MATCH REPORT – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GAME
FWD SENIORS 3
SPARTANS MASTERS 2
Goals – Grimshaw 2.
As I sank down to my 100th beer pint of sorrow last night at about 3:30am in RIOS I was trying to hide my utter disappointment of a game which we should have never lost. Why did we lose, there was many giving their two bobs worth after the match….
“Should have never taken off that guy” – There was a few different versions of this.
“We had too many subs on the night” – They only had one.
“We went like headless chooks in the last 15 minutes, people playing out of position” – We did lose some shape at the end but we put ourselves in that position in the first place.
“We should have played this player in this position” – we all brilliant managers after 10 pints of beer.
“We should have played a different formation” – possibly should have played 3-5-2 from the start but who knows.
“We should have taken out there best player or man mark him” – this is vets football not Serie A.
….what we should have done…they kept coming. The truth is the game was a like a TV mini-series with each part of the game having it’s own episode ending with a great ending for them and sad one for us. Trying to make sense of it all is just high drama like a day time soap opera, so below was the episodes and how they unfolded in my eyes from the sidelines.
Episode 1- We had an avalanche of people available. It seems the combination of CNY break, a lack of recent competitive games had seen everyone come out of the wood work….and I mean everyone. Although I took 18 players to the ground we had about 28 players available for the game, many of whom I had passed on to play in the 7’s at KP. Even still I had to endure phone calls during the week about why players were not playing. As you noticed I didn’t even put my kit on because we had 20 guys at the game. Team comes first not individuals.
Morale of Episode 1…. unfortunately quantity does not beat quality.
Episode 2 – Everyone was there well before kick-off, this was very new to me, as I announced the team there was a high expectation that we had one of the best teams on paper, I certainly thought so. We did have a few players coming back from injury but let’s face it we all believed before the game with the team we had we were going to win.
Morale of Episode 2….you win the game on the park not on paper.
Episode 3 – We started off brilliantly for the first 5 minutes. Passing the ball around and just looking like an in-form team. We then suddenly start losing our first touch. Our first touch became horrendous, we just couldn’t control the ball in midfield or up front putting loads of pressure on our defence. The word hacking the ball was heard on the sidelines.
Morale of Episode 3….if you have possession of the ball your opposition can’t score.
Episode 4 – Eventually we claw our back into the game. We looked dangerous moving forward however it’s a close game and really neither side was on top at this stage. We have a few chances to score Andy having the pick but scoffing it well wide of the goals.
Morale of Episode 4…. Never underestimate what you capable of.
Episode 5 – Then a moment of brilliance Grimshaw gets the ball 30 yards notice their part time keeper is off his line a hits it over his head for a goal.
Morale of Episode – Back yourself to succeed
Episode 6 – With 10 minutes to go till half time we really should have gone into the break 1 up but instead we fall asleep, maybe we thought we had won already who knows. Their player has ample of space and time of the right after we gave the ball away with a poor pass and miss tackle. He gets a cross in which their only forward surrounded by 4 of our players has a free header to score. Don’t ask.
Moral of Episode – your most vulnerable after scoring a goal and individual errors cost games.
Episode 7 – Half time break. No morale here other than one substitution.
Episode 8 – We start the half brilliantly. We create 3 great chances to score. Craig with one where he hits straight to keeper and another which after rounding their defender scoffs it wide. Lionel then has an open goal which somehow manages to clear the cross bar.
Morale of Episode – Can’t miss open chances against good opposition and think you’re not going to pay for it.
Episode 9 – In the same sweeping passage they move forward, we have two chances to clear but fail to do so. Then their best player Da Silva volleys brilliant in the top right hand corner outside the box surrounded by 3 of our players.
Morale of Episode – same as Episode 1.
Episode 10 – Slightly shell shocked they press forward and score once again. Unfortunate circumstances as Tarik was under pressure hitting a wide ball into the back of our net for an OG.
Morale of Episode – you make your own luck.
Episode 11 – We revert to 3 at the back and push forward. Loads of changes are made to try to change the tide and we do so successfully. A nice move starting from Mark T, Randy, Andy, Randy hits post and then Grimshaw who else would it be smashes the ball in the back of the net. 3-2 with 15 minutes to go.
Morale of Episode – Where there is a will there is a way.
Episode 12 – The final episode of the match saw us lose shape as we looked for that elusive equalizer. Even Bertie decided to try his hand as striker. However it really was desperation stakes and although we tried our very best the ball just didn’t fall for us. We also at times tried really hard to give them the final winning goal thankfully their gun player missed.
Morale of Episode – Desperation never looks good.
Episode 13 – The realisation that losing this game would make it extremely difficult to progress to Champions League Semi-final given KCC Vets beat FWD 7-2 and that if two teams are on equal points it’s a head to head with those teams for qualification. However it was the manner which we lost which worries me, against weaker teams we play well but when we need to step up we really only have a few guys that are capable of doing this.
Morale of Episode – All men are created equally is just a myth.
Final Episode – Good after match banter drinks etc…thanks for those players who stayed on to support the team on a miserable night to say the least. Our Next competitive game is on Monday 6th March against KCC Vets. Only a win will give us any chance of defending the title.
Final Morale – It’s only a game….life goes on.
3pts – Clarke
2pts – Grimshaw
1pt – Bertie