Depleted numbers due to a heavy weekend of games, injuries, stag events and Mav’s birthday saw us turn up with an initial 12 with Randy arriving later. Given the position of the opposition in the table we knew it was going to be a tough game. We decide in the team talk to take the game to them from the off and be positive.
We start with a newish formation and line up: Bertie (G), Terry (LB), Tony Choi (CB), Henry (CB), Sanj (RB), Hemant (LM), Tom (CM), Flabbo (CM), Ed (RM), Stef (Hole), Marc (F).
The opposition pass the ball very well for the 1st 5 – 10 mins but do not look threatening as we look very solid and organized from the off and play at a fast tempo. This is one of our best starts so far this year. Our defense dominates in the air and breaks up their attacks. Our midfield build on this platform and starts to edge their way into the game with Hemant making some very good runs on the left. Tom and Flabbs put in some good hits. Our player of the 1st half is Stef who revels in the freedom of being in an attacking role and after being played in from the right controls the ball, turns and belts in a screamer. We go 1 – 0 up and everything is working to plan. The opposition is rattled and we dominate the rest of the half. Again from the right Stef is put in, unfortunately this time he shoots wide. He had more time than he thought and didn’t realise that the keeper was stranded and was effectively spectating.
The oppostion as usual get some bias reffing and get a some "free" free kicks from outside the area which they deservedly squander. The only scary moment is when there is a mix up between Bertie and Sanj which sees Sanj do an airshot of a clearance and Bertie crush his own foot as he smothers the ball much to everyone’s amusement. Thankfully we got in at half time 1 – 0 up.
In the second half the opposition really come at us and the defence has more hard work to do. The tempo of the game which is fast paced and aggressive is set after Bertie makes a strong challenge after ten minutes and all hell breaks lose. 3 of their players go after Bertie the man who said "I didn’t punch him". Henry wags his finger at 2 of the opposition who back down immediately which reminds me of Mick Dundee’s move to calm large animals.
Cards are dished out and play returns with the usual screaming and diving. However, to our credit we do not take the bait. We play continue to play the game very well to the end getting a few corners and some half chances. Marc lays one of their players out and is then replaced by Randy who comes into midfield and does very well with Flabbo going up front. Hemant also comes off for Chi.
Unfortunatley Tony trips one of their players and fifteen minutes to go they get a penalty which they convert. We still continue to play well and Ed is outstanding on the right doing some tireless running. Another comical moment sees Flabbo floored and then gets a ball booted at his head. Flabbo quite rightly, is incensed and takes issue with the ref. Tom who is the culprit just looks at the floor and chuckles.
1 – 1 was the right result. Well played to everyone a great team effort. Manager’s special mentions to 1.Stef who had an outstanding game out of position or is Cowley now getting nervous. 2. Bertie who helped out at the last minute and had an excellent game in goal. 3. Henry, who organized the defense extremely well.
Scorer – Stef
Yellows – Marc, Bertie
Men of the Match : Ed, Stef, Bertie
Mug of the day: Cowley
Lookalike of the day: Ed – Toby Flood
STRENGTH & HONOUR