Scorers: Graves, Robinson, Gunes
After the fanfare and jubilation of last week, it was hard not to feel like that it was a little ‘after the Lord Mayors show’ at the Racecourse – it was the same mouthwatering line up of AP’s 2 finest teams, yet the 350 people and World Cup winners who watched the game last week were replaced by Mo, Pitch, Kingy and Mick Beard!
OS are somewhat of a bogey – we lost to them last season and drew (the result that effectively ended our chances of promotion), so we were keen to get a result and a performance. When we kicked off we were generally forcing the play, with Harry and Rich (the most Aryan CM pairing since Berlin 1936) dominating the OS midfield. We had a few chances, but were over-elaborating in places, so good chances were squandered – Nana rinsed 3 players, but instead of squaring back to anyone of the 4 players queuing up to score, he elected to shoot and hit the outside of the post. We did take the lead when ‘G-Man’ Graves decided to have a swing from inside the centre-circle – his low drive skidded up off the surface and nestled in the corner of the net.
The talk at half-time was to not overplay, as this would be our downfall. We had chance after chance in the 2nd half – Mac had one cleared off the line from a Hubbard corner, and Ozzy hit the post twice. As they were trundling up for a corner, Mac turned to Graves to say ‘we need to score, otherwise they will break and score and we will drop 2 points’. And from that corner they equalized. We over-committed, Bardgie came out to clear the danger but it was blocked by their striker who was closing him down, who then beat the despairing Hancock on the line.
From there it became the Frank Robinson show – he jinked and tormented the oppo right back. He put us back in the lead when left said player on his bum, cut it and rifled into the far corner. Soon after he jinked through again to feed to Ozzy, who curled one past the keeper – finally getting the goal his display deserved.
After that, all we had to do was keep the ball, but began to overplay and give the ball away in silly areas. With one such piece of nonsense OS made it an interesting last 5 when a loose ball was picked up on – Bardgie got a hand to it but could not keep it out. We did manage to hold the lead however.
So always good to get the 1st win on the board. Disappointing to let in 2 and not score more (we could and should have had 6), but a wins a win. Fair play to OS who played a large part of the 2nd half with 10 men.
We will need to up our game in weeks to follow however.
Team – Bardgett, Wilding, Smith, McLoughlin, Graves, Kadua, Manu, Hancock, Thatcher, Gunes, Shaw-Morris, Hubbard, Robinson.
MOTM – Ozzy – never stopped working and his goal was the least he deserved.