If you thought I’d given up reporting defeats (or even reporting), think again: I just missed a couple of games because of work commitments. I came back to a cracking game and (sadly) the same results as last week but this week every player recognised that this was ‘never a 5-1’.
Missing a number of players including both regular full backs we were forced to press both Christie and Matt Stanton back into action a little more quickly than we all would have liked: they both ran themselves to a standstill in the cause. Also with Tes late we had a last minute change of formation going to three at the back and welcoming Kev back into a midfield centre three with Ben and Connor: all were on it today. Praise also was deserved by now wing backs Brad and Tom: both were excellent and completely involved in the game.
With both Leon and Shaun in the ‘artists formerly known as Zion’ side, we knew we were in for a tough game and so it proved with Lee making a smart save with his feet early on. However we have, in David Glover (‘shola’) a threat of our own and he too was soon going close and playing two up down the slope gave us momentum while our opponents were fluid on the break. This was a game of many chances and many saves: shola had a couple of good ones and Lee had made a couple of good saves before they took the lead when a sharp shot from outside the box flicked off one of our lads just enough to take it beyond Lee. We went in 0-1 resolved to persist, though disappointingly losyt Shola to a hamstring injury (as they had lost Shaun earlier).
Mark was positive and Tes filled in pushing Connor forward and he had a terrific second half off the ever-willing Christie. More entertaining football followed and more chances. We were tiring having made significant efforts to get back into the game at both ends of the pitch (every one of our lads played well today). When they got a second following a goalmouth scramble, I thought the game might be up but we got a second wind when more great work from Tom set Tes up for an extraordinary chip/slice that dropped in! For the last fifteen minutes it was end to end and Lee made one remarkable double save to keep us in touch.
Then with five minutes to go, at the very moment the thought “I think we’ll get one more chance” formed in my mind, it came: Tes, Tom into Connor, clear through, middle of the goal and as it slid just wide I literally sank to my knees, proving the power football still has!
In the final four minutes we simply registered the finality of that moment and conceded three swift goals, getting the score line that no-one thought we deserved (I’m not saying Pete’s lads were lucky to get three points: I think they shaded a close game). Thanks also to Steve Castle (always a class act) and Ian and Di for their work today.