Goals: Boyake (2)
It was Saturday, the big game. After a spirited attempt at a draw in our previous encounter with the 8s and an improved run of form we were in high hopes for our rematch. Spirit was the theme of the day with the 9s.
In our previous match with the 8s they had gotten the better of the midfield and the big forward, Jenkins, we knew would be a threat. After the longest warm up in history and class A team banter we were up for the game. Once again the unprolific Gallaway would assume striker duties.
A tight game began with the 8s on top managing to neutralise the threats of the opposition that countered against us in our last 8s encounter. A scrappy performance all round with much of the ball….and the mistakes. .. made in the middle of the park. Our defence stayed strong, their defence stayed strong, I was soon to realise one goal could win this. Dillon made himself some space and tucked a nice low shot into the corner, which even the solid Gustavo couldn’t get, such the placement of the strike. Decisions weren’t great from then from us, this could cause great frustration for me, but resilient we stood.
At half time I was a perplexed captain, a goal to the good, but not pleased with the performance. The second half proved another tight affair. Our defence managed to nullify the quality of Jenkins and just about quash the attack and pace of the wingers who threatened all day.
With our back four and Tobias in defence who pounces so quickly off his line for the ball that you fear someone has put ants in his pants. But for these five men they kept the door closed, the key in the safe and the wall firmly intact.
As legs tired, mainly through great effort, space opened. Berbatov….I mean Mahmut…. opened up play very well with a touch of a thousand angels and vision of owl with a dislocated neck. Nigel committed well, doing a better striking role than I’d achieved in the previous 10 games. More space, another goal, Dillon got another strike, in it went. I was tense but I was delighted.
Time went on and the 8s courageously pressed looking for a way back in to the match. It was not their day, our resilience held us up. And so it ended. Two goals to the good. A delighted 9th team were overjoyed with the result.
The man of the match was tough, I mulled it over. A special mention goes to Sam Heath; some key mistakes from decisions in the first half left a sour taste in my mouth. … but with spirit the theme of the day. .. he came back and played a superb second half. To come back at half time and produce such a high quality second half almost earned MoM, but with such a tight game there was one winner…. just. .. with Chris playing solid in midfield, with his creative wings temporarily clipped, and a lovely 9s debut by Tobias. ..Dillon gets the nod.
A 9s v 10s game coming up with players looking to stake their claim, it should be a humdinger.