Saturday 28th January 2006
By Danny Saines
Another 3 points to keep us top of the league. Well done boys. With only 6 games to go in our campaign the win Saturday was an all important one, especially as we are entertaining the cup this week.
Although losing Village & Greenhough, our starting eleven was a strong one and our pre-match preparation reflected in this with everyone up and out early, stretching and warming up, and with everybody focused. But then we kicked off. To be fair the referee didn''t help, being late out and forgetting his linesman flags meant that we were a good 5 minutes behind schedule with everyone lined up and waiting like one o''clock half struck. This showed in our opening 20 minute performance as we were quite dismal and from the line nothing to write home about.
Our first touch was poor, we never really got hold of the ball, and therefore we never created and I doubt if we strung more than one or two moves together. We were quiet all over the pitch and not really playing like a team top of the league without a defeat since mid October.
Beaverwood impressed, as I knew they would, bypassing a lot of the midfield, and getting it up quickly to their sharp front runners, putting it in behind our back four. Communication seemed non-existent, and information between players was abysmal. This stood out like a sore thumb when a line was called upon clearing our 18 yard box, only to leave Beaverwood''s centre forward in acres (and I mean acres) of space, completely onside. One nil down and things weren''t going as planned. Although everyone blamed Daragh for playing them all on, I think everyone was well aware that collectively we were not giving a good performance all round.
That''s when Judgie stepped in and really started rallying the troops, picking up his own game, and making things happen despite his nancy boy gloves. 10 minutes to go before half time and all of a sudden we turned up and started playing as if the first half hour was in another dimension and as Shaun then said, if we get one we will get a hat full. And it wasn''t long before we equalised, with a cracking move down the right for Jay Hardy to finish off, after some superb interchanging between Kirky, Barry and Ray.
One all at half time and we were back in it, and more importantly looking the stronger side. Ray had come close near the end of the half, pulling a couple of shots, and Barry had made the Beaverwood keeper work hard for a terrific save pushed round the post.
Although concerned by our recent second half performances, Saturday''s second half was one hundred percent better and on any other day we could have walked off 6-1 up. We didn''t though but luckily for us Jay got his second of the day, saving the embarrassment of his fellow attacking midfield players and front two.
Although a nail biting last 10 minutes at 2-1, it would have been a travesty if Beaverwood had equalised considering how much of the play we had and how many chances we created but didn''t convert. There must have been at least 2 one on ones with their keeper, Kirky missed a shocking header, and Barry won the Mr Men award of the day, being crowned Mr Sitter for his 6 yard open goal spoon. Barry''s effort though for the last 2 weeks has been second to none (even on anti-biotics), and it is only a matter of time before he starts knocking them in again as regular as clockwork.
One slight concern was another strong challenge on Jay Hardy forcing him into an early bath but Tant made a welcome return from the bench, giving us much needed cover up front when Ray dropped back into the middle of the park.
My man of the match went to Judgie for his commitment, drive, and encouragement throughout the whole 90 minutes, but especially the last 15 minutes of the first half after we had gone one down. If we are are to progress to the quarter finals this Saturday boys you all have to give a performance like Judgie''s this week.
Barry, by the way, takes the first penalty if the match goes the distance.
See you all Saturday.