As the sun rose on “Derby Day” the Colts were met with a light frost under a clear blue sky. It was clear this frost wouldn’t last long and sure enough, come kick off it was a beautify day at the Show Ground.
This was an away game at home, for the Colts as they prepared to face the SAHA Raptors.
On Friday preparations looked under threat when a pitch inspection at the Colts training ground saw the results of austerity measures. The pitches had not been cut and the grass was too long. It was also raining very heavily but undeterred, the management managed to secure a space at the power league and training went ahead as planned.
It wasn’t known at the time but training would turn out to be a real taste of what was to come as the lads flew in at training and there were one or two who took knocks. The derby game would have all the spike expected of a premier league clash.
The Colts had been given their new red away kit after training, another generous donation from LG Blower and all the lads looked impeccable as they stood for another press call photo before kick off.
Following last week’s success and with new stock provided the cake stand was as popular as ever.
Before kick off, to show solidarity and to remind the players it was only a game, the two teams lined up for a group photo. A great sight and made everyone realise it is only a game.
Having broken off from being shoulder to shoulder the teams kicked off. And kick off they did. It was obvious from the start that the Raptors were a tight little team and enjoyed a tackle. By the end of the game the colts medical team were fully booked up on the Monday. This was a tough match.
Will was in defence for the first quater. He may smile at you but he will take the ball form you and sure enough with only seconds on the clock he was flying into the challenges and made some very early and important tackles. Raptors had started well. Left isolated on the edge of the box, he had to nick the ball out for a corner.
Cole had started in goal and with a kick out he set George away with great distribution but a break of ball caught the Colts up field but the smiling assassin was over to snub out the danger with another great tackle.
Matty and George combined well but Mattys shot was well saved. George soon had one smashing off the post as the Raptors kept up their momentum and looked dangerous on the break.
George and Matty combined again but this time George shot was well saved and it was out for a corner.
George swung it in and it went straight in. Matty was on the back post but acknowledge that it had already crossed the line when he made sure. 0-1 Colts. It wasn’t against the run of play but it seemed a goal would only come from a mistake in these early exchanges.
In fact a bobbled shot managed to squirm under a diving Cole and the Raptors were soon back in at 1-1.
James had started further back in this game to stop the Colts getting caught but it allowed him to run with the ball upfield and he was unlucky when his cross was slightly over hit.
Will stayed strong in defence and with some early crunch tackles the first quarter drew to a close in this tight derby game.
Matthew had to be quick to fill in for Will as he was caught isolated but managed to defend well, again battling strongly for the ball.
Finn was on the wing and cut in to fire just wide. Finn showed his pace across the field to track back and make an excellent last ditch tackle.
Ryan was taking his turn in goal and his kick out set Finn off again who crossed to Freddie. His first touch was too heavy and the GK came out to clear. A nice little move.
Raptors were in this and hit the post from a fierce shot outside the area.
Freddie, this time, picked up the ball from Ryans kick out and was able to fire a shot on target which was again well saved.
The ball was stuck in the middle of the park at times and it was no surprise to see Jack battling away, coming out with the ball on more than one occasion.
Tied at 1-1 at half time.
Into the 3rd quarter and George had now taken his turn in goal. Not his favourite position but fortunately for him he had Cole and Will in front of him and he spent much of the quarter as a spectator.
James was also quick to remember his defensive duties and having picked the ball up it allowed Will to get forward and his shot went just wide. Will was beginning to pack quite a punch when shooting and this was no exception.A clean strike, deserving of a goal.
The Colts kept plugging away and Matty took more than one knock in this game but bounced up each time and carried on.
The ball bumbled its way into the Raptors box from a throw in and rather against the style of this game, a scramble allowed Cole to poke the ball home 1-2. Not a pretty goal and this game deserved something better but the Colts now had their noses in front.
James was able to make good progress down the line from a GK and his shot/cross was just wide.
The colts then had a run of chances. Matty and Will both shooting wide. Will soon linked up with Cole from a throw in but his shot was well saved. Will deserved a goal here.
He got his rewards soon after as another scramble allowed him to power home 1-3.
Cole continued to keep it tight in defence/midfield and made an important strong challenge on the half way line. A very brave tackle.
Matty was unlucky to score having got himself one on one.
Into the last quarter and now Jack had taken his place in goal.
On one of his kick outs he passed to Freddie who combined with Finn before the ball found its way to Ryan. He dug it out of his feet and struck a long range shot into the top corner 1-4.
Jack kept the Colts in it moments later when bearing down on their striker he made a good save to keep the score 1-4. He loved that save.
Finn kept running the line, safe in the knowledge that Matthew would pick up the pieces behind. He never missed a tackle all game.
Finn was hanging his head and banging the post shortly after as Freddie and Ryan combined well before sending a cross along the goal line, beating the keeper and defenders. Finn only had to bundle it over the line from yards out. Somehow he missed. Turning he showed a big as if to say ‘how did I miss that?’
He tried to redeem himself seconds later when, after a crunching tackleb y Freddie he was one on one. The ref played advantage but Finn was unable to score as the keeper closed down well. Freddie had taken one for the team here, a real bone cruntcher. A great tackle. Symbolic of the qualities the Colts had begun to show over recent games.
Like Matty, Freddie had been in the wars today. They all had, this had not been easy.
Battling well the ball broke to Ryan again who slotted to make it 1-5.
Derby day drew to close.
A great day for football
Some big tackles
Plenty of smiles and a feeling that today, for all those there we all were proud to be SAHA.
1.Finn smiling after missing an open goal
2.Freddie making a massive tackle
3.Matthew never missing a tackle.
4.Cole distributing brilliantly from Goal
5.Jack making a big save
6.Matty getting back up after each big tackle
7.George taking his turn in goal
8.Ryan scoring from nothing
9.Will’s thunderbolt shots
10.James keeping great position
Things to work on for next week
Could and should have scored more than one. Needs to a bit more clinical.
Some great tackles, something which has improved over the last few weeks.