Sunday 10th August 2008
By Vince Wray
New season, new team, new players!
We had a total of 16 players with us today and needed to give everyone some sort of runout in this match. There were good things and some bad things that we saw today and we found out a few more things about the players. You can’t tell in a training session what a player is really all about so matches are vital to help me and Darren through the process of selection.
We always say the result is not important in a friendly but obviously nobody ever wants to lose. It seemed like a few of the lads were a bit slow and hung-over, I later found out that to be the case. At times we lacked energy and we definitely played the ball too long on too many occasions. Sometimes we lost ball in central midfield unnecessarily and sometimes gave away possession cheaply. The positives were that we created chances and put together some decent passing attacks. Most of the time we looked solid at the back. We never gave up and stuck at it. Above all this victory will give us confidence – so that’s the reason for winning friendlies !
In the 1st half the closest we went to scoring were two headers from Skrine and Bridges both of which thumped against the crossbar. We did our share of last ditch defending too and the score was 0-0 at half-time. Although we needed to change players around it obviously can upset the team’s tempo.
10 minutes into the second half we found ourselves 2-0 down after some slack marking in the midfield and some hesitant defending. Richard Davies scored from the penalty spot after Webb was pulled back in the area only for the opposition to go up the other end and make it 3-1. With about 10 minutes left Webb chased down a through ball, their defender and keeper collided and left Webb with a free run in on goal. He coolly finished the chance to make it 3-2.
Into injury time and Wray found himself free on the edge of the box and laid the ball off to Fryer who struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner, 3-3! What a sweet strike, Hatcham were reeling. Still playing time added on, we were awarded a free kick about 20 yards out slightly to the right of goal. Webb made sure his left foot was wrapped around the ball and struck it perfectly into the bottom left corner, 4-3 to us, game over.
Hopefully this will have helped us blow away some cobwebs and improved our fitness. Additionally it will help our spirit. Lots of players are still getting used to each other and obviously that also takes a bit of time. There are definitely encouraging signs, we have assembled a decent band of players and now we need to work on polishing up a few things. We have enough time before the start of the league season to get things right and I’m sure that will happen.