Today we faced Port Sunlight a team in the league above in the cup, with several important players letting us down by giving piss poor excuses as to why they couldn’t make it, it wasn’t the best of starts to a Sunday morning!
Still this is why we have got the squad we have got, and we lined up with a team which still fuelled expectations of getting a result.
It took us ten minutes or so to settle but once we did we started to slowly play some good football Kieran Hamm took a hefty thump in the back 30 yards from goal and the ref ordered a free kick which Kieran smashed towards the goal, the keeper fumbled and dropped the ball to Kevin Machin who had the simple task of firing into an empty net to set us on our way 1-0.
Then a stunning fast flowing counter attack got us further in front, with Port Sunlight putting us under some pressure following a corner a superb header was won by skipper Paul Stewart the ball fell to Danny Curran who took a few touches before playing a perfect ball down the right channel which had Michael Neish galloping towards goal, with a some stunning fast feet he tricked his way further forward and fired a low cross to the advancing Kieran Hamm who rifled into the net 2-0.
You could sense the panic starting to creep into a stunned Port Sunlight and more chances followed with Kieran Hamm, Michael Neish, Matthew Easterbrook and David Leslie all wasting good opportunities to put the game to bed.
But things soon started to spiral downwards in a trend which continued much, much more in the second half, Port Sunlight who to be fair played some decent stuff, but there strength was to punt long balls to a good old fashioned striker who made the ball stick to him time and time again, this is where we struggle, too many times we didn’t attack the first ball and continually let balls bounce and this in turn put us under huge pressure.
Matthew Easterbrook looked to have been fouled jumping for a header and the resulting long ball wasn’t dealt with and it left their winger free in on goal and with Jay McLaughlin standing no chance he fired a simple effort into the net 2-1.
With minutes remaining shouts for a penalty when Lee O’Donnell went down in the box were waved away much to the frustrations of the line and players.
Message was simple try to keep the ball on the floor and play football, instead what we did was panic, make wrong decisions and continually launch long balls to a back line of 6 foot lads who won everything and then launched it right back onto a backline who were left exposed time and time again.
Kieran Hamm lasted 5 minutes due to injury, Matthew Easterbrook not much longer through illness, Adam Coulls came on in hope of us starting to play some decent stuff and Sean Phillips for his debut.
Another long ball caused panic and Jay McLaughlin made a superb save low to his right to prevent a certain goal, seconds later there was nothing he could do when another mistake allowed their striker to finish and draw them level with 30 minutes left on the clock 2-2.
Things soon got worse! instead of trying to keep the ball we played into Port Sunlights hands by trying to force things too much and played too many long balls to the forwards and wingers which by passed our midfield which unlike in recent weeks were extremely quiet by the high standards they have recently set.
A stupid challenge on the left resulted in a free kick to Port Sunlight and the resulting free kick bounced not one not twice but three times in the box before they scored easily past Jay 2-3. Michael Edge made way for Tom Briggs and shortly after Kevin Machin pulled up injured and was replaced by Liam Rezza.
Moans about management decisions (making substitutions when players are injured???) Soon came but it was the decisions on the pitch which resulted in our downfall.
With 20 minutes left on the clock all the game needed was a bit of passion a bit of fight, in truth we got nothing but a limp ending from the Dell, too many if not everyone didn’t show up today, some played ok, some worked hard and tried but far too many where poor and didn’t show enough heart in a terrible ending to the game.
2-3 soon became 2-4 as once again our failure to deal with the long ball became all too apparent, then with the clock winding down and us trying to save face we was caught on the attack and their striker once again finished with ease 2-5.
Port Sunlight were a well set up team, played well and have obviously been together for a while but I don’t think they are a better team than us, they just wanted it more… sadly.
So after being 2-0 up we got beat 2-5, that stat says how bad it was, the only good thing that can come out of this apart from learning from it, is that this gives us a huge wakeup call and gets the fires burning and hopefully continues to burn from now until the end of the season… as I’m writing this now I’m still pig sick and pissed off…. how many of you are??
Because if you’re not hurt by this result then you are the wrong type of player for this team!
If we lose when everyone gives there all you won’t hear us complaining far from it you will get the praise you deserve, it was the lack of fight and passion which hurt, the old saying springs to mind “go down fighting”.
M.O.M Paul Stewart for at least showing some heart and fight.
A big reaction by everyone is needed next week! Including the ones who decided they had other more important things to do instead of playing in (on paper) our toughest game to date.