We started with Dan, Stef, Pablo, Bertie, Sean, Adam, Randy, Rob, Rory, Bruno and Erik in a 4 – 4 – 1 – 1 formation. Mike, Olivier, Andy, Jay, Knowles, Jeremy, Willie and Michael on the bench.
From the off its all about Spartans. Rory and their left back have an intense battle which Rory wins. After only a few minutes Rory crosses for Erik which sees a header go wide. Five minutes in Rob takes a free kick which Bruno converts to make it 1 – 0. Bruno then makes a mazy run and Randy heads wide of the mark. On fifteen minutes Adam has a corner which Randy heads wide again. We are so far on top of this game its ridiculous even though we don’t seem to be playing with the same intensity of previous games. Adam has another corner which Bruno heads wide. Stef has a corner which Jeremy heads wide. No idea how it’s only 1 – 0. Willie Lee then has an excellent solo run and finishes well to make it 2 – 0. A few minutes later Jay has a corner and Jeremy taps wide. This is the start of a succession of five corners from Jay which includes an excellent header from Bertie which is cleared off the line although Bertie felt it went over and is fuming. I really felt we should have been much further ahead by half time. We didn’t play with enough intensity and we weren’t always first to the ball. Eight corners and no goals from them tells it’s own story (Jay maybe we can work on this again in training this week).
The 2nd Half is a much better performance from everybody. After a few mins Jay has an excellent cross (must have been coached by Chi) to Jeremy who fires in a wonderful volley showing brilliant technique to make it 3 – 0 and get his first goal for the Saturday team. Now we really show our stuff and there are some excellent periods of passing. Bruno is all over these guys and has a series of excellent runs and crosses. Finally Erik crosses a perfect ball to Bruno who scores to make it 4 – 0. In quick succession our Brazilian striker finishes again to make it 5 – 0 and get his second hatrick for us this season. The mighty Knowles then smashes in a left foot shot half volley which breaks the net to make it 6 – 0. We now change the formation with 3 up front which maybe something we’ll try later on this season with Stef coming back on into midfield. Rory has a shot saved when he moves up front. Then a moment of comedy when Michael is hauled down just before he can get an effort on goal. No card for the defender. Michael takes his own action and grabs the bloke by the throat. It calms down but our free kick os blasted over. Michael then also has a header wide and is unlucky not to score. We concede a penalty at the with only minutes to go and Adam volleys a Bruno cross wide.
In the end we were expected to win and we did. Let’s now move on to the tougher three back to back league games. We need to get some good wins from these games and that’s why I kept everyone together in the cup game to get every comfortable with each others game and to understand our system. Well done to Dan also in his first game for us. Everyone got a decent run against weaker opposition and many guys really impressed me by the impact they made when they came off the bench. That’s what this league is all about and we need people to be pumped when they get on the pitch.
Managers Man of the Match:
There were several excellent performances. Stef had another brilliant game with his passing, tackling and running. Bertie was strong and commanding at the back. Rob Dixon was absolute class in midfield especially in the second half. Randy had a very good game in centre mid. Rory did some excellent runs. Jeremy scored an amazing goal and looked a real threat on the right. Willie had a brilliant goal and looked very dangerous with his pace. Knowles did exactly what the gaffer asked for and scored a cracker of a goal. Bruno just gets the nod from me for his hatrick. However, well done to everyone as we had an excellent second half collectively. Let’s take this form into the next game.
Some stats for season so far:
Most appearances : Andy B (6)
Most goals : Bruno (7)
Most cleat cut assists : Jeff C (2)