A difficult, slightly lack luster and lacking energy met with a first half of 2 easy goals and a well delivered free kick from the opposition, and the teams heads had dropped again! Lack of comms across the pitch and players almost working against each other saw us gift them 2 goals. 2nd to the ball constantly, yet when we played our football our way, I saw that we just needed to unlock ourselves a little.
Queue a half time talk and I’m no Arteta - but my god we almost did it, we had 3 shots in that last 2 minutes and were so close to equalizing! Starting off with the second penalty in 2 days, up stepped our captain George who struck it home beautifully! He wasn’t watching Haaland midweek that is for sure! Beautifully struck to the keepers left hand side, were we really in any doubt?
We had several great runs after this, pushing through and playing some really decent football, the passing, 1-2’s making it easy, not trying to take on every player, we had several chances to get another goal back!! Before Tom latched on to a pass, and some fantastic footwork saw him wrong foot the keeper and hit his shot with great technique!!
5 mins to go, we put the big man with the big legs back on, and whilst we were able to push and press; the Cavaliers held on!
I commend the team massively today on their spirit and fight back, they didn’t give up and almost achieved the Arsenal of comebacks!!!
The boys played some really decent football, switching Raith to goal, he played his high line, sweeper keeper, assured and almost flawless in goal, he deserved his clean sheet!!
Team spirit - went to the marvellous Ollie H - a constant terror in defense and fantastic football and passing to Tom to set him up in some fantastic positions. I’ve never known someone who can go through the number of challenges you do, and still come out with that ball, you played intelligent football today and should be very proud!
Parents player - Chayley - the comms from you today were fantastic, you became that 11th player helping take pressure of the defence and using you as a pass back option. Unlucky with the goal where you were challenged, but was great to give you a whole half on the pitch in defense too, making some great tackles and clearances through the second half!
Man of the match - Bradley. There were several stand out performances today, but you bring space to this team in a way that others can’t quite find. You position yourself intelligently, and you pick out some fantastic passes too. At times just getting enough of a touch to take the ball out of the path of the oncoming players. Your first whole half of football and you were running back and forth and we can see how great your fitness has become!! Let’s now work on making more challenges, getting more and more involved as much as possible!
Chase - a good spell on the right wing and a constant threat going forward, some clever touches to take the ball round their players, but we now need to stick with tracking back to help the defense or your positioning on that right wing when Archie runs the overlap!
Caiden - a couple of rough challenges on you, and I had to take you off to make sure you were all in for the second half. You picked yourself up, and today I saw an improvement as you kept your passes down and stuck to your position brilliantly, working well with Archie and chase too!
George - this was a captains performance today. You take direction brilliantly, fantastic corners, played their players offside constantly and played 3 different positions. One of the most versatile players we have, you never fail to amaze me with the way a small touch creates so much time for you on the ball! Superb penalty again today, so cool, calm and collected!
Matthew - last man hero time and time again. If I had a stats man, who tracked tackles made, you’d top our league. You listened superbly in The first half too, and constantly were then first to the ball! Taking on players over a foot taller than you, with ease! Fantastic cover when tracking back also!
Reece - a quieter half for you, but a good read of the game, and some important touches in defense. Take your time with the ball, you have a good touch and we saw it Thursday evening, we just need you to have that same belief in yourself during saturday games!!
Archie - played a couple of positions today. And despite one mistake which led to a goal, I have to completely commend you. You didn’t let that mistake get you down. Your head never dropped, you just fought to get the ball back time and time again and push forward too! You are always the most willing player I know to play anywhere for your team!! Bringing you on for 5 mins upfront was actually a lot of fun!
Harrison - a quieter first half and quite clearly a lot on your mind. But you got yourself into the game and made some fantastic through balls to Harry and Leo, working hard to track back too. You found a new lease of life coming on playing left wing, back to where you were for us last season. We need to work on not mulling things over, and try to concentrate on the game and the things you do brilliantly. You play some intelligent football, let’s see even more of it!
Harry - excellent link up play with Goerge and Leo and Tom today, always making yourself an option, I found you sometimes sitting deeper but this just gave Leo a little more space to run with the ball. Stronger on the ball each week you stand up to a lot of challenges and play some fantastic football! Let’s work on getting your shot away a little sooner!
Leo - again the man drawing fouls for fun, almost. You have a way of making sure if you are fouled you get the free kick. You worked hard on the wing today and linked up with Harrison and Harry particularly well!
Fin - your confidence from Thursday came into this game, you chased down the ball when it was played too long, and that first time pass out to the wingers or through to Harry was at times technically brilliant! Each week you are working a little harder, and it’s been great to see you hitting those goals I’ve given you! 2 games and just 2 offsides! Well done!
Tom - a difficult first half, but one you met with tackle after tackle. You battled your way through each tackle today, but really flourished when moved to the right wing in the second half, having more space to run , gave you a lift, which saw you finish a superb goal!
Raith - last and by no means least! A tough start on right wing, taking you off to make sure those hips weren’t too sore! Second half and a change of position saw that Your style of goal keeping may not be for everyone, or for every type of goal, but it suited our style of play today. One slightly heavy touch and an unusual (for you) spill of the ball, you commanded your area and goal brilliantly today! Great balls out, quick, concise and great comms too!!
In a game of two halves we lost one half 3-0 but won the second half 2-0 with a third goal which felt just around the corner!! The boys showed tenacity and want in that second half and started to believe in themselves. We played some really nice football today. Next job is to bring in more plays of that really nice and simple football and consistency too! Keep those heads up and enjoy your weekend!
As for me - I’m off to Wembley!!!
Thank you George for running the line, Terry for the cookies and all parents for your support!!!