“Gone with the wind”
Just over a month ago “we entertained” OS at their ground, and if our guests were looking forward to a repeat performance, I was hoping for a much tamed display. We welcomed back two of the leading cast from the away leg and three “recommended” players new to the 7s to complete a full 14 squad this time. Nowadays the 7s is run as a democracy, everybody gets involved, from helping to put the nets up – some from the changing room or the touch line – to advising on team tactics which between strikers and midfield we agreed to reverse toa 4-4-2.
We won the toss and voted to kick with the strong wind and sun behind us. After 15 minutes, we were just slowly finding our feet when the ref blew for handball against Torq (rules are about interpretation) which OS gratefully converted, 0-1. That didn’t dampen our spirit though, quite the opposite if fact, and like in the first half of the away leg we took control of the game, with good variation of nice passing and simple long ball over their defence, strong breeze remember, it didn’t take long for Fletcher (once again proving everybody wrong) to score a typical poacher’s goal.
Soon followed another one from a great Kennedy’s free kick first headed by Torq high in the air for Roberts to out-jump OS and head back the ball in the top corner. Shortly after OS scored an own goal from a pressurising cross in their box, 3-1. To be fair, OS had a few chances of their own, but with an organised back four and Kendall reliable as ever between the posts we held on till half time.
After the break came the fresh legs of Tullet for Fletcher and Daniel – brother of right back Eric Gyapong – for Manning. OS brought their sub on too, their changes made an instant impact, ours didn’t. The next 45 minutes was the reverse of the first period, they controlled the tempo, stretching us by playing three up front, forcing mistakes, we’d lost our shape and even with Bowhill on for Torq in the last 30 to try to bring back cohesion, we were blown away with four goals. Like so many times this season, we created plenty of chances but crumbled in the second half, collectively we couldn’t defend for 90 minutes, disappointing but consistent at least…
Team: Kendall(GK), E. Gyapong(RB), Kennedy(CB), € Caudebec(CB), Tornarides(LB), Manning(RM), Johnson(CM), Pagdin(CM), Manning(RM), Rose(LM/CF), Roberts(CF) and Fletcher(CF)
Sub: D. Gyapong(RM), Tullet(LM) and Bowhill(CM)