5th XI v Southgate Olympic Lost 5-2 Scorers: Kyriakides, Phillips
Having not played together for some weeks due to waterlogged pitches, we were a bit rusty, and not really quite on the same wave length. Nevertheless, this was a game we perhaps should have won, certainly if we'd taken our chances in the first 15 minutes or so, when we really should have been 3-0 up instead of only one goal to the good. We started brightly, with Alex K getting a goal in the first five minutes by nipping in on some cumbersome oppo defending, though appa
rently taking the chance in slow motion walking the ball into the net. Unfortunately for the oppo, their 'keeper fell awkwardly in attempting to get the ball, and dislocated a shoulder, so we hope recovers as quickly as possible. For most of the half it was us probing, and we had a number of really presentable chances not taken. The one that stands out most in my mind was Ross Blackmore's shot after a good team move just inches wide of the post. Though that chance really was a waste, as another touch to bring the ball under better control probably would have served Ross better. But this was a bit emblematic of our performance for the 90 minutes, with many of our players hurrying passes and shots, where normally we are a lot more controlled. The oppo got an equaliser about mid way through the half with a good goal in all fairness, passing swiftly down our right hand side, skipping past tackles, and converting a cross very efficiently. Their second goal a few minutes later was a flukey cross that went straight in over Ron Hanson's outstretched hand, taking him by surprise as it swerved through the air. Apart from those two chances we hadn't allowed the oppo any meaningful attacks, whilst we had kept ours going, so at half time felt confident we could get back into it and push on to hopefully win. Unfortunately the third goal was scored by them rather than us, and at 3-1 down early in the half we started to push our players forward to get a goal back, though this was always going to be risky. We did score the next one, off a quick Nick P throw in that Darragh and Billy combined well off, with Billy netting from about twenty yards out, the keeper unable to hold the shot. However, from that point the oppo started to click and play some good interchanges amongst themselves, whilst we steadily started to 'unclick' (this is a Zafism, for those of you who are interested in the source of the terminology). We had a five minute spell where it looked like we might reestablish control, with Dave Campbell on in the middle and Craig Jones out on the right wing, but we lost our team balance as more and more of our players pushed forward, and inevitably we started to get caught on the counter attack. Though there was a significant element of controversy over the oppo's 4th goal from the spot, with Darragh penalised though his view and those around who saw it was there was very minimal contact and the oppo player just fell over. It's not often you see a dive in our league, and to be honest I was too far away to judge, but Darragh swore blind it was so. We then conceded another breakaway goal punishing our suicidal over commitment of players forward, to make the score safe for the oppo with 5 goals to them. We rallied at the end, Murphy having three decent chances, but having sprinted 70 yards upfield on each occasion to get into a shooting position, he found their stand in 'keeper in the mood to make good diving saves. The scoreline was a bit harsh on us, but at the end of the day we all know that in football you have to take your chances... Let's get a few more games under our belts and find our form again.