Second set of matches in this mini season at Dallington and while the sun was out there was a bit of a cloud over the team in that Max had broken a bone in his wrist whilst attempting a world record double flipper somersault on a trampoline meaning he’s going to be out for the next few weeks so here’s hoping for a speedy recovery!!
So plenty of pressure but would we get the breakthrough our play deserved, we have been trying to encourage quick play as we have a very fast team and Finley took a quick throw which Brandon raced onto to score our opener…….fantastic quick thinking play. Next up was Callum who was put through with a chance at the far post and just missed out with a brave sliding effort. Relentless pressure now and the corner count was clocking up with both Joshua and Brandon delivering some great set pieces, Joshua took another one and the next bit I’m not sure if I saw correctly but I think Alex leapt in the air and smashed a full on volley into the top corner from the near post…..Tony and I had to rub each others eyes just to be sure they were working as we couldn’t believe what we’d just seen, a truly wonderful finish from Alex.The second half saw the Falcons bring on a big physical player and this was going to be a real test for the boys, they were getting a lot more of the ball now but tellingly they were not playing as a team so every time their big lad tried to go on his own we would be snapping challenges in with Brandon, Finley and Ruben all making very good tackles and when we did have the ball we used it effectively with Brandon making a great pass to put Callum through who saw his chance saved. There were some strong runs from Alex and Joshua with Alex shooting just wide.
Finally one of Joshua’s excellent corners found a Falcon defender struggling to clear it and unfortunately turned it into his own net and that was how it ended, Falcons made a good fight of it in the 2nd half but in the end we were just too strong as a team.
Next up were Roade who we hadn’t played before, I’m not sure their coach quote knew what to say as he came over to introduce himself and all of the boys disappeared behind a tree for a team wee….think we’ll put that down to a team bonding exercise!? The opposition had a couple of big lads which meant our midfield were going to have to stand up and be counted, from the off Roade had plenty of possession and soon Harry was called into action and made a fine stop. We were feeling or way in and slowly pressure was starting to mount, our boys were working fantastically hard closing down, Finley only just came up to the knee of their biggest boy but that didn’t stop him putting tackle after tackle in, even when he was getting pushed off the ball he didn’t stop and this fighting spirit spread throughout the team. Alex was pressing the game high up the pitch and kept harassing their defence until finally they cracked and as the ball came loose he was there to smash it in for a hard earned opener. By now some of the opposition boys were growing frustrated and there was a fair bit of pushing being dished out, now whilst we would never encourage foul play the boys have to understand that as we move forward some teams will be more physical and in order for us to play our style of pass and move we have to meet that physical challenge and I’m pleased to say we did and that allowed us to be the better footballing team without being bullied, even Ruben snarled at one point whilst making a well timed challenge 🙂
The football was getting better with Joshua and Alex making some powerful runs but being denied by some stern defending, maybe what was needed was a bit skill and guile and we have just the boy for that in the shape of Callum, he picked to ball up some way out and made a beautiful close controlled run before calmly finishing for our second. The physical side of things was still present and Alex suffered at the hands of one of their defenders literally, I won’t go into detail but if you’ve seen that famous photo of Vinnie Jones grabbing Paul Gascoigne’s attention you’ll know what I mean!! Soon Callum was on the move again only this time he struck a fierce drive from outside the area which the keeper could only deflect goal wards, not sure if it would have crossed the line so just in case Brandon helped it over for a well deserved goal which is how it finished. After handshakes all round the boys celebrated by going topless and having a bit of a dance, not really in the coaching manual so again we’ll call it bonding!?
The two 3-0 score lines reflect the hard work the boys put in, the second half of the 1st game and for large parts of the second game we didn’t have much of the ball and yet we chased and harried until we got it back and then when we did we used it well, the running and energy was awesome.
Tony & Dan