With a much depleted squad we took on a resurgent JLeaguers team who in recent weeks have been getting results against those teams ahead of it in the table. Either way a terrific response by the club with a number of players coming into the game with not regular football.
Kick-off and with Forlan falling sick on match day we suddenly were reliant on Hermod to get us the goals. However when his groin went after 10 minutes it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon. We had much the better of the first half with young Joe providing our attacking foray well. On coming on Scott had a glorious chance to open his Spartans account however hit the ball wide. Further chances fell to Medhi and Hermod but possibly the best chance went to Mav who skied the shot above the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. As the half drew to a close we went scoreless although clearly the stronger team, those missed chance would no doubt come back to haunt us.
The second half was a battlefield. Again we had chances but so were JLeaguers now. It was end to end football and when Rob took an outstanding free kick leaving the JLeaguers keeper no chance we looked to have the game in the keeping. Joe who was playing superbly up front as a lone striker was creating havoc and when he turned the JLeaguers defenders inside out his shot somehow cleared the crossbar. Jim Rose who had a commanding game had fallen to pre-game injury and although the signs weren’t the best before then it got exaggerated further with his absence in midfield.
The last 15 minutes saw us under the pump big time. JLeaguers squandering chance after chance a close range header somehow went over the bar. Sam was super solid in goals and made a terrific save while the defence was trying their best give the amount of possession the JLeaguers were getting in midfield.
In the end somehow someway we got the points. It was a gutsy performance however looking back it was us not taking our chances which gave them the ascendency to attack us at will in the end. It was a game we could ill afford to drop points so it was a welcome relief to get all three points.
Well played to all the players who battled hard in this one. Special mention however must go to Sam who played brilliantly in goals and to the back four of Bertie, Briggsy, Thomas and Steph who all had a game in a half to keep a clean sheet. Joe played outstanding up front ably supported by Medhi and was very close to MOM honors.
But MOM goes to Rob who was outstanding in midfield and scored a crucial goal for us in our hour of need.