Goals: Hermod, OG
On a glorious winters day Mes Amis turned up with a huge contingent of players and fans to battle table topping Spartans in a picturesque Kowloon Tsai pitch. It was fairly evident that this Mes team was a very different proposition than the one we played in the first round and with several new signings and a few club players making an appearance we knew this was going to be a tough game.
For this game we actually had a strong lineup although our defence was weaken slightly by the loss of Jan and Bertie who have been playing so well in recent weeks. However with Briggsy back and Rob in defence along with Steph and Thomas D we still looked to have a team capable of winning the game. Kick off and early signs showed Mes meant business. Mes having a glorious chance early to go one up only for the player to scoff it too high. We then also had a good chance however with Hermod only having the keeper to beat hitting it straight to him. The first goal however went to Mes and from a corner, poor marking and too much space allowed the Mes player to head it into the goals. 1 nil down. However we responded well and both Simon and Hermod where linking well before Hermod rounding their defence crossed it for Simon but could only be parried into the net from the Mes defender. 1-1 game level and up for grabs.
After this goal we started to play decent football and with only a few minutes remaining we had three chances in a row to go up at the break. Hermod and Simon again working well set up Hermod for the one on one with the keeper who saved it, only for it fall back to Simon who somehow hit the post with goal at his mercy, then back to Hermod who laid it for Simon only for the keeper to produce a brilliant one handed save. This would have been a valuable goal to take to the break.
The second half followed much like the last 10 minutes of the first half and we had a few good chances to take the lead. Forlan beaten the offside trap with only the keeper to beat but cut it back in to see a Mes player somehow get a foot in. Then Forlan had another chance to score this time just hitting the ball wide of the post. Then the goal which turned the game on it’s head and bit against the run of play. Knowlser through ball was blocked by Mes player which rebounded kindly to their striker. Who got around our defence and slammed home a fierce shot into the goal.
This got Mes tails up however we were still creating chances sporadically. Knowlser was putting some terrific through balls in and one which found Forlan having probably more time than he thought hit it wide first time. Jim then set up Forlan who chipped the keeper only for it to be cleared off the line. Mes also where creating chances and if it wasn’t for some outstanding defending and keeping we could have easily conceded the game at this point. As the game drew to a close we started to tire and the chances started to dry up. We went three at the back and with only a few minutes remaining a corner which was well controlled by Forlan saw a shot which certainly not on target handballed with both hands by the mes player. The ref spotting it and rightly claiming a penalty.
Hermod stepped up to take the crucial penalty with a few taunts and comments by Mes players he ignored it all and slotted the ball perfectly in the back of the net. It was amazing escape however after our goal we fell asleep and almost gave the game away with the Mes striker surging run and taking a shot just outside the box and hitting the post. A lucky point for us in the end no doubt.
One of the few games this season we did not dominate however we grafted well in belief in the end got us what could be a very valuable point. Mes were a strong outfit however we also didn’t take our chances and made a few fundamental errors which almost cost us the game. Steve G and Aidan battled hard and tried their very best but couldn’t stamp their authority on the game with Mes midfield having a few new talented players. Rob had a fantastic game in centre defence not his natural position he played brilliantly while Thomas D and Steph where very solid and Briggsy doing a few crucial tackles. Joe and Jens both had good games while Jim and Knowlser both came on in the second half and also made an immediate impact creating several chances to Forlan and hermod. Up front our strikers all played their hearts out and on any other day could have bag a few more goals.
Man Of Match was a close one between Hermod and Rob. Hermod was outstanding up front and his penalty was terrific. But Rob for mine was the pick of the players and had a great game to show his versatility in any position he is put in.