So after a very productive period of indoor Futsal, the Colts were back outside in a Friendly game against their biggest rivals Meole Brace. A game designed to get them back into outdoor football. It was evident at training that they could use a refresher having played Futsal for the last few weeks.
It was a lovely morning and it ended up being perfect conditions to get the blood pumping for outdoor football again. An hour after kick off and everyone had realised it had been a good idea and had been a perfect set up for the next part of their debut season. The Colts were beginning to FIRE……
Meole are a good side and are set up well and just seeing them warm up you soon saw why they were one of the top teams in the league.
Finn returned in goal for the first quarter in front of his granddad who had made the trip from France. It gave the avid Leicester City fan his first chance to see who he described as Kasper Schmichael and Jamie Vardy. Finn did not agree with either comparison!!
After rounding the Colts up for their pre match team talk KO came around.
Matthew was defending well early on but it was easy to see that the Colts had closed the gap on Meole since they had last played. Colts were in this game and defended well against a number of early corners. Finn parried some away whilst others were cleared by Ryan.
Once such clearance from Cole set Ryan away who smashed his shot in 1-0 to the Colts. An explosive start and a well-deserved early lead.
Meole have a one or two superstars and from the instructions on the line it was clear they were the focus. The Colts have a team and with some slick passing they could take these Galacticos out of the game. The Colts were on top and rightly so.
Finn made a couple of early saves and fresh from shooting practice at training Cole started a succession of long range shots. Once again the colts had listened to the focused training session on shots.
The pitch was quite small so the ball was out of play a lot and from a Meole corner Finn saved and kicked it forward to Ryan whose shot was saved well. Poaching in proper striker style, Matty chipped just over. He had deliberately lifted the ball over the advancing keeper. Very composed and unlucky to see it go over the bar.
Still shooting from range, Cole chested one down and his dipping volley went just over. Deliberate or otherwise, Cole was staying tight to one of the Galacticos and to be fair he never had a kick. This continued throughout the game. The ‘stars’ hardly had a kick. The Colts were able to see the danger and stifle them. Great football brains.
Matthew continued to defend well and Finn was pleased to keep a clean sheet, saving well more than once.
There was a bit of confusion about whether we were playing futsal rules but from a kick in Ryan crossed and Cole nearly headed it in.
Now into the second quarter Jack was on and following on from recent weeks, showed why he had become the crowds favorite and why he had shown the most recent development. He never missed a tackle but not only that, he made pass after pass. He even headed it clear at one point. He is the Colts shining example of a supportive team, great camaraderie and good coaching. He had come on loads in recent weeks.
James was playing in a deeper role and it suited him as he picked the ball up and went on one of his signature runs, crossing to Will who tried an audacious flick which was well saved. Another example of how the Colts can play in any position and adapt to what is asked of them. A proper Team.
Meole could not get a foothold in the match. They were being passed off the park. You only had to watch George and Jack play a nice one/two to see that.
Meole had a game plan. They were targeting George and he took a knock in the head and a hand to the face but braved on. You can’t bully the Colts.
A couple of free kicks saw the Colts form a good defensive wall and even if it was breached, Freddie was able to save well. From a good kick from Freddie George was in but his shot was saved. Freddie made a couple of great saves. Colts still led here.
Will playing striker took control from a George pass and held the ball up, winning a throw in by the corner. Brilliant front man play.
Now into the third quarter still leading, Finn and Ryan began to combine well as Finn now took his turn to lead the line. He had a big chance to make it 2-0. Ryan played him in but he got the ball stuck under his foot and couldn’t generate the power needed to slide it home.
The Colts were marching forward but from one advancing move they got caught and Meole broke leaving Matty isolated in goal. He saved the first shot but the rebound squirmed through his legs. 1-1. That was a goal against the run of play.
Up front Ryan and Finn continued to combine well and one more than on occasion Finn was played in but was unable to find the finish the play deserved.
Cole continued to turn defence into attack with some strong runs forward. When he did go up, Matthew saw the danger and ran from one side of the pitch to the other to make a great last ditch tackle. He had read the danger brilliantly.
Ryan sat on the wing and the Colts kept finding him with some great passes and he kept banging them into Finn in the middle who really should have turned one into a goal. It would have been well deserved given how well they had played.
The shots from distance kept coming and Matty made a big save to keep it 1-1 having come out to close the angle well.
Unluckily Meole got the break of the ball and made it 2-1.
Into the final quarter, comfortably still in this game, George exploited a save from will now in goal to break from half way and make it 2-2.
Meole soon took the lead back from a poweful shot. Sometime you just can’t save them given the size of the goals. But it allowed the Colts to see it is always worth shooting from distance. 3-2.
The Colts continued to push and Freddie nearly run out of puff having taken about 5 corners one after the other. A brilliant passage of play as he kept laughing between catching his breath.
The Colts held on and a massive goal mouth scramble and great defending kept the score 3-2.
In the final minutes, Will made some big saves, Jack continued to battle well and James turned defence into attack. The final passage of play summed up the Colts. George, playing on the wing saw the danger, retreated into defence and covered for James (who had run forward) to clear the danger. Total Football.
At the end of the game Meole knew they had been lucky here. The gap was closer than ever. One or two good players don’t make you a team. 10 Hungry Colts does!!!!!!
Individuals can only get you so far but it comes at the expense of the rest of the team. At times some of the Meole Player looked uninterested, just waiting for their turn to give the ball to the stars. That will come back to haunt them. If the Colts keep doing what they are doing and get bigger and stronger they will pass this team off the park. Within a year the Colts will be the better side, no doubt.
1. Finn and Ryan linking up well
2. Freddie making a great double save
3. Matthew running the length of the pitch to make a tackle
4. Cole shooting from distance
5. Jack becoming a play maker with some great passes
6. Matty making a great save when one on one
7. George with some tight control and overcoming being targeted
8. Ryan playing like an old school winger
9. Will’s delicate flick shot
10. James looking like a cultured defender
Things to work on for next week
Continue to shoot
Double up on better players
Great to see him back in goal keeping a clean sheet.
Great positional play up front but needed to be a bit more clinical.