Decent game today that turned out very much to be a game of two halves unfortunately to our costs. With both teams with plenty to play for at top and bottom, it was interesting to see how little there was between the teams. In the final reckoning it came down to their fine forwards who were clinical while we unfortunately were not.
Connect played the best part of ten minutes with ten men as they awaited a latecomer which gave us momentum and we dominated the first half hour. We also missed a series of chances which we’d pay for later: Ben had a one-on-one, Hunter hit the bar and a great move involving Ben created a great chance for young Brad who perhaps had a little too much time. Typically for the struggling club, our period of dominance was brought to an end by Connect taking the lead after our inability to clear the ball let in both of the Ricketts! However we immediately hit back when Dave’s goalbound header was handled and Hunter dispatched the penalty. We got in at half time bemoaning our bad luck and thinking there was something here for us.
Title-chasing Connect though had clearly got a rocket from Willis and Vern and were a very different team second half down the slope. They played high tempo, pressing and direct and changed the game (which they’d hardly been in) with ultimately three goals in ten minutes. The first of these was back to front with the centre forward beating Lee to the punch. The second, their third was hotly disputed and I’ll describe it NOT as a criticism of the referee who probably got the decision wrong but to remind us all of the cracking values/ attitude of our league in this difficult week.
Connect attacked and rasped a powerful shot into our keeper’s face from which it bounced to the edge of the box where their lad beautifully thumped it home. However, as it reached the potential scorer the ref blew his whistle as our keeper was knocked down. They were initially (and understandably) upset at the ref’s whistle as we were ultimately upset when he gave the goal. Point is this happened over five minutes and the whole time the conversations on the side were (despite the importance) never partisan, they were merely open and honest. By the end both sides realised that the goal really shouldn’t have stood, though honestly the whistle changed nothing. Sadly it set us back and a fourth followed soon afterwards and seemed to have finished it.
No such thing. We pushed Ben forward and driven by South and Clive and Olly and Ben and Hunter we were once again on top. Ben got two back and we had other chances before a cracking free kick made it safe for Connect. Next week the Semi-final!