Merton (h) 16/09/23
Another hot September day was in store for our return to Old Elizabethans for our first home game of the new season. With an abundance of injuries and unavailability we knew we would have to work hard and give it time to gel with new combinations and relationships over the pitch.
We started slowly and were lucky to not be a goal down with the referee ruling out two Merton goals early on (one for offside, one for handball). Our aspirations were dealt a further blow when Josh T, in only his second game back, went down off the ball with a bad achilles injury. Subsequent A&E trip has revealed this was a ruptured achilles tendon so will almost certainly rule out Josh for the season. Really hard luck for him and the team but hopefully you get well soon mate!
This was the wake up call we needed as we responded better with Elsey having a good chance one on one which he unfortunately couldn't put past the keeper on his left peg. A good period of sustained pressure before half time and we were satisfied going into the break 0-0 having defended the slope, despite not playing anywhere near the level we knew we could get to.
The second half was a game of few chances at both ends, Sean Friel making two excellent saves, only to be undone by a triple header combo which saw Merton take the lead with 20 minutes left. Our lack of numbers is unfortunately affecting our energy levels towards the end of games at the moment as we just couldn't find the energy or quality to equalise in the late stages.
Hopefully with a few of the squad returning next week we should be much better placed to get a result against AP. Lets keep at it. COYS