You really do not get long to be Champions nowadays. Fresh from wrapping up last season’s successful campaign, along comes game one of the new season!
The league has expanded this season, and so as a result, the competition is much tougher. Teams like Diemen and Misfits offer a much sterner test and that is alongside rejuvenated Banterlona and last night’s much improved opposition Queensbury United.
From the first whistle you could see the improvement of Queensbury. Their movement, their alertness and their counter attack were superior and for the first 10 minutes it is fair to say The Revs didn’t get out of their half much.
So it was typical Revs to take the lead late in the first half after Jamie Allen played Lewis Evans in down the flank and after beating his defender shot from an acute angle to beat the keeper at his near post. A real backs to the wall, break out and score, Revs style goal if there ever was one.
There were further opportunities and missed chances also but the opposition soon got back into it with a breakaway goal of their own.
1-1 at half time then and still all to play for.
Phil Pinkstone, to add to his all action display at the back, almost managed to cap his MOTM nod with a superb goal, albeit for the post to deny him what would have been a goal that would be spoken about for the next decade…
The half had chances for both teams and Myers was called to action on a few occasions. Equally their keeper, who let’s be honest wasn’t great, seemed to save all the hard shots and make a mess of simple catches, wasn’t really tested enough.
Beardall used a nice bit of trickery to bamboozle the opposition player, which was nice to watch and James Evans tracked back to try and boot the ball out of play only to miss it but calmly pass back to Myers, like it was planned!
Everyone was working their backside off, as you come to expect from this team now. However, the lack of a substitute against speedy opposition eventually took its toll.
Jamie Allen and Beardall linked up several times really well going forward but on this occasion it was cut out by the opposition and their speedy counter attack led to their lad in grey – who was strong, fast and skilful (not a combination that is good for The Revs) – cutting inside and smashing a ferocious shot that Myers couldn’t do anything about. That goal was scored with 3 minutes to go…
The Revs upped it though, searching for that equaliser. Allen playing plenty of balls into the danger zone and James Evans trying to get a head, foot or any limb onto the ball but was well marshalled. It was actually junior Evans that should have got the leveller though. The opposition backing off from a corner and Lewis Evans hitting a mighty ball that the keeper – remember him – saved superbly. However the spilled ball came wide to James Evans who wrapped his foot around it and hit it back into the middle but even though there was an on rush of bodies the keeper turned pro again and swept it away, coming away with the ball and starting his own attack.
And with that the Champions were defeated on the opening game of the campaign. There is no denying the true grit and hard work put into the game, channelled through Phil Pinkstone’s performance alone, but there is also no denying this is going to be a hard campaign as The Revs now have a target on their heads.
It is sort of nice to be seen as a scalp now, Banterlona proving that afterwards when they proudly announced they were the only team to beat the Champions. And they will be there challenging, as will The Revs of course, but Queensbury will also have a big part to play in this campaign…