Over recent months the fun factor had disappeared from The Revs game. Win, lose or draw the lads usually were in high spirits, joking around at incidents good or bad during the game. However results – and remember it is the first season – were going very much against them and the luck wasn’t there in games. This had led to a sombre atmosphere and even whispers of jacking it all in.
Something had to change because competing with these young, hungry and fitter teams was not going to be easy and so the lads had to learn to enjoy it again and break free of the shackles.
Last night was somewhere near regaining that fun factor. And even though it was a loss, the lads came off the pitch pleased with the effort and the smiles had returned.
The aim in the second half of the season is to improve on the results from the first half. Wheelchair Will were the first ever opposition for The Revs in the 6aside format and they lost 6-3 on the opening day. Now the result last night was not an improvement losing 7-2, BUT the performance was a big improvement.
7-2 doesn’t reflect how the game went in all honesty. Yes the opposition squandered a lot of chances and the woodwork came to the rescue on occasion, but The Revs also missed a host of chances and even should have gone in front when Evans’ back heel put Hartrick in very early on but the keeper smothered the ball.
Further chances were created, Hartrick and Evans on the front foot testing the keeper on several occasions, but then against the run of play they scored on the counter when their danger man beat Pinkstone to the byline and swept in a cross for their attacker to tap in after he lost his marker in Beardall at the far post. Heads didn’t drop though as the team had played well and continued to do so. The opposition, as expected, then pressed and put the defence under an increasing amount of pressure, the entire team pinned in, but on the whole the defence held strong led by a superb P. Pinkstone at the back.
Just before the break Cordingley, making an appearance for the first time, messed around on the ball too close to goal and was dispossessed leaving Steane stranded as they made it 2 nil.
Once again the second half showed that The Revs can compete and had large portions of possession early on with Beardall really pulling the strings. This time the pressure applied reaped reward when Hartrick fizzed a ball into the post for Tyman to hit sweetly first time only to see his shot hit the post, but that bit of luck needed meant it came back at him and before anyone else could react he lashed the ball in past a despairing keeper.
The Revs applied further pressure looking for the equaliser but once again Wheelchair Will hit on the counter attack and before long were in a 4-1 lead. The Revs hadn’t thrown in the towel just yet and Hartrick once again turned provider and played in Tyman who finished striking the inside of the far post to make it 4-2. The game then became a bit of an arm wrestle with Pinkstone in the thick of it including a blatant two handed handball and a wreckless tackle from behind that could have seen red or at the very least been a penalty but the refer showed no interest.
Eventually they had a hit and hope that rebounded off Evans’ foot, then Pinkstone’s back and spun over Steane to put the game just beyond The Revs. In the final 5 minutes, looking for a consolation goal, The Revs conceded a couple of quick goals to make the score line look very one sided. The truth is that it was far closer then it suggests and the lads had put in an incredible effort including Cordingley, there to make numbers up, but played his heart out when called upon.
The fun factor has seemed to have made a return, hopefully it sticks around.