The scoreline ended up 5 goals to zero but that does not tell the tale. The Revs worked harder than ever and the final scoreline truly flattered the opposition. The team was set out well, had great shape and really put the opposition under the kosh at times. The Revs just could not find that killer goal and were thwarted time and again by the opposition keeper.
Let's be clear, this was the best the team had played yet at this level. The Revs soaked up the opposition attack, Marshall deputising in goal really well in the absence of Myers. P. Pinkstone leading from the back and Allen controlling things in midfield. Beardall and D. Pinkstone really putting the ball in dangerous space for Evans to tirelessly run onto. Evans was a pest for the opposition at the back tonight, so much so that his first touch from a Beardall through ball, putting him in on goal, meant the opposition had to resort to dirty tactics to completely wipe out Evans with the goal mouth begging. The ref, however, electing to sinbin the wrong player.
With 2 minutes of an extra man it really told and The Revs knocked on the door several times with Allen shooting wide and Evans unfortunate to not turn in his original shot, saved by the keeper, into goal when it came back at him quickly shaving the crossbar.
D. Pinkstone probed, Beardall showed great composure and Steane showed moments of brilliance going forward but the ball would not fall kindly or go in goal.
Half time and all square. In three games played this was the most adventurous forward play The Revs had shown.
The second half was played in the same manner. P. Pinkstone snuffing out the opposition attacks, Allen getting the team moving forward. The Revs narrowly missing out each time. A through ball by Allen with too much zest, a flick by Beardall not reaching the man. It really was even, both teams defending well.
Around the 25th minute mark Steane left the ground with a rash tackle resulting in a free kick. From the free kick the deadlock was broken. A quick shot into the bottom corner leaving Marshall helpless.
The Revs ploughed forward looking for the equaliser. This left the team open to the counter attack, as had happened the previous week. Their star player, quick with good close control, starting running things as The Revs looked for a goal back into the game. He added a further 2, deflating The Revs. It was the turn of P. Pinkstone to be wiped out in the middle of the park, but nothing forthcoming from the ref. The Revs did not have the rub of the green that's for sure.
Later Evans took a quick kick in five yards from their goal after sterling effort from Beardall down the wing, trying to chip into D. Pinkstone, but it was a poor effort and their defender headed out setting up another quick goal.
Steane had a moment of brilliance catching the ball dead on his chest from a Marshall punt up field but Evans, from the pass, could only see his shot caught by the keeper. Another counter attack goal followed.
In the dying minutes with The Revs 5 down, Evans was put through from Allen, only to be clattered, this time fairly, by their keeper leading to a corner that led to nothing.
The final whistle blew after the opposition had kicked the ball into touch. A five nil loss did not tell the full story, but the team had improved again. Still getting used to this format, the signs are positive. However the team has to take their chances when they come. We move onto game week 4 looking to build on these performances.
It will come. In the second half of the season The Revs will be better prepared for these teams. The signs of improvement are there and The Revs will challenge. Each week lessons are learnt and that can only be a good thing.