******Usrc Match Report*****
Sunday saw us play current champions Usrc & our first trip to Kings Park after a couple of frustrating games at the club.
5 Minutes until kick off & we have the bare 11 to start, with Macca driving around in a cab tear gas bombing students & Nick who apparently teaches students getting the big hand & the little hand slightly confused on his yogi bear watch.
We start with Sam in goal, back four of Jay,Tarik,Rick Astley & Eash, welcome back ‘The Roch’ in defensive midfield, just behind the Trio of Rob,Charles & Tom, with James just slightly behind front man MJ, this could be a long afternoon?
After a brief discussion pre match, to get in their faces & see how they react to a bit of physicality & a few reducer knocks on certain players & areas on the field, we started brightly, with a nice ball down the right to MJ, who ran on to the keeper & lobbed him only to be cleared off the line, we continued to have bright spells & to be honest kept them to long distance shooting for the first 20mins or so.
Unfortunately at this level, you switch off for a second & with the quality they have, a perfect weighted through ball, saw their striker latch on & shoot past Sam, to put them 1.0, it was a shame as we had managed to get into the game & you could see the confidence & work rate from everyone in the team, but we pushed forward again & created a couple of half chances & a mixture of quality defending from the back six & pressing from the front with the midfield working hard & MJ chasing lost causes & upsetting their back 4 at every opportunity, together what looked like a penalty shout from me, we were definatly in the game & they knew it!
Half time neared & on the edge of the box their striker got too much space, turned & smashed it into the top corner to put them 2.0 up going into the break.
Slightly deflated we got some water on board & headed over to the corner to work out what we should do in the second half. The belief that we were still capable & were performing against the champions was there to see, so a purely tactical decision to change & go for it was made, Tom R came off & Macca went up front with MJ, we played 4 in the middle with Rob & James out wide & Tom W & Charles in the middle, this hopefully would stop their left back from having so much space & we could dominate the centre of the park & create some chances for the boys up front.
Straight from the start though they breaked down the right & nearly scored, another lesson in concentration after the half time break, which were work on going forward, we however started to push forward & take more risks as Usrc sat back & tried to hit us on the break, this went on for about 20mins, then James pulled up with his dodgy hamstring, so Nick who still thought the game had an hour to go, came on to the right, of course his feet were freezing by now, so he was full of energy, that may have helped the rest of the midfield’s energy levels rise, with Tom W, making winding runs past 3 players only to be to exhausted to shoot, Charles dominating the centre with his classic flare, while carrying an injury at the same time & Rob, coming back from illness, moving way to fast for a lad of that size, complemented by the solid & utterly defying back 4 & the front 2 not letting any of their back line get any sort of rest at all, it was really good to watch at times & positive comments from the watching other teams were taken, but we were still 2.0 down.
Then it happened, some nice play on the right with 1 touch passing saw Charles on goal about 25 yards out proceeded to head to the keeper & calmly slot home past the his left, we were back in the game & hunting for more goals.
It became end to end stuff now, with them having an attack followed by us, they had a free kick on the edge of the box, Sam made the save, we had the corner, their keeper yelped, then from the left in a crowed box the ball creeped out for Nick to smash home.
I’m not sure who grabbed the ball out of the net & legged it to the centre spot for the restart, but fair play, less than 5mins to play & the mentality of the team was we want the win, right at the end some really nice play down the right involving several players saw MJ volley over, which would of been a terrific team goal, but Usrc were now coming at us, but with a final free kick defended safely we gained a well earned first point of the season.
As I said before we have a good bunch of lads this year, with new players settling in, a few players being reintroduced for various reasons to come, it was really great to see us react like we did on sunday, especially after the previous games, we need to start getting more consistency & play like that, as we gained only the 1 point from the game, we need to move forward & start picking up all 3.
MOM: Pretty much everyone!