A very interesting scenario; thunder storms, a new venue to meet, a poor pitch, very far away for most at 9.30 on a Saturday night. Given that we were playing against at team at the top of the table and unbeaten it didn’t sound the best. However, we were buoyed by having drawn against Amico 1 -1 early in the season. We also had a decent team strong on form and with lots of pace.
We start the game going back to to 4 – 4 – 2 (Paul (G), Jason/Colin/Pablo/Stef (Defense), Ed/Andy/Flabbo/Matt (Midfield) and Cowley/James (Strikers). The rain seems to have subdued the opposition and we look really up for it. After an initial clearance from Jason under pressure we dominate for the next 20 minutes. Matt has a a cross/shot cleared off the line, Flabbo shoots wide with a free kick and Cowley volleys wide. However, the breakthrough comes from a through ball from Ed which sees Cowley finish well and do his classic shoulder shrug celebration. We look totally on top and the opposition look rattled. After a decisive clearance from Paul we continue to play well with Jason and Matt combining well on the right. A break away attempt from them sees Paul Hoy make a good save before Matt shoots wide after being put through by Cowley. After 20 minutes we should have been 3 – 0 up. Then they start to get back in the game creating more from midfield as we don’t close them down. A mix up between Colin and Pablo sees Paul Hoy stranded from a back header and they equalize. We have another attempt with Matt one of the best players of our 1st half hitting a thunderous shot with his left foot… I reckon the bar is still shaking from the force of the shot. They also hit the post from a brilliant effort, then they shoot wide and also hit the bar when Paul is stranded. This ends a very entertaining half at 1 – 1 which was probably a fair result at half time.
At half time, Paul Hoy swaps in goal for Andy B, Nick goes up front for James and Chi comes on in midfield which specific instructions to close them down and stop them playing. After a minute or so Matt gets booked when one of their players runs into him and then screams on the ground. They ref is not even looking but books Matt immediately. This is amusing and irritating and sums up the refs and linesmen in this league. More free kicks and diving see a scrappy start to the half.
However, one noticeable thing is Chi is beginning to destroy them in midfield he is immense all half winning a very 50/50 and is first to the ball every time. Pat comes on for Matt and immediately gives away a free kick for a karate kick that Daniel Larusso would have been proud off and the elevation he gets shows his wire fighting skills last seen in Crouching Tiger. After the initial ten minutes of this half we are far too strong for the in the final 20 minutes of the game built around Chi in the middle of the park. We get more crosses into the box from Ed and Nick, win some corners where we look very dangerous in which on one occasion Ed heads over the bar, Flabbs gets some more shots in, and any counter attacks are dealt with with our imposing defense and if they bypassed that Andy makes 2 good saves. We get towards the final moments of the game. Stef takes a free kick which is smashed into the box, Cowley evades everyone like a Gary Lineker of old and taps in. We hold on and have won 2 – 1 against a team never beaten before this season. A truly brilliant team performance.
MAN OF THE MATCH NOMINATIONS:
Stef for marking their best player, Jason E for some brilliant clearances and all round running, Cowley for his brace
MAN OF THE MATCH
Chi for an outstanding performance in midfield which turned the game around, did exactly what he was asked to do
MUG OF THE DAY NOMINATIONS
Matt for bad acting, although it should also have also been Colin for losing his car,
MUG OF THE DAY
Mansfield : I quote the man of the match Chi: "I have a new word… acropat" and Stef "I’ve just seen that cartoon … Kung Fu Pat"
A big attendance at Goldcoast and thereafter, well done everyone.
STRENGTH & HONOUR