Spartans Masters 1 (Goal: Stevie G)
On summary two competition points lost for me and we still have not beaten DBFC yet. We put a great performance for much of the game but really fell short within the last 7 minutes on ill-discipline with us ending up with 9 players on pitch against their full 11.
The first half was a fairly even affair both teams having limited chances. We played some good football in the first half but most of it was a slow predictable build up that was easily thwarted by their organized defence. In saying that I thought we had the better of the half although only marginally. One of the most notable chances was a terrific shot from Stevie G after some great interplay between Andy and himself which was saved well by the keeper.
The second half we were much more direct and although it wasn’t as pretty it was way more effective. We played most of the game in their half and we created many chances but we couldn’t put them away. They barely got into our half and only the odd corner they got did they even look anywhere like scoring. The game was played at high intensity and we always knew that there was not going to be much in it.
Then with about 7 minutes to go Steve G collects the ball after an attempted shot outside the box by us is skewed wide. With terrific precision he hammers home the top corner giving their keeper no chance what we all thought was the winner. Terrific goal smiles on the faces.
End of game….no chance…what was to follow was a clear case of self-destruct mode by us. DBFC certainly were baiting us during the game however why we decided to react or retaliate the way did in the last 5 minutes is anyone guess.
From the kick-off they pretty much push forward ex-pro Tim Bredbury who is going nowhere on the left side and he sees Jay coming about a minute away. Looked like a square up but a bad challenge and a scuffle and Jays gets a yellow card. Then moments later they make a run through right side which Is more threatening and Jay lunges and takes the player, I actually didn’t think it was that bad (being in goals I wasn’t far) but they certainly made a song and dance about it and before we knew it we were down to 10. At this point we still looked in control!!!!
We go forward looking to kill the game and the tensions between the teams are simmering, then Andy gets a shove in the back which all the officials missed. Unfortunately they didn’t miss Andy’s retaliating shove which hit the guys shoulder and landed on his neck. I’m pretty sure the officials will say it was an elbow but either way a straight red comes out and we are down to 9 somehow. Now I’m worried!!!
They press forward we are in disarray and with extra two men the holes start appearing in the massive Stanley pitch. We are stretched and hanging on to that whistle. Then numbers starting to count and their guy is clear through on goals unmarked, playing as keeper I take out the player just outside the box which could have also been a sending off as well, surprised I didn’t even get a yellow. They took the free-kick and slots it in the bottom corner….ref blows whistle for full time how did that happen!!!
All though ref didn’t do us any favours we certainly helped to self-destruct what we worked so hard for all the game, to come without the win and in this fashion from experienced vets players was highly disappointing. We going to have to keep our calm and wits about us for future games in this league. We can’t self-destruct like that otherwise many of these teams are going to continue to bait us.
As for our football performances I thought everyone played well and certainly a huge improvement from the last league game. As we had such a strong squad some players didn’t quite get as much game time as others but don’t lose heart it’s a very long season and there will ample game time in the setup.
I thought on a whole Willie gave us a bit more up front and along with Andy looked a formidable front pairing for the season ahead. All the players who played in midfield Ken, Dimitiri, both Stevies, Grimmy and Lionel did a sterling job and dominated the game. I also thought our defence had a terrific match especially Sam G who slotted at left back very well when needed.
My MOM went to Chris Clarke narrowly beating Stevie G’s brilliance although it was a cracking goal. Chris had a blinder in centre defence and didn’t put a step wrong the entire game on his debut legends league game.