Team: Scott Kendall, Chirac Shah, Derek Graham, Adrian Cumberbatch, Mike Myers, Ditmir Sulemanji (Robert Stagg), Mel Loughnane, Rich Bowhill (Ollie Edge), Jack Dudmish, Nathan Mellows, Robert Blade (Josh Roberts)
A disappointing result away to EBOGs was what we had to console ourselves with last Saturday. We kicked off with a much changed team from the previous week with a defensive and midfield re-shuffle, Cumberbatch partnering Derek at the back and Bowhill, Mellows and Loughnane coming into the midfield. Josh and Robert both joined us for the first time also.
We won the toss and elected to play with the slight wind advantage and with the sun at our backs for the first half. From the kick off we made our presence felt across the middle with 5 in midfield to keep things tight and make it difficult for the opposition. To an extent this worked but the downside was that our attacking options were limited and in fairness, we were enjoying our fair share of possession. EBOGs main threats came from corners in the first half (probably 1 out of 5 corners awarded were actually corners but the referee gave some blatant throws as corner kicks purely because he was too far away to see each time, his decision making on the day was influenced by the fact that there were no corner flags to assist in the decision making process!), we were unable to cope with the aerial threat of their 6 foot 5 centre half and he was unlucky not to get a shot on target. Scott also made a fine save in the first half to keep the score line even. Our best chances of the half came from Nathan who was teed up both times by some good footwork from Rich Bowhill but his efforts went over the bar both times.
At half time and with the score line at 0-0, we reverted to a 4-4-2 formation in the hope of making more of our chances going forward. Straight after the kick off, we played the best passage of football of the afternoon and were unlucky not to score. Chance gone and minutes later, EBOGs were awarded a free kick outside the box and they lobbed Scott with their effort to put them in the driving seat and 1-0 ahead. Their second came moments later when the right winger who was playing as a third striker doubled their lead. We continued to battle but lost our shape at the back and in the middle and became distracted by some odd refereeing decisions. EBOGs were their usual mouthy selves on the pitch and seemed to dictate the decisions to the ref, to which he dutifully obliged. In both halves, he penalised us for offside when he was behind our back four and completely relying on the shouts from the EBOGs players.
To summarise, we played well in the first half but were too quiet on the pitch and took a long time to settle. In the second half we were unlucky to concede the first but eventually EBOGs did wear us down and we were often second best.
We have a chance to get back into winning ways this Saturday away to Southgate in our second last league fixture of the season. Time to forget last Saturday!