive in their play.
Training this week had been short and 'long' passing this week and practicing defending a few crosses.
CPR started the more organised with a desire to keep the ball by moving and passing. This meant we had to keep our shape and watch for the CPR support players. Within a few minutes we were a little unlucky to 1 down, a result of a long range shot that went straight to one of their players, for an easy tap in. Our defence were keen to get the ball down and try and play (Joab particularly), this was working well, as it has all season..Midfield looked tidy but CPR had one physically strong player who was breaking through the tackles. We played some nice passing football out to the wings, particularly to the left side creating a few half chances. A couple of times in first half our striker got one on one with the defender. We defended corners well and indeed managed to get a head onto a corner that could have gone in.
At start of second half, lot more energy in midfield and the defence were stepping in to intercept. We moved the ball quickly to striker (Ellis) who worked himself into some excellent scoring positions, eventually hitting a strike top right corner of the goal, keeper had no chance with. The third quarter was mostly Hook as we looked to pressure the CPR defense who were a little nervous at the speed of our attacks. The final quarter was more even and indeed in the last 2-3 minutes we seemed to be under the cosh without an ability to keep the ball....
Manager of CPR congratulated on Hook for they way we play football, but I think it's fair to say they passed it more than us. We tended to be a little stretched, causing more long balls than usual. I also think that the boys recognised that the early ball to our striker was effective and is linked to the training we did this week :-). Boys got tired late on and I needed to do a lot of subbing, particularly in midfield where a lot of yards were covered. We need to ensure all midfielders understand their defensive duty of getting behind the ball when we have lost the ball....
Communication getting better, but when two players go for the same ball, clearly there is room for improvement. Defenders did not always pick up the striker and he was 2-3 times sitting behind the defensive line. We need to be more aware, Rob and Oskar dropped deep a couple of times to fix it. We also need to fix movement from our throw ins, as there were no options and players were static. Josh is very good at this.
Loved the amount of heading that we did (who didn't header the ball?), well done to John. er Well done to Owen for letting the ball rolled out of play for Panthers goalkick, I think some of us treated that like a goal scored :-) James had a good shot, kept out wide right, keeping the match nice and wide when we had the ball. Midfield needs to drop and go narrow when we don't have the ball. Edward added real zest in midfield, stopping CPR strongest player a few times and Ted had a good shot from distance. Ryan came out well to clear just outside box, defenders need that assurance to mop the overtop kick.
Thanks to John for assisting and to our great supporters. A win would have been nice, but the Hook coach was not grumpy at all this week, turning over new leaves and all that....Really enjoying the way our boys are developing....win/lose or draw...and they seem very happy.