5 days later, I’d almost started to recover from this game. Then, in my role as newsletter editor, I had to read the 6’s match report. However, it does say in one of the final paragraphs they are “not ones to gloat”, so I guess that makes it ok (although, personally, that wasn’t really my experience after the final whistle on Saturday).
Losing the likes of Firth, Gatenby and Tabram to the 4s in recent weeks and not really being able to replace them, has obviously weakened our team –as has being forced to play our top scorer, Dodimead, at centre back. Perhaps we in turn could have called up the 6s striker, Michael Graves, who scored 5 goals the previous week. Unfortunately, he was seemingly unavailable for this game – at least until the very last minute. He is obviously a very good player and scored 2 of the goals against us.
At 1-0 we had a penalty saved (to be fair to Tom he did win it in the first place). Having started to get back into the game in the 2nd half, this miss was our catalyst to start panicking and we became unable to complete simple passes again.
I’m aware that I’m now starting to sound like Kenny Dalglish on the excuses front, so I will say at this point that obviously the main reason we lost the game is that we played incredibly poorly.
Desire and courage are different things. While I don’t doubt that we had the desire to win the game, the courage was lacking. By this, I don’t mean running around shouting and kicking people, but the bravery to receive the ball in tight areas, to take a touch, to keep hold of it, to use it properly. Players I have personally championed at selection meetings for having exactly these qualities were, for whatever reason, unable to produce them in this game.
So the congratulations go to the 6s. Despite our disappointment, it will be great for them and for the club if they can go on to win the Spring Cup, which they are now in an excellent position to do.
As for those of you that have played for the 5s, I would urge you to remember that the 5s have a decent season. We have never been lower than mid-table and had a couple of good cup runs, in a year when we have had a huge turnover of players. I also know that, despite performances in this game, we have some very good footballers.
So let’s get a good win in our last game on the 21st and head into the summer on a positive note. I hope to see you all available for that week so that we can put the frustrations of this game behind us and have a few beers after.