What a difference a couple of weeks can make in football hey readers. Two weeks ago the 8’s were humiliated by a very good 7’s side at home 8-2 (I think) but it could have been more. But after last week’s fantastic 0-0 away result at a top of the league the 8’s seem to have made a few discoveries about themselves and are a changed bunch. We have learnt we can actually pass the ball, we don’t have to panic – we don’t have to a) Lump it or b) try and take on at least 7 men before passing. We have also learnt that we can keep a clean sheet and score goals and hey we now know that captain Eric is a dogged, determined centre half. Who’d have known!

The 8’s this week were down to a bare 11, with Liam, Junior and Bryce continuing the good form shown on their debuts last week and a reshuffle which saw Niall dropping back to play an inspired game at left back. We were by far the stronger team for most of the game and created a number of opportunities that really should have been buried, Andy was the archetypal flying winger and cut back a lovely early ball after skinning three players, their centre half blocking a goal bound drive with his back – great defending. Liam, James and myself all had efforts in the first half where we could have done better, more composure required, not least from myself. The 9’s scored not long before half-time, keeper Bryan, having not put a foot wrong had no chance as their striker struck just inside the post after a long ball and a contentious challenge in the middle of the park.

As half time came both sides had battled well, the 9’s having a few breakaways with long balls and the 8’s passing their way to the edge of the box but neither side really forced a save from the respective keepers.

As the 2nd half began we were now going downhill, surely this would bring it’s just rewards. Will and James were doing good things on the left whist Niall and Jack formed a similar pairing on the right. We must get the ball earlier to our wide men – that is where the best moves come from in this team as it is the only space on the pitch – the middle is always like Piccadilly Circus at rush hour. Before long we were on level terms, Junior opening his account after good work from Bryce and an (unintentional) Andy assist he found the bottom corner with a good early strike. We jogged back to the restart with the smell of victory looming, a hitherto elusive win for the 8’s was a strong possibility now!

However, the game fizzled out somewhat after Junior’s effort. We had a number of corners but could not make the pressure count. I blasted a great chance over into at least the next postcode (thanks for getting the ball Nigel) after good work on the left and James had a shot blocked on the line. We had one last chance as the flying Andy took one in the head for the team, a free kick – Will, Myself and James all wanted it but it fell to James – who got the ball over the wall but the keeper grabbed it.

Both sides clearly wanted to take the win in this game but I’d say on reflection a draw was a fair result. Both teams gave the ref some unfair stick and I’d like to apologise on behalf of the 8’s for anything untoward that was said on our part – we need to concentrate on playing more and moaning less.

Eric must take man of the match this week for his inspired play at centre back, his hunger and determination clearly evident from the off, he won everything that came his way. Special mention to Niall this week who was playing out of his favoured position, great strong play and cleared a goal bound effort off the line with his head in the 2nd half. Well played boys – surely the win is not far off.

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8th Team / Match Reports