Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
— Mother Teresa
Once again the Alexandra Park team had to undertake a massive journey away from home and come away with no points. Looking at the game it would be easy to say the gods were against us and that the goals we conceded had a bit of luck riding on their side including a ref that could have performed better.
However we were again up against a recently demoted team that was brimming with confidence. That’s not to say, that as a team we were without confidence going into the game, and one thing about this team is that we do feel going into game we have a chance as long as we perform well.
The difficulty is that we are not competing earlier on in a game and are giving our opponents far too much respect. The fact of the matter is it takes us far too long to get motivated to play i.e.; concede a soft first goal as we did on Saturday, I thought the ref did not help when the ball was clearly out of play and he allowed the opposition to carry on, the player went on to round our keeper to score, it was a well taken goal and perhaps we needed to carry on and wait for a whistle rather then look to the opposition to do the right thing.
What occurred 3 minutes later did not help as our keeper who I might say made some excellent saves throughout the game could not hold a ball and it was pounced on by the forward to make it 2 – 0 after fifteen minutes.
The team was obviously shaken and looked in shock; this was not what we had envisaged to be happening, In truth the Weirside team were very much in the same mode as the civil service team and possibly the Norseman team in terms of their movement and play and we gave them far too much respect that first half allowing their defenders too much time on the ball.
Things got worse on the 40th minute when Weirside were awarded a penalty, again a poor decision by the ref as the player went down before being touched, the kick was put away neatly and we went into the second half 3 – 0 down.
The half-time talk was frank by the manager and to the point and the skipper rallied the team.
When the players came off it was clear they were disappointed in many ways regarding their performance and I was pleased to see a glint of determination and hope when they were set to return to the game. A much better performance from the start of the second half saw the Alexandra team take the game to Weirside and for a large part we looked like we could have scored, However Weirside showed their quality and struck an early goal 9 minutes in to effectively kill off our hopes, However we continued to up our game and not allow the Weirside team space and time on the ball, I was pleased with the effort that all the players put in during the second half, it shows spirit and commitment to keep fighting and that attitude will keep us in good stead for the rest of the season as long as we realise we cannot afford to be lapse in our mental attitude, physical fitness and faith in each others abilities, although we have been forced to make changes recently (the core is still very much the same) the people coming in are more then capable in terms of ability and what they offer to the team.
We must keep the faith and belief as we did last season to overcome this difficult patch, I recognise we are playing a much higher quality of opposition especially the teams that have come down from division one, but we know what we have to achieve and the level we have to attain to compete in this league, again I am confident and have faith in all the players.
Psychologically this has been a hard few weeks for the 1st team for a number of reasons, but we will start again this Wednesday at training and I know we will prevail.
“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. “
~ Mary Pickford