Well, football is a game of two halves they say. Never before has a cliché been so apt.
To say we kind of dominated the first half would be putting it lightly, kind of like saying that Tiger Woods ‘kind of’ likes women or James Corden ‘kind of’ likes cakes.
The Whistle blew and we were off, the crowd stopped looking at their programmes, finished off their pre match pies and settled into their seats to enjoy.
We started the game brightly with new recruits Denzel and Chirac slotting in nicely from the off. Combative midfield play from Jamie & Laurie and good early passing opened up EBOG’s defence with Eric, Andy & Denzel having continued joy down the right hand side, a very effective trio indeed putting their left side under sustained pressure. After dominating the first 15 or so minutes Andy played in Denzel with a fantastic slide rule pass and he calmly slotted home an early goal, great pass, great strike. GOAL! The crowd went mad, jubilant, ecstatic. The Poznan began!! Wow the 8’s score a goal! Oh, hang on, unlucky boys the flag went up for a very dodgy offside decision against us*
This did not deter the plucky 8’s who were fresh off a 10-1 hammering the week before, we continued to play good passing football. Niall would not let anything come past him on the left and when it did Will was a master at cleaning everything up very neatly. I would say this is the best half of football I’ve seen the 8’s play. Resolute defending and a calmness on the pitch that has been seldom seen in recent weeks. Players were talking and doing things with ease. It all seemed so good – only one side could win this match. Or so we thought.
Just before the break the linesman* missed a blatant offside and the ref missed a blatant handball and within the blink of an eye EBOG’s had taken the lead. SHOCKING by the ref, who to be fair is one of the better ref’s we’ve had in recent weeks, you can tell he’s young – he uses his iphone to keep track of the 90 minutes, who needs a watch!
By half time we were two down. But hey no worries we were far the better team and both goals were against the run of play.
Half time came and spirits were up, we knew we were playing well and could get back into the game – a few slapped bums** and words of encouragement and we were back out there, in the trenches (in some areas of the pitch literally) ready to do battle once more.
The 2nd half saw a few subs being made and we continued resolutely, EBOG’s were growing in confidence and started playing much better football than they had in the first half. Our back four did well keeping them out with Martin & Emlyn commanding figures in the middle. Before too much longer EBOG’s scored direct from a corner, rumours that we are having a whip round to buy Will (who was stationed at the back post) a pair of extra high heels cannot be confirmed at this stage.
Unfortunately we just were not gelling as we were in the first half, and now 3 goals down EBOG’s dominated for the rest of the match. We had a few high and wide shots and a couple of good opportunities from set plays but to no avail, their onion bag remained untouched. Our effort can not be faulted though and nobody had a bad game, Keeper Andy pulled off a couple of great saves and commanded his area well. Subs Tom, Martin and I all did our bit for the cause but it was one of those frustrating games and we wandered back to the dressing rooms thinking of what could have been.
Ultimately, as it turned out we could not live with EBOG’s this week but had we taken the lead in this game I’ve a feeling it would have been a very different result.
Things we’ve learnt:
1. We can play good passing football.
2. Deep Heat on your toes keeps them warm for the game (Thank Jamie Cowen readers)
*We all know there were no linesmen but it makes good copy. We also know there was no crowd, just three cold substitutes – not even a dog watching this week.
** Fear not readers, nobody’s bum was slapped. But then I was not in the showers that long.
Match Report by Adam Jenkins