Another glorious afternoon saw the 3s hoping to continue their winning streak. With a slightly changed side we started playing down the hill.
We set up with Michael in goal and a back four of Tom, Stuart, Gary and Fevzi. Midfield was Jed, Shane, Liam and Fraser. Up front was the big man with Adam sitting in the hole. Will Howarth Johns graced the subs bench.
Having missed the first 25mins due to a Physio appointment it was left to Skips to fill me in. Apparently they huffed and puffed and so did we, another perfect summing up. On my arrival things seemed a little fraught, with us defending a couple of Lloyds attacks. We then seemed to get more of a grip with some passing that began to open up the play and allowed us to use Fraser and Liam on the flanks. Shane began to back up Adam and Kurt more which helped to force Lloyds back. We began to get behind their defence more and more, and once they were turned they looked ordinary with a distinct lack of pace. The breakthrough came with 10 to go when Fraser was released down the right. He sped into the area and left the defender no option but to barge him to the ground. Penalty. The skips stepped up and slotted home. We should have extended the lead after some slick passing left Shane with the goalie to beat, alas he had an attack of Fullertonitis (medical description: inability to hit a barn door) and passed the ball into the keepers arms. Nevermind 1-0 at the half and looking reasonably comfortable.
We had a quick chat to reinforce the positives and took the field again. Lloyds began by pushing on, as expected. Gary and Stuart began a 45mins of fine defending and continually shut out Lloyds, with Michael in goal largely a spectator. The first 20mins saw us open up Lloyds time after time with the skips showing he would be a worthy successor to Bendtner or Chamakh at the Emirates. Shane also missed another sitter and you feared it could be costly. Will came on for Adam for the last 30mins. Tom and Fevzi were excellent at the back and ably assisted the centre halves. We created more chances and should have had at least another penalty when our striker (that’s Kurt, honestly) was brought down by their keeper. We missed probably another two clear chances before Lloyds nearly stole a point in the dying minutes when they skied over from six yards. Nevertheless 3 points and another clean sheet.
Overall a good performance without reaching the heady heights of other weeks. Communication is something that needs to be improved as only Gary and Jed were really audible. Good communication equals good passing. Good passing creates chances, Simples. Although Kurt terrorised their defence we look so much more dangerous when the wide men are slipped in behind defences. This means defenders face their own goal for any crosses that follow, no defender likes that. Adam and Will both dealt with the position behind Kurt well. This spot needs a good touch and a quick feed this way defences are passed round before the tackle. Midfield played well, although a few times we just lost shape to that Jed became overwhelmed. Once again a bit of communication goes along way. Jed as usual was immense with Shane picking his way through the oppo regularly. Liam and Fraser were like a couple of Jack Russells on heat. Their passing, running and tackling was second to none. In defence we looked assured with Stuart and Gary making some fine tackles and winning most things in the air. Tom and Fevzi showed what top full backs they are in attack and defence. I don’t think Lloyds got behind them once. Michael in goal was not really tested too much, but he did all that he needed to. Finally Kurt……… you know it, I know it, everyone else knows it. So just do it.
Well done to all, it was a very tough game with Lloyds never giving in. There will be better sides to play but with snowball continuing to roll we can beat anyone. Ibis next, their two’s do not appear to be playing so make sure you are up for it on Saturday. We are at the stage where we can afford no passengers every place is for those who really want it. I mean really want it. See you on Sat.