The 4s kicked off their league season with a home match against newly promoted Broomfield 5s. Despite a week of selection antics which left Nigel Bagley a nervous wreck but also got him a new BFF in Andy Burwell, we managed to put out a strong side with a nice mix of promising new players and experienced AP campaigners.
The first 20 mins were fairly even with neither keeper having much to do. We took the lead after a great run from Ed Barnard down the right channel who went past their full back and knocked it across to Banny who was beaten to it by a Broomfield defender who put it past his keeper. It was a well deserved lead as we had started to get the ball down and play a neat passing game. This is really should have been a signal to push on and get a second but Broomfield equalised shortly afterwards when we fell asleep defending a corner and allowed their centre back to bundle the ball over the line. The rest of half saw a few half chances for both sides with Dan in goal making a couple of very smart saves from Broomfield long distance efforts.
At half time we felt we had been the better side and that if we managed to get keep our passing game going the game was ours for the taking. Joseph came on for Ed who had just returned from a hamstring injury. The start of the second half carried on in the same vein with few real opportunities for either side with the AP backline snuffing out any Broomfield attacks before they got going. On the attacking front Liam was making some great runs down the right flank which was causing their full back all sorts of trouble but he was unable to find the final pass. The final chance of the match came with about 10 mins remaining when Chris played in Banny, who did a great job of leading the line all game, for a one on one with the keeper who was out quickly to block and the move fizzled out.
We were slightly disappointed not to get all 3 points but a draw was a fair result with lots of encouraging signs for the season. The back 4 dealt with everything superbly with Dan making some great saves when called upon. The midfield were solid and battled hard against Broomfields extra man while upfront all 3 of Ed, Joseph and Banny all put in great performances. A special thanks to Joseph for making himself available at the last minute.
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