Running late I sent word to the pitch for the starting line-up Sanju (GK), TonyC-MikeV-DanH-Pete, H, Ed-Luke-Nathan-Paddy, Dashti.
Apparently there was a blatant hand ball with all 22 players in agreement, unfortunately the ref did not concur so the game continued.
We had large amounts of possession with the opposition limited to a few long range balls and did not really trouble our back four. We won a few corners and free kicks but failed to convert. Dahsti had a few chances but otherwise we did not make our possession count. 10 mins to go a defensive slip saw their striker steal a ball and one-on-one with Sanju made it 1-nil. Moments later from nowhere a thunderous volley from 35yards out say the opposition score a scorcher in the top left with Sanju nowhere to be seen. We switch to 4:4:2 with Paddy up top and Luke on the wing however the goal galvanized the opposition and they saw out the half in the ascendency.
Couple of changes at half time with Dan off, H dropping to CB and Jeff in midfield, Paddy off with Luke moving up front and Nav on the right.
We continued to have the majority of possession and a few more shots on goal however we were not using the width enough and the opposition sat back and soaked up the pressure. H could have scored the goal of his Spartans career with an overhead volley that unfortunately hit the far post and out. Moments later the opposition had another long range shot with Sanju making a finger tip save onto the bar.
Burger Republic had no subs so when one of their players went off with cramp so H pushed up into midfield with 3 at the back.
With 15 mins to go Patrick on for Ed and shortly after debutant David on the left with Luke coming off and Patrick up top and going to 3 at the back.
We kept pushing to no avail – a solid performance and we kept hold of the ball – only critisim was our failure to use the width of the pitch and rushed balls in the final 1/3 – same errors we make when we lose – to many times players cut back into midfield trying to pick out probing long range passes which invariably got intercepted instead of using unmarked players 10ft away or open down the wings. We also failed to keep to the 3:5:2 formation with players dropping back when we need to push up given we had possession.
It made a change playing a team that don’t dive around and the game was played in good spirits which make a pleasant change – we play them again in the Cup at the end of the month in a winner takes all to lets have our revenge
A break for a couple of weeks – next match 6:30pm Sunday 18th November on a brand new astro pitch
Soho V 濟記 (a new team) at Shek Kip Mei
Note: Sunday Spartans don’t have a match that day