Very unlucky not to get away with a share of the spoils at King’s Park, but it wasn’t to be as a determined USRC outfit denied a late flurry by the Spartans.
Spartans kept faith in a 4-4-2 formation, with Scott making his debut at right back, supported by Bertie, Ben and Tony in the back four. Gabriel returned in the midfield with Scouse, with Lionel and Mehdi on the flanks. Jeff and Nana started up front.
USRC started off brightly, with their quick attacking options making the early running. However, for a period of 20 minutes Spartans we the dominant attacking force with Nana and Jeff giving the USRC backline much to think about. However, it was USRC who broke the deadlock. A charge down the left side and a cross from the flank was met first time by their striker, who although looked suspiciously offside managed to bundle home. The remainder of the half was pretty scrappy. Spartans efforts were only coming from long range and unfortunately our radar was slightly off. H made a great save a the end of the half to deny USRC further advantage. HT 1-0.
A few famous elucidations from Flabbo at half time and the boys were off for the second half. It seemed as though Coach Rich had fired up his troops, because USRC came out with intentions. We were lucky to stave off their attacks and managed to get back into our rhythm. Ben was struggling with an injury, so Flabbo dropped into defense and Scott moved into the centre back position. With 15 mins gone the USRC striker fired them into 2-0 lead. Paul made a couple of changes with Cowley on for Lionel and David on for Nana. David played central midfield, whilst Gabriel pushed on to support Jeff.
USRC seeing Flabbo a weakness in the defense moved Andy big nose to the left position to attack down the left. The Spartan veteran was having none of that and managed to stave off the striker. As the game progressed Spartans were getting more of the play. We were back in the game when Gabriel cleverly lobbed the USRC keeper to make it 2-1. In the last 5 minutes we pushed forward with Scott and Flabbo supporting the offense. However, it just wasn’t our day and we were unable to breakdown a resolute USRC team.
A good battling performance against a team that has only lost once all season, so we should take many positives from the game. A good solid debut for Scott. The defense was resolute for long periods. The midfield battled well throughout and the forwards were always a threat. However, for an inspiring return to the team MOM: Gabriel.
With Antonhill beating Club Colts yesterday, it is extremely tight at the wrong end of the table. We now have a 2 week break (for CNY), then back at the HKFC on Sunday 13th Feb for game against Club Albion. It is really important we look at getting some points during our visits to the HKFC, so please try and keep fit and fresh for the return.