When looking back at why our team lost you need to look at the big picture but we pretty much lost this game between the 10 minutes either side of the break and then found very little backbone after that. We had dominated much of the possession and territory in first 30 minutes of the game hitting a post and cross bar without getting that opening goal during this period. This sort of replicated how we have been playing recently in friendlies and with the exception of Willy Wong goals seems to be eluding everyone at the moment.
Then we got caught in possession in our third with about 5 minutes to go till the break and with most of our players moving forward a sort of average shot from their player who had lots of time somehow trickled into our net. The surprising thing to see was the number of players asking to come off in the first half. Lack of fitness, skills, determination to come back who knows but as a gaffa you want everyone playing their hearts out for the team, that was only present in handful of players on the night.
In any case how we went into the break down one nil is any ones guess but we did. With a big squad in play we made a few changes at half time hoping the substitutions would spark some further life but they seem to offer less to the team and most of the second half was pretty horrible football to watch from goals after Leo got injured.
It didn’t take very long for us to go further behind and within 10 minutes of the break a comedy of errors from our players (i) pass straight to their attacker, (ii) got caught in possession and then finally (iii) a missed kicked clearance saw their striker one on one to slot home their second.
As the second half went on we constantly gave the ball away to the opposition with little or no pressure, players kicked the ball out of play more often than not and miss kicks seemed to be the norm now. Football was no existent and at times I could make comparisons to Under 12 grade F’s football or even Aussie Rules although I think even that would have been better what we produced in the second half. As the game drew to a close with about 10 minutes to go we started to hoof the ball up field more often and this seem to by-pass some of the horrible football we had played. One of these hoofs coming from GK gave us another glorious chance but this was skyed over the bar somehow…….pretty much summed up our night if you ask me.
There was quite a few players who performed well below their normal best, I don’t need to shame but you know who you are. You need to be better prepared on Wednesday Night for this league. For the players who can hold their heads up high both Tilak and Jay were solid in defence while Ken and Stevie G in midfield had good games in what was one of our poorer Spartans Masters performances I have seen for quite some time. It’s the first game of the season so plenty of time to improve but on this showing we are going to need a hell of lot more improvement if we going to be anywhere need the top half of this league.