So the big kick off was upon us and to be honest the result was a massive let down. The heart of last season’s 2’s that went so close to promotion has been somewhat torn out, with swathes of unavailables, relocations and call ups to the 1s (the upside of this is that it will save both the Gaffer and Scribe time (arguing about what is owed and who is/isn’t a student) and money (invariably making up the shortfall when monies not paid!)
The pitch over at the Manor was excellent, and we spoke about using the large pitch to stretch the narrow BoE. That did not occur. We went 1-0 when a long throw was cleared, we lost possession and they broke quickly with the defence caught napping. We pushed forward and played some good stuff, switching the ball across the field with ease. However, the quality of the final ball was pretty dreadful. We made chances, but our finishing was pretty grim too. At half time we acknowledged that we had given BoE something to hang on to and set about tearing in to them, with at least 4 clear cut chances in the 1st 5 minutes of the half. Unfortunately, a BoE players shoulder was dislocated by a power toe punt by the skipper from point blank range. We wish the lad well, who maintained his good humour throughout a very painful experience. This had a galvanising effect on BoE – they were fighting for every ball and determined to bring home the points for their mate. It had the opposite effect on us – the near hour delay made us lose our momentum and become somewhat sluggish, and continued our profligacy.
With 10 to go as we poured forward, the lively BoE striker ran at a threadbare defence and hit an absolute rocket past Bardgie. 5 minutes later he was left one on one with the skipper, easily beat him for pace and rounded Bardgie to score. These were their only 3 attempts on goal.
The things I have learnt are as follows, and these were communicated in a good heart to heart session after the game:
Pre-season wasn’t the greatest for us – this is the first time this squad played together.
- We are not fit enough – our tracking back was awful – it is no surprise that their golas came on the break.
- We need to work on finishing.
- We need to keep a positive atmosphere – Tom made the pertinent comment that good teams inspire and establish an atmosphere where it is ok to miss. As the kids at my school would say – TRUE DAT.
We go again on Saturday at EBOG it will be tough, but 3 points is a must. Game face on.
Team – Bardgett, Fabb, Demir, McLoughlin, Hammond, Gunyon, Smith, O’Leary, Wilding, Spencer, Banger (Hughes, Gregory).
MOTM – Demir – an oasis of calmness – the first line of Kiplings poem ‘IF’ could is inspired by he