Scorers: Brown, Fullerton, Brade, Fullerton(2), Shaw-Morris, OG(2)
After sealing promotion last week it was important that we continued in our pursuit of the title with focused minds. A damp afternoon on the back pitch was always going to be tricky but we approached the game in a positive frame of mind, apart from Fraser who had borrowed Kurt’s watch for his time keeping.
Finally with the full compliment we started the game playing downhill. We set up with Jason in goal, Leon, Will, Paul and Ziggy at the back. Adam, Jed, Jason and Ash across the middle. And Fraser sitting in the hole behind our glorious leader. Liam, Fabb and young Will filled the bench.
We started well with everyone looking to pass the ball, rather than the long punt. Lats were making a fight of it and looked half decent on the break with some pacey players running at us. We exerted early pressure on their back four who looked like they could be unsettled. And so it proved. From an early corner Leon took up the perfect position (I wonder how?) at the back of the six yard box and awaited the corner. As the ball was whipped in Kurt rose like a salmon in the Tay and looked certain to score, fortunately for all he missed the ball which Leon met with a powerful downward header. 1-0 and we continued to exert pressure on Lats.
Adam and Ash were looking especially dangerous down the flanks and we were actually able to get behind their defence on several occasions. The second came from Fraser who usually hits a pile driver. This time he fooled their keeper by scuffing a bobbler into the bottom corner. It does not matter how it goes in as long as it goes in (Kurt was to take this old adage to another level in the second half). The Lats keeper was beginning to turn in a man of the match performance with some fine blocks and saves. His finest came after Adam had volleyed onto the bar from 20yds only for the ball to land at Ash’s feet. He hit a stinging shot from 10yds only for the keeper to somehow get his body in the way. Ash did make it 3-0 when he pounced on a spilled save to stab the ball home. We were well in control now but continued to press Lats back by our work rate when they had possession. Kurt was causing lots of problems……for both teams. Only joking…. before you ring me. We took our lead into the half with the back four not being overly stretched and Jason only needing to do some sweeping up in goal.
At the half we took Jed off and put Liam on the right with Adam dropping in to the middle. Playing up hill it was even more important to retain possession, as Lats were bound to give it a right go this half. And boy did we keep possession. In fact we played some cracking football. We started brightly with Adam revelling in the central midfield. Liam was running around like the drugs had worn off and Fraser and Kurt were putting themselves about and linking up play. Ash was being ably backed up by Ziggy. The fourth came from some good work down the left which saw Adam fire in a powerful cross which Kurt tried to avoid but instead took it straight in the midriff and bounced it in. Not classic but to be fair to the big man it was a great run. You see if you run to meet the ball and attack space anything can happen. With Kurt when I say anything I mean ANYTHING! The next goal was all Kurt’s own work. He latched onto a through ball, fought of the defender had a stumble with a hint of handball before being chopped down by the next defender. Penalty and the coolest man on the pitch stepped up…. No not Morruzi, but the skips. Apparently he fired in a super penalty. I can’t watch the penalties they don’t do drugs strong enough.
Ash made way for young Will. Fabb came on for Leon. What followed was sublime, rapidly followed by the ridiculous as some superb play led to chances being laid on for both Kurt and Liam. Unfortunately one was Born in the USA the other was Born to Run (more of this later) and both were Born to miss from 12yds. It is hard to say who deserves to win the wooden boot for worst finishing so I will reserve judgement till end of season. Anyone can chip in with their thoughts. The next two goals were own goals, the first a flicked header from a shot which skimmed over the keeper. The second a bizarre toe poke from their defender from 20yds which spun round the keeper and in fact had more spin than a Panesar ball, as it looked to be going wide but the nearer it got to the goal the more it span until it made it over the goalline. 7-0 and in the final minutes Will rose highest from a corner to power in a header. This was rapidly followed by the final whistle.
An excellent performance from all. It was not just the passing and movement but the application when we were not in possession. Attitude, desire and drive are just as important as any fancy footwork. Right through the team these core principles stood out, and when we turn on the football it is truly awesome. It was great to see us get behind the oppo regularly and whip in crosses. It is something we need to do more of as this is a sure fire way of unsettling other teams. Defensively we were solid although Lats offered few incisive attacks after about twenty mins. Nevertheless the shape looked very good. The only thing we need to watch is the backline getting stretched wide out with no cover in the gaps. Talk it through….job done.
Jason in goal although not really troubled dealt with all the crosses and through balls that came through, and love the fact he’s so vocal. Leon was excellent again with some great recovery tackles. Will won most things in the air and marked their guy almost out the game. Paul…..well it is like watching Alan Hansen in his heyday, never panicking and always picking the right pass and probably buying his clothes from M&S. Ziggy was brilliant, especially second half when he backed up Ash and Fraser at every opportunity. Adam, anybody who forgoes a Wembley ticket deserves to get some special award or have their head examined. Another great performance and a proper Duracell performance as you ran and ran and ran, you get the idea. Jed and Jason were the immovable rocks in the centre, as Lats were continually thwarted by tenacious tackling and relentless closing down. Ash did what he does best….scare defenders with his pace and control. Another great game. Fraser continues to turn in quality performance week in week out, the vision and work rate is staggering. Liam turned in a action packed 45mins, super tackling and pacey attacking followed by sh!te finishing. Young Will was his usual composed self, although he learnt one crucial lesson to carry through life on Saturday…… if through on goal never ever ever pass to Kurt. Fabb showed his usual calmness and defensive savvy. Finally the skips…..where do I begin, fantastic work rate you actually tackled several times, you ran at the defence, you ran into space and scored two goals. Brilliant. Oh yeah you also missed a couple of sitters, fluffed some passes and yes you were offside quite a lot. Groundhog day.
Well done to all, you must now remember all the good stuff from Saturday and implement it for the last four games. These games need to be considered the hardest games of the season. The target of conceding 4 in 6 is now 4in 4 but I will accept 2 in 4 so no pressure. You have set the markers this season so high that anything less than 110% from everyone does not seem acceptable. To fail when this close is not an option so make sure you turn up fully committed. I am unable to be there on Saturday but I’m sure I am surplus to requirements judging by what I have seen this season. Nevertheless I expect you to give them hell. Will and Jed are Kurt’s designated carers for the weekend. Stationers also said that they are a bit short staffed at the clubhouse on Saturday so I volunteered Jed to help behind the bar. Jed aka Lord Lucan.
As a follow up to Born in the USA I was trying to put a song to each player this is it so far, feel free to add more of your thoughts :
Michael Bargett- Darlington County(springsteen), Save me(Queen)
Leon Brown- Big Bad Leroy Brown(Sinatra(well its close))
Will Hancox- Doctor Doctor(Thompson Twins), Nothing Gunner stop us now (Starship)
Paul Morruzi- Gods great mistake(Big country), Smooth operator(Sade)
Ziggy Harris- Space oddity(Ziggy Stardust)
Ashley Brade- Greased Lightening(Grease), Fast as I can(Great big sea)
Jed Wood- Jive Talkin(Bee Gees), Sledgehammer(Peter Gabriel), Why don’t you get a job(Offspring), Rabbit Rabbit(Chas N Dave) to the ref mainly!
Gary Jones- I get a kick out of you(Sinatra), The old boys(Runrig), Gimme stitches(Foo fighters)
Tom Marshall- Teenagers(MCR), Wayward one(Alterbridge), My Vietnam(Pink)
Jason Smith- Hard case(Great Big Sea), The Hitman(Queen)
Adam Bruce- The engine room(Runrig)
Liam Coughlan- Born to Run(Springsteen), Basket case(Green Day)
Fraser Shaw Morris- A kind of magic(Queen), Thunderstruck(ACDC)
Anthony Fabb- Say it isn’t so(Bon Jovi)
Sly Cornibert- That ol Black magic(Sinatra)
Kurt Fullerton- MISSunderstood(Pink), MISS you nights(?), Here we go again(Whitesnake), American idiot(Green Day),Chicago(sinatra),
Fevzi Demir and I- Broken Boy soldiers(Raconteurs)
And the I saw this and thought of you moment: Richard Gibbs-Money,Money, Money(Abba).