This weekend the 3s decided to delve into their past, back to junior division 3 for a classic Junior cup match. Being sentimentalists we kept up our healthy record of being completely and utterly unprepared for kick-off, with the kit turning up 15 minutes before kick-off and Fevzi only turning up on kick off. Well done guys as always.
The pitch wasn’t exactly what I would call perfect; in fact a better adjective would be sodden, swampy or boggy. Take your pick. Regardless of the surface, up here/down here (delete as appropriate) in the 3s we never let a pitch surface dictate how we play and we stood firm and went for the purist approach to football, short sharp passes along the mud. And it looked pretty good, we were a bit slow off the mark though, passes being too easily intercepted and we generally looked a bit sluggish, and in true current fashion we went 1-0 down to a nippy counterattack. A sloppy clearance, two dramatic slips and a wonderful finish later we were facing down the barrel once more. But, we are nothing if not persistent over here and we, for once, didn’t let ourselves panic and kept plugging away.
We had ¾ good chances from corners, plus a few decent shots from long range, so it was clear the goal was coming. And come it did. Kurt masterfully shooting the ball onto the limb of the defender with such precision that he was able to make the ball spin up and over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, a goal which will be judged by the dubious goal panel on a later date. Back in the game! The deadlock was maintained only for a short while until Ashley skipping inside his man and scuffed the ball home to make it 2-1 before the break. Normality resumed.
An important lesson may have been learnt from last week where we started the 2nd half well; in fact smelt blood and subsequently upped our game. We were in complete control in the middle and the back 4 had relatively little to do. I did consider letting a shot go past to give Jason in goal something to do, but he was enjoying the game on the next pitch so I decided not to allow any interruption (I believe Jason wants a pay-per-touch system implemented based on Saturday, maybe he pays 50p every time he touches the ball?). It wasn’t long until we extended the lead, Ashley picking the ball from a short corner, cutting in and powering it to the far corner. Henry-esque if I may say so myself. There may have been a deflection though, we’re not sure. Game over. Now it’s about getting confidence back up.
We stayed solid and looked for more goals. The goal of the game came next, Jermaine picking the ball up in his own half skipped round his marker and sprinted on to the edge of the box where he released it to Kurt who held off his man and played Jermaine back in on the edge of the area for him to curl one perfectly into the left bottom corner. A side-note on Jermaine, he outdid himself in the match, he actually won a header! First one of the season I think. Brilliant. Not content at 4-1, Adam Bruce who had a fine game at CM/LM/wherever decided to hit the ball as hard as he can. Luckily for him, the ball ended up heading towards goal, which was convenient, and the keeper just flailed in the general direction of the ball before it flew past him to make it 5-1. Then in the dying minutes the moment of the match, an Australian friend of Leon (he makes so many friends on the pitch) who had been very talkative on the pitch decided that when facing his own goal from the 6 yard box decided to pass the ball right across the face of his goal straight to Fevzi who finished it with aplomb (side note, when else is the word aplomb used?). Fevzi did a traitorous Dutch striker impression and refused to celebrate, mainly due to embarrassment.
So a 6-1 final score in a fairly easy game against Lyonians. Onto more serious things, back in the League next week and we need a result. We actually even need to improve from this performance. It is imperative that we give 100% in that match and that we, hem, turn up on time. No excuses anymore. This is it.