This was a huge game for both teams with the winners just having the edge over the other in the title race! But will still have a chance when we play them again this week.
After leading the league table for almost the whole season so far, it was a very painful feeling of defeat for everyone involved with our team. It really was a game of two halves, with Stanford having the better of the 1st half and us battering them in the 2nd. It was a real crunch game and started badly for one of Stanford’s players who was on the wrong end of a slightly mistimed, but full bloodied challenge which resulted in him going to hospital with a suspected broken ankle. (we wish him well, as nobody deserves injuries like these) That may have been the reason we stopped going into tackles and Stanford getting the upper hand? We were guilty of many misplaced passes and panic clearances causing uncertainty in our defence. The 19th minute saw us go a goal behind after a mix up at the back let their forward to tuck the ball away much to the delight of their fans. It could have been much worse just a minute later when a fine shot looked like it was going into the top corner before Tyler pulled off a great save to keep us in the game. The game from our point of view was very disjointed with Stanford dominating the play. It took us until the 30th minute to get a shot on target! This gave us a little more confidence and our best spell of the half as we closed in on the Stanford goal. Two more attempts from Jack and Connor gave Stanford something to think about as half time came. 1-0.
A half time team talk seemed to wake us up a bit as we came out of the blocks flying! Stanford looked like a team in shock as we went at them time and time again. We really had the fire in our bellies and were creating chances with almost every attack. Jack went close after a good run and shot, Connor finally started to beat the No.3 (who was the smallest on the pitch) and was unlucky to see his shot, after rounding the keeper, cleared off the line!! The pressure was really getting to Stanford now and mistakes were starting to happen. Another corner from Connor was delivered into a crowded penalty box...... first a shot from Ryan was blocked, then Lewis had a go..... blocked again, Callum had a swing at goal..... another block which fell to the feet of Ryhs who managed to smash the ball into the net!!! 1-1 We were now well on top and looked the more likely team to go on and win it. Andrew had another good game and went on one of his runs before releasing Connor to get another shot at goal. Ryan then went close with a long range effort when he smashed a clearance from the Stanford defence against the cross-bar when it looked like it was going in! Our Back four looked supreme in the second half and snuffed out almost every attack Stanford could muster. That was until the 75th minute when on a break away they got a lucky bounce in the box which fell very kindly to their midfielder to prod the ball through a crowd of players and into the net, totally against the run of play! Still we came back at them and were so unlucky when a run down the right from Connor, who flashed the ball across the six yard box with players throwing themselves at it trying to get the touch into the net, but it ivaided everyone and came to Callum who from a tight angle smashed it........ everyone held the breath as the ball looked goal bound only for it to pass the wrong side of the post! The full time whistle blew up to signal the end of our fight back...... but not the end of our fight for the title!! We will have our revenge in the return fixture!
So well done boys for the great spirited 2nd half, chin up its not over yet!!