Alexandra Park 0 – Civil Service 1

Middlesex/Essex Cup | November 30, 2013

Our performance on Saturday was a lot like a Miranda Hart sketch.  It was infuriating in the extreme, painfully predictable and I came away confused, disappointed, and obviously entirely un-amused with what I had seen.  Obviously, this is a relatively laboured metaphor but upon thinking about the things I hate as much as losing in that manner, I do struggle…..I don’t think anyone worked up enough of a sweat to relate it back to Lee Evans.

We were in the last 16 of Middlesex & Essex cup, as good an opportunity as any for silverware.  We were up against Civil  Service, anchored to the bottom of Divison one, but in their defence they seem to have been losing almost every game by the odd goal.  We beat them in the league at their place but it was far from a whitewash.

We actually started the first half ok before the malaise set in.  We worked a couple of good moves and Matt Kelly smashed a 25 yarder that struck the underside of the bar and came back out.  Following on from that, it was one way traffic.  Civil didn’t carve us open, but the majority of the game was being played within 30 yards of our own goal.  We were giving away stupid free kicks because we weren’t anywhere near tight or sharp enough.  The tackling was flimsy and we weren’t competing.  I would very, very rarely say this about us, but in the first half, it distinctly felt like the oppo just ‘wanted it’ more than us.

After a half time b0llcoking, we managed to get a bit of energy into our play and raised it that little bit.  The oppo keeper looked a decent player and was equal to the little we managed to test him with.  After that brief resurgence, the oppo once again turned the screw and began to dominate possession once more.  To be fair, there weren’t masses of chances either way and an excellent goal had to win it.  A lovely switch left us flat and the right winger took it very early from the angle, lashing past Stu at the near post from just outside the box.

We tried to haul ourselves back into it and their keeper did have to make an excellent save from a header.  However, it was pretty evident that it wasn’t our day and it finished with Civil as deserved winners.  Fair play to them, no doubt that they were the better side.

Really disappointing from our perspective, given the two spirited performances we were coming in off.   We just looked dis-interested, unimaginative and to be honest, a little unfit.  I think we need to have a think about how seriously we take our football and what we want from it, especially with some massive games on the horizon.

A couple of points of note, as I mentioned on Saturday, I really do think we need more people in the team to step up and lead.  Egan was out on Saturday and for all the criticisms you can level at the angry man with the invisible eyebrows, he never hides.  The power of ‘talking’ can be substantially overestimated in amateur football (http://angleofpostandbar.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/wheres-talking.html) but when you have all bar 2-3 players barely communicating, it really does make for a flat atmosphere.

We can call the rest of it a blip and come back fired up against EBOGs in the AFA cup on Saturday.  You can be sure they will be up for it, so we need to make sure we are back on it.

MOM : Nah…

AP : Pennycook, Carlin, Patterson, O’Donnel, Hillier, Nicholau, McVey, Gallagher, Kelly, Frankie, Adjekwei.   (Shaw, C. O’Leary)

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