Well the dream was to record two wins on the bounce, but alas several weeks off does not suit The Revs. When faced with younger, quicker and faster players it was always going to be an uphill battle.
Granted, a 7-1 loss on paper does seem very one sided, but it does not paint the whole picture. The team really put a shift in and at times played some wonderful football. The Revs created space, had some nice touches and counter attacked when the opportunity came, especially in the second half, but as is so often the problem for this team there was no final killer touch or strike.
The first half was very much an attack and defend situation. The opposition straight at it from kick off, but the scrambling defence and hard work meant attack after attack was snuffed out or dealt with by a superb performance by Myers. The Revs first meaningful attack came after 5 minutes with Beardall cushioning Myers kick but realising upon shooting he was further out than he thought and the keeper dealt with it comfortably.
Eventually the opposition did score as The Revs became more adventurous as the half went on. In fact it seemed every time The Revs pushed forward they were hit on the counter which led to a 3 nil deficit at the break.
In the second half, The Revs had nothing to lose and pushed further forward, creating space for each other and had general good movement off the ball. The team looked to be enjoying it a bit more in the second stanza. But sure enough the quick footed opposition players counter attacked with ease and added to their first half haul of goals, sometimes with luck on their side with Myers palming out a stinging cross onto the back of their cowering player only for someone else to tap home, sometimes with sublime skill like the volley from an angled ball over the top. Although not everything went in, Myers was on top form and Hartrick pulled off a great goal line block to deny the score line further flattering the opposition.
As I say, The Revs had chances and the normally reliant goal poacher Hartrick had a few opportunities, been put in by the hard working Tyman at one point and also Evans with only the keeper to beat but fluffed his lines on this occasion. Maybe it was the pink socks he was sporting?
Steane was a pest as ever and managed to complete his now customary hand ball after miss-controlling it when the break was on. Allen stemmed the flow of counter attacks as best he could and tried his hardest to chime into attack himself when it was needed. However, The Revs were always just a split hair away from a perfect ball. Evans over hitting a simple pass to Beardall, or Beardall’s chip through not realising a defender was waiting or Hartrick’s heavy pass out wide. These moments had The Revs in good positions, but composure evaded the players at times.
At 7 nil down in the last few minutes The Revs managed to have the last word though and ensure a bit of pride was restored by not being nilled. Beardall drilled a ball in low from a kick in but it did not clear the first man. He had a second chance to atone and Evans, seeing the space at the back post, took a chance and sprinted (honest, it was a sprint!) from the halfway to connect with Beardall’s beautiful lofted pass into the area, possibly the ball of the season so far. Evans timed his run and jump perfectly and connected with the ball (we shall say with the head, but quite possibly was the shoulder!) and the ball bundled into the corner to give The Revs a goal and also stem the drought Evans was currently on in front of goal.
The game came to an end and it was a heavy defeat to second place, who were always the better side, but The Revs battled hard to a man and put an almighty effort in. It was a good work out for easier challenges ahead.