I hope you all enjoyed the festive break and I bet you couldn’t wait to get back to standing on a cold wet touchline again!!!
Having said that the weather was fine and despite the rain we’ve had the pitch looked in fairly good condition….so were the boys ready to carry on where they’d left off in 2013?
Brixworth vs Daventry Town FC
First up were Daventry who were a player short for the 1st 10mins, the boys started fairly lively as they looked to get on the front foot early on and most of the possession was in the opposition half. Daventry couldn’t hold out for long and Alex, who had made his way up the field from defence, slotted home the opening goal. At this point we should have gone on to win the match comfortably but we seemed to then switch off and let them back in, by this time they had a full team on the pitch and Harry soon found his goal under threat and had to produce two very good saves. Max and Ruben were combining well and made an excellent passing run together which resulted in both of them having a scoring chance before one of the shots was dragged narrowly wide. Daventry then had their best move of the match and some more sustained pressure before producing a shot that slipped pass Harry to level the match up. This was the slap in the face the team needed and all of the boys seemed to respond with Joshua trying a long range shot that hit the post. Time to shake things up, Callum, Brandon and Finley had an immediate effect when they came on, Callum came close to scoring with his first shot on goal and them minuets later he and Finley kept chasing and harassing their defence and they were rewarded with a chance that Callum coolly took to restore our lead. Brandon then got into the action with one of his trademark charges, this time it was down the left wing and with great timing he squared the ball to Joshua who nearly made it 3.
Second half and we carried on from where we left off, Max must have had three Weetabix for his breakfast as he was full of energy and running, both he and Alex made great solo runs which nearly ended with a goal and Ruben went close with a free kick. Something had to give and eventually it did thanks to an Alex solo special to put us 3-1 up, it was one-way traffic now and next to go close was Finley who was as combative as ever in midfield followed by Joshua again who on another day could have had 3 or 4, eventually he finished a difficult chance off to get the goal his hard work deserved. Max had continued his hard work and had a couple of chances but it seemed like it wasn’t going to be his day when suddenly a powerful run produced a one on one which he finally finished……..cue the biggest smile of the day and boy did he deserve it. A resounding 5-1 victory!!
Brixworth vs Welland Valley FC
Second game was Welland Valley who looked a big physical team, our boys were going to have to stand up and be counted if we were to get a result from this fixture. For the 1st 5mins we couldn’t get out of our half and although Welland were a quick fit team we seemed to be engineering our own downfall with sloppy passing and nervous possession, Wellend took the lead with a good finish but during the build up was had chances to clear the ball but gifted it back to them in dangerous areas. 1-0 down and a mountain to climb, suddenly we started to find our feet and belief Joshua making some good runs with the ball, one of these he linked with Callum well who’s shot was well saved. There were some robust challenges going in from both sides and Brandon and Finley ‘Bite yer Legs’ Kelly were giving as good as they got, Max had carried his energetic performance into this game and found himself in the opposition area and was about to shoot when he was bundled over from behind, I thought penalty but the ref was thinking about what he was going to have for tea and gave nothing, oh well you just hope they even themselves out. Half time and the talk was about composure, both teams were physically matched but we firmly believed that we were the better footballers we just needed to play our normal team game and the chances would come. If Max had been our powerhouse in the 1st game Joshua was leading the charge in the second, the phrase ‘covered every blade of grass’ sums up his performance, he just did not stop running and this seemed to spread thorough out the team, his hard work was rewarded with a goal not surprisingly from a great run, in the build up the Wellend coach complained of a foul that may have been committed, it most probably was a foul but I thought the earlier one on Max was so the ref evened it up I guess? We were now playing slightly higher up the pitch with Ruben, Max, Brandon & Finley all closing down before Wellend could pass the ball, as we made substitutions the boys coming off were totally puffed out from their efforts, next up was Callum and Alex who pushed even harder, Callum had several good runs and set Joshua up for a shot that went just wide. The game was on a knife edge now, although we were having the lions share of the possession and chances Wellend were still dangerous and they made a break through with just Harry to beat in goal, with the ball bobbling about at the strikers feet Harry pounced, smothered it and ejected the striker over his back in the process, very brave goal keeping to keep us in the game. We’ve been in a similar game to this, very tight 1-1 and last time Callum scored a late winner, they say lightening doesn’t strike twice but try telling Callum that, another skilful run another winning goal, just wish he had scored nearer the final whistle so we didn’t have to endure such a tense final few minuets!!!
The 2nd game second half performance was probably as well as we have played as a team, to come back from 1-0 down and play at such a high tempo is a credit to the character and fitness of all of the boys.
Looking forward to seeing a very smart turn out at training on Saturday.