Old Owens 6s 3 – Alexandra Park 6s 3

SAL Minor Division 3 North | October 4, 2014

Scorers: N’Gola(2), Pope

This was most definitely a game of 2 halves, but it was 2 halves that were proceeded by a wait of 2 hours. Due to an apparent fixture cock-up (nothing to do with myself I hasten to add) at 12:30 we were present and correct, with no opposition to face. So we had the unpleasant choice of either playing Owens 4s or waiting around till their 6s turned up at 3pm. We chose the latter, and credit to the lads who rearranged their lives to commit to the team.

We were determined not to have waited around for nothing, and we made a strong start to the game. Sam B, making his debut was winning a lot of balls in the middle while Jorge and Harrison were linking up with the front men well. Banny and Tris worked hard up top and we put Owens defence under a lot of pressure. This resulted in 3 first half goals, Banny and Tris both harrying them into mistakes and pouncing on loose balls in the box. Banny in particular showed pace, power and commitment to put us well ahead. To be honest we could and probably should have been 5 or 6 up such was our dominance, Ditmar put one just over the bar and Banny missed his hat trick by inches. Our defence really had very little to do…that is apart from hack their player down in the box (mentioning no names Sam Rutherford), how the ref didn’t spot that one I’m not sure! But we went into the break 3-0 up.

At half time we talked about concentration and keeping the pressure on. However as the second half got under way something had changed, maybe it was the 3 substitutions that had disrupted our rhythm, but it seemed more than that it was the attitude. Rather than pressing home our advantage we seemed to believe we had already won, we became lax and all of a sudden we were second best to the 50-50 balls. The next goal was crucial, we backed off and backed off as their player lined up his shot, still from range it looked like Matt had it, but the high looping ball agonisingly beat his fingertips and crept in under the bar. Their tails were up, but still we looked like we could get another and I wasn’t too worried. That was until some more slopping defending (I presume, I think I’ve blocked it out) let them in for their second, making it 3-2. To be fair to Owens they looked a different side than the one that came out in the first half, they had raised their game, playing some nice little moves and making our team look static. Even so, the third Owens goal came like a hammer blow, in a game that we should have closed out with ease. As I slid hopeless too far from the on rushing striker and watched from the sodden ground as the ball slid into the corner of the net I knew we had blown it. In the final frantic 5 neither side could add the knock out blow and it ended 3-3. It was a draw that most definitely felt like a loss, I don’t think I’ve ever felt as bad after a draw, and it’s something I don’t want to repeat again. Still, a point is better than nothing. For all our superb play in the first half we deserved more and we have to learn the lessons, and learn them quick. There’s nothing like an inter-club derby to focus the attention!

MoM: N’Gola

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