Second Match Report for today comes from St Andrews Netherton.
St Andrews Netherton 0 vs 0 City Church
Tipped by Neil to be Champions this season alongside a sense of optimism and confidence following a very impressive Pre season we simply failed to turn up against a very disciplined City Church side.
We lined up 4-3-3 with Hunter up top alongside the 3 new additions Lawley, Rion & Shawn with Ben D and Robbo playing CM, the lineup designed and expected to score goals. The first half was mainly one way traffic in honesty with City mainly playing on the counter, City played a back 5 with one holding in front and the evergreen Hunter being box to box and they made it very difficult for us, that being said we still created opportunities, Joe Lawley in particular getting into 2 good positions and firing wide, Robbo going very close from range and Shawn firing wide from the edge of the box, also a possible penalty claim from a pull back but the officials saw it differently.
Half time team talk was very much to keep doing what we were doing but to focus on being better with that final ball.
Second half and minus a 2 minute spell at the start of the half we were poor until late on, rarely troubling the City Keeper with our final ball continuing to disappoint and we rushed most half chances that were presented to us and in truth with 20 minutes to go it was now City who looked more likely to score, they countered very well as we pushed more men on and had the best opportunity to win it when they were awarded a penalty. Dan Atkins stepped up with his trusted left foot but Biggie saved onto the post with a great save. City again had some good half chances from range as the game got stretched but we did miss a few good half chances late on, Hunter and Robbo had half chances with headers and Robbo agonisingly had a good chance just miss the post before late on. Hunter missed a chance with a scissor kick that went just over and that was it, a 0-0 which you don’t see very often at this level.
City came with a game plan and deserved their point, a very disciplined performance and I’m sure they will be fine this season. For us, not the end of the world but it did feel like 2 points dropped. A free week this week then a clash with Connect which will no doubt be a classic.
Thanks to Steve Rose from Dudley Lions for another Match Report.
Christ Church Coseley 2 vs 1 Dudley Lions
The great Pete Cook (ask your folks) once said : “I love football. Football is a cruel mistress. She’s more than a mistress, she’s a wife, she’s a mother, she’s a daughter, she’s an errant child. She can make you laugh, she can make you cry, she can bring tears to your eyes, she can bring blood to your shoulders, she can bring the kettle to the boil. Because football … football is about nothing unless it’s about something. And what it is about … is football.
That quote sums up how we all felt at the final whistle of what was, in all honesty, an absolutely cracking game of football.
Starting out with no less than 4 goalkeepers in our 14 man squad (surely a record?) We set out with a game plan to enable us to cope with Christchurch’s usual dominant midfield play and rapid counter attacking style and, to be honest, it worked quiet well.
After some useful exchanges in the early stages, the Lions began to edge the midfield battles, so it wasn’t really a surprise when we took the lead from a corner with a bullet header from George Newton in the 1st half. As the half continued, both teams had chances to score, but both keepers pulled of excellent saves to keep the score at 1-0 to the lions.
2nd half followed pretty much in a similar vein, and we knew that a 1-0 lead was never really going to be enough, so the award of a penalty half way through the half was an ideal opportunity to put a bit more breathing space between us…..but Christ Church’s keeper pulled off an excellent save, getting down low to parry the shot and clear the subsequent rebound.
This lifted the Coseley boys and they raised their game, so a defensive mistake to allow them to equalise was hardly ideal. With both sides determined to get the winner, it made for a great last 20 minutes, and with what we thought would be the final attack of the match, we had an opportunity to take all 3 points, but the keeper had other ideas. With time running down, Christ Church’s keeper caught and rolled out the ball in one movement to set off a counter attack which, heartbreakingly, resulted in us conceding an injury time goal which turned out to literally be the last kick of the game.
Delerium ensued, as it should be……its passion, its football….and the boys were truly gutted to be coming away with nothing, but we walked off the pitch with our heads held high and the acknowledgement form the opposition of what a great game they’d been involved in. But, like the great Pete Cook said….Football can be a cruel mistress