Perhaps bored with winning so many games this season, we made things difficult for ourselves on Saturday, arriving late after delays on the North Circular. In retrospect I should have set an earlier meet time – lesson learned. Still, I did absolutely nail the distribution of wristbands for the fireworks, so please do give me some credit.
Anyway, we had only a few minutes to warm-up for the game and so, unsurprisingly, started poorly. We were uncharacteristically hesitant at the back and, for the first time this season, failed to defend as whole team, with no sign of our usual pressing game or the shape and discipline we have been displaying off the ball. This allowed the opposition time and space to play through the midfield and we were also a bit complacent in possession. Having said that we probably still created as many chances as they did, including hitting the bar. The highlight of the first half though was definitely Olly’s ‘take one for the team’ tactical foul – absolute textbook son.
Having pretty much given them a 2-0 head start in the first half then, the second was much better. We went all out on the attack in a 3-5-2/3-4-3 formation and dominated them for most of the half. We got one back through a goal from the skipper, which Pete Croft later conceded under aggressive interrogation was “quite good”.
However, the Actonians ref was poor – you can accept a referee making mistakes at this level, but there was an unbelievable decision not to give a blatant penalty on Elvis at 2-1 changed the course of the match. We conceded another soft goal to finish us off and then had to wade through the mud to have a shower in a derelict shed that was attached to the condemned building we got changed in.
A bad day at the office, but it least it came in a cup that I am now officially labeling as ‘Mickey Mouse’. This was a warning of what can go wrong if we aren’t up for a game, defending, pressing and working ourselves into the ground. Let’s not that happen again and get things back to normal with a good performance on Saturday. We’ve got the quality to win this league and, after a few weeks off, it’s time to start showing that again against Finchleians and then Broomfield – two clean sheets and six more points will do nicely.
MOM: Olly Pugh