The final game for the 9s and a right stuffing at the hands of the 8s at Albert Rd. The scoreline flatters Eric’s team but they deserved to win after scoring five in the second half, three of their goals late on as we got caught on the break.
Right from the off we were under pressure and could have been two down after 5 minutes or so. Rafael Kopyra missed the target when clean through then Eric hit the angle of post and bar from 30 yards. The 9s were struggling to string two passes together and rarely troubled the 8s goal. I think Jason Bichri had the cigars out. Eventually, the 8s pressure told when Raf smashed in the loose ball after Adam Jenkins had hit the post. Thanks to the 9s back four of Hicks, Ellacott, Frater and Depala it was only 1-0 at the break.
The second half saw the 9s get into the game but our shooting or final ball into the box were woeful. The next goal would be crucial. Unfortunately it was a penalty to the 8s for handball and Eric stuck it away. Next, Euan Millard rose at the far stick to head in number three. Game over. It was then the 9s started to knock the ball around and cause the 8s problems. Harry Rodriguez scored with a neat lob and suddenly we were the better side. From centre midfield Harry was running the game but we couldn’t score a second. As we pushed forward, the 9s broke away to score further goals from Adam, Eric and Tomasz. Jamie Cowen was outstanding for the 8s by the way.
Still, a good game played in the right spirit and well reffed by Josh Mattocks. Despite the score, there were good performances in the 9s: Harry, Callum Dudmish, Shane Frater, Steve Hicks and Pratik. Shame about the no-shows though!!!
Can I thank all the boys who have played for the 9s this season. I hope you enjoyed it. I did. Finally thanks to Fixtures Sec. Anthony Fabb for getting us all those games around the SAL and AFA. The travelling was no problem. See you next season when the 9s should be in the same division as the 8s.
AP: Bagley, Ellacott, Frater, Hicks, Depala, Stewart, Balazs, Rodriguez, C. Dudmish, Mounir, Hussain. Sub: Mohammed.