Saturday 1st September 2007
By Shaun Keddle
Squad: 1. St John (GK), 2. Small (RB), 3. Cleaver, L (LB), 4. Judge© (CB), 5. Davis (CB), 6. Roots (CM), 7. Williams, J (RM), 8. Perkins (CM), 9. Williams, L (CF), 10. Cooke, J (CF), 11 Cleaver, B (LM)
Subs: 12. Head for Cooke, 13. Carpenter for Small. Sub not used: 14. Evans
A comfortable victory and satisfactory result without really slipping into top gear.
With a new season upon us, the Guild cruised to a comfortable victory whilst maintaining a vital clean sheet. From the kick off we dominated proceedings to notch up all three points in our quest for promotion this year. Tired of being the nearly men, this season we really want to do the business.
The game started well for us and we got into our passing game really early moving the ball around the park. Defensively, we struggled to work out Halls’ 3-5-2 formation early on and got caught out with numbers in the middle of the park. This was swiftly dealt with. Williams, J was showing a lot of early promise with his pace and power down the right hand side, really driving at the Halls back line and providing some good crosses to the back post that went begging. Up front the pairing of Cooke, J and Williams was looking good with Cooke, J holding the ball up and Williams, L showing good strength. And it was this same pairing that set the first goal up after good play in the midfield, Cooke, J picked up the ball on the right hand side and found his partner 8 yards out who smashed the ball into the net on 30 mins, giving the keeper no chance.
The last 15 mins of the half saw Halls’ best spell which resulted in a good drive from the Halls no.11 which was well saved by St John in the Guild goal, getting down low to his left.
At the half we were relatively happy with the performance, but still could up the tempo and the gears. Early in the second half Williams, L burst into the box and was clearly tripped by the Halls centre half but the penalty kick was refused. However on 60 mins scorer turned provider as Williams, L crossed and Cleaver, B found the net with a looping and accurate header. The second half was pretty much all us and the result did not reflect our dominance. Halls tried hard to get back into the game but did not possess enough pace to worry us and looked to be tiring throughout the second half.
The back four of FOBG all looked comfortable with the consistent Small, Cleaver, L, Judge and Davis all looking mean and reliable. The midfield now were dictating things; Roots, Perkins, Williams, L and Cleaver, B all looking comfortable with plenty of pace and ingenuity. Williams, L and Cook, J up front always looked to have the better of their defenders and were up against Halls’ strongest element of their game, their defending.
Overall I was pleased with the performance and we got back to looking defensively mean as we were last season. We never really looked troubled, although we should have converted a number of opportunities. But we still created a number of decent openings. However, we have a number of new faces this season and it will take a few more sessions and games to really start firing on all cylinders. On a few occasions we gave the ball away cheaply and sometimes the final ball was poor, but this will improve over time. Additionally, the sign of a good side is to win without conceding and still not be totally pleased with ourselves.
Man of the match and Manager’s man of the match went to Williams, J for a performance full of power and pace and he looks quicker and quicker as the seasons pass. I predict an excellent season for Williams, J who goes on improving with every game.
Good start with plenty of promise and the changing room has a real buzz to it this season. For those of you not selected for other games at the club this week, training will commence at 11.00am so we have plenty of time to train and be out of the way before the two home games begin.