Mom: None but a strong second half *team performance
Highlight; A well worked AP first goal scored by Lee Carlin
DD: Whoever cut the grass on Friday, must have smoked some before as well!
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same”
Our first home game of the season saw us go down in a 5 – 3 Defeat to Norseman, who like their namesakes of old came and sacked us in our own backyard. But the truth of the matter was we went from lions to lambs in the space of a mad ten minutes.
The game started well for the AP team who looked comfortable and calm the football was bright and brisk. We had our first corner after 10 minutes and the game looked even, AP stepped up their game and 15 minutes in created our first real chance that resulted in a goal, Jason smith applied pressure in the central area and intercepted a ball and played it out towards Leslie Manu, who then switched the ball out to the right to Lee Carlin who rocketed the ball home, a sweet move! 1 – 0 to AP.
Now this is where we needed to concentrate and keep things tight however 5 minutes later we allowed Norseman to press us exploiting the wing to produce a ball inside to their forward who neatly tucked the ball away.
What followed 2 minutes later was what I can only describe as a lesson in concentration and the need to “Man up” 10 minutes of pure agony as we conceded two goals from corners, this was hurtful as we have been talking about set pieces and the need to defend corners with more vigour as a team. With the score at 3 -1 our spirits had flagged some what but the team rallied gaining a measure of composure. 35 minutes into the game Richie Hancock applied pressure in the centre of the park, Leslie Manu pushed on to hound the defender winning the ball; skips pass a challenge to round the keeper to score. Back to being Lions again, be it all a wounded one!
Half time came and it gave the team a chance to regain some composure and refocus itself to the task ahead at this stage we believe we were still in with a chance and had self belief, we wanted to get a result as it was our home game in front of our club members.
Unfortunately the Norsemen had other ideas and our fragility at set pieces let us down again when the Norsemen won a corner and scored what I can only describe as a soft goal.
They went on to score another goal to make it 5 – 2 with twenty minutes on the clock left. I was proud to say that the AP team did not fold or give in what I like about them is they all have good hearts and continued to look to rectify the situation by continuing to play a passing game. Ozan Gunes who was once again holding the line well with Dodo Levin who never stopped running, scored to make it 5 – 3 giving us a glimpse of hope.
Game ended 5 – 3 to the Norsemen.
Points to note
As a team we know the challenge that is ahead of us this season and as a team we need to learn from the lessons we were taught during the game this week. We came up against a very strong physically and mentally Norseman team that were one of three teams that were fighting for promotion last season and only narrowly missed out. However this is no excuse for some of our poor play at the set pieces, but we will hope to iron out the chinks over the season as we mentally and physically strengthen ourselves
Or as the “Mac” would say “Man up”. We as a team have a strong belief in our ability and a good team spirit we have a strong squad with youth and experience that in my opinion can improve.
This is a setback but we have positives to pull on and will carry to our next game. Although we realise we will meet more teams that perhaps are not looking to play football as we do, we understand there are times we have to adapt our attitude and game to match the opposition, however we will continue to play the game as we think it should be played.
I personally wish to apologise to those members who came to watch us and hope we can play better and get a result next time you choose to watch us.
Matt Rosen, Will Irvine, Alex Patterson, Louis Cain, Richard Hyde, Lee Carlin, Paul Jannece(Capt), Jason Smith, Richard Hancock, Sly Cornibert, Peter Harrison, Dodo Levin, Ozan Gunes Leslie Manu.