I’m going to be honest, big time rush job this week. I am only putting something together due to the potential wrath of Stu, missing a match report in a game in which he saved a penalty. So before we go into any further specifics, can I just clarify that Stu saved a penalty.
Was a strange experience playing consecutive weeks, could probably get used to it. We travelled to top of the table Owens which was always going to be a tough task. Absolutely lovely day and everyone was in fine spirits. Even the referee got a big hug off one of the oppo in the centre circle 5 minutes before kick-off.
We had a much changed squad, so set about trying to frustrate Owens, in the knowledge that we would probably have less of the ball. We did ok on the first half, Owens with the majority of the play, AP launching the occasional foray forward.
We were behind after half an hour. Slightly sloppy from our perspective, their delivery from wide areas was excellent and we didn’t particularly exert ourselves in the attempt to stop a ‘feet and back’ throw in. An excellent delivery was well headed in from their forward.
We got through to the half having worked our socks off. We came out in the second in a similar vein and actually had a good spell. We had them a little worried, having missed a few chances we worked our way into it. It would be doing our midfield a dis-service to say they were simply putting in a ‘shift’. Matt had a sizzling half volley somehow turned over by their keeper.
With the game stretched, Owens looked to put it to bed. They exploited the gaps and their pacey front man rounded Stu, only for a nudge to send him off balance. Was it a clear goalscoring opportunity? Potentially, as Lee Carlin might say. He was going away from goal, but was quick enough to pick up the loose ball. Either way there was enough doubt to spare Stu and let him away with a yellow. What followed was one of the most embarrassing things I have seen in the SAL, as their midfielder threw a screeching tantrum, bordering on tears at the sight of a yellow card, begging for Stu to be sent off.
‘Steve…..Steeeeeeeeeve he has to go Steve. Steeeeve, you can’t do that. Steeeevee’
It is one thing trying to get a ‘fellow professional’ dismissed but when you are a bunch of amateurs paying a tenner to run around, it is absolutely cringeworthy.
Stu then pulled off a belting save from the penalty, which was quite amusing. We had a good go the last 20 but looked absolutely shattered. The skipper eventually gave away a second penalty with 10 to go, a very specific example of the point at which clumsiness meets exhaustion. Steve went letter of the law on this occasion and produced a second yellow.
This time, the penalty was smashed home, and that was about that. A spirited performance. Ultimately not enough quality but with a bit of a patched together team, we made a game of it and ran ourselves into the ground. A nod to the lads who came up from the 2s and ran their socks off. It’s not an outlandish prediction but Owens will probably go onto win it. Tidy on the ball, with a lot of pace and power.
Heads up though, if we can repeat that attitude over the next 9 games, we will give ourselves a chance.
MOM : Stu was superb in the sticks but my MOM goes to Jeats. Stepped up with limited game time, to play really well against one of the best forward lines in the SAL.