Two games, two wins and no goals conceded. It’s been a decent start to the season. Although this was a much tougher game than last week that just makes the victory even sweeter.
We kept our 3-5-2 formation but with 2 new centre backs in the 3 it was clear communication was going to be key. We started quite well getting the ball down and passing it round nicely but we were missing the final pass and any momentum we build up kept breaking down with the odd sloppy pass. That will improve though as we get used to playing with each other. Lyonians, whether by design or luck, exploited the main weakness in our formation by playing long diagonal balls behind our wingbacks for a forward to hold up and then had plenty of runners from midfield looking to support. Liam and John tracked back well to help cover the gaps and they were restricted to long shots which despite some being decent, Toby always made looked comfortable.
With Duane getting stuck in as always in midfield and Chris and Bowhill composed on the ball, we kept looking for a way through but Lyonians were solid at the back and quick to hit us on the break. It was a very tight half with no real scoring chances. Paddy winning lots of headers but no one reading the flick on and Slater running the channels well but then no one being in the box.
We spoke at half time about getting men back behind the ball quickly when they hit us on the break and trusting our passing game to make us the chances we needed to win the game. We tried both of these things but the second half continued in much the same vein as the first. Us passing it round trying to work an opening them getting forward quickly on the break but Alex, Joe and Rae dealing with things well With about 20 minutes the stand in skipper made a couple of substitutions and moved a few players round and the game opened up a bit. Both teams started taking more risks in search of the goal and a few more half chances arose. Fortucci was energetic in midfield and forced Lyonians to rush the play and make mistakes, Sherman started getting more of the ball in space down the right flank and Robbo seamlessly joined the back three which remained solid throughout. It seemed like it was going to be a draw, which would have been a fair result, until the 90th beeping we won a free kick and quickly threw a few players around Paddy. He won his header as he’d done all day and from the knock down Chris and Liam combined to play Paddy in down the left wing. With 2 players breaking forward to find space at the back post a good ball in would surely see a tap in to win the game. Paddy decided not to take the risk and just stroked the ball home in to the far corner from a tight angle.
Cue big celebrations from us and then a very composed 3 minutes of seeing the game out with a couple of good defensive headers and holding the ball up top and then a few more celebrations. It was a very tight game and in all honestly Lyonians probably deserved the three points more than us based on half chances. But we battled hard, never gave up and kept the faith that we could win.
Team: – Mittermaier, Rae, Joe Robinson, Perkins, Murphy, Watson, Doyle, Wilson, Fortucci, Bowhill, Slater. Subs: – James Robinson, Knight, Sherman