Scorer: Archie Pitfield
After being greeted by scenes reminiscent of a refugee camp at the grandly named Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Enfield, the 4’s finally managed to assemble, and after a couple of player trades we had 13, although 11 were either midfielders or strikers. With only Krefting, Reynolds and keeper Wilkinson present from last year’s campaign, there were 10 new faces, all keen to make their mark.
The opposition was Old Owens 4’s, who we expected to be a well drilled and competent team. We were not disappointed and found ourselves 2-0 down within ten minutes, as an unfamiliar midfield and defence (Having a totally bladdered centre back probably didn’t help either –Ed.) struggled to contain a skilful and physical Old Owens. Wilkinson had to make a number of saves to keep us in the game, but as the half progressed, we settled and started to put some passes together, with good work from Roberts up front and Tripp and Pitfield out wide.
A half time chat and a couple of changes seemed to galvanise the team, and we began to push forward, again showing occasional glimpses of quality, although the final ball often proved to be a problem, with a lack of understanding hampering our efforts to break through the Owens rearguard.
These attacking intentions left us open at the back and, as we pushed on, Owens grabbed three more goals. In truth, it could have been more had it not been for the valiant efforts of the centrebacks Patrick McGlogan and Daron Osbourne and keeper Wilkinson.
We were finally rewarded for our efforts near the end of the game, when Archie Pitfield picked up the ball just inside the Owens half, advanced forward and, while holding off a couple of defenders, unleashed an absolute belter which dipped over their keeper from the best part of 30 yards. A fine debut strike.
Despite the margin of defeat, the result has to be put into context. Attempting to integrate ten new players into a team was always going to be tricky, especially against an excellent Old Owens team which has played together for many years, and was already three games into it’s pre-season.
All in all, there were a number of positives to take from the game, so let’s make sure we get down to training and that we’re ready for next weeks game and a victory.