Scorers: Bell, Tabram, Fullerton
As we enter the final quarter of the season our fate is still very much in our own hands but after Saturday our margin of error has been greatly reduced for the remaining games. But it was so nearly a game we could have taken 3 points from.
For once we had a full compliment prior to kick off and awaited the oppo with the ref threatening to call the game off, should have taken that option in hindsight.
Finally we kicked off 15 mins late, but we started well considering our much changed line up. With Andy in goal and a back four of Dan, Will, Charlie and Ziggy it was a bit unfamiliar. Midfield of Seb, Jed, Jack, JJ and a debut for Konrad. Alex led the line with Kurt, Roman and Kelvin on the bench.
We were passing the ball well and using the width of the Preston Manor pitch. Jack and Konrad were keeping things ticking over well as we bossed possession. Ebogs were relying on the Utd tactic of long ball. Probably against the run of play they took the lead with a simple through ball that split the defence and gave Andy little chance when one on one with the attacker. It became a little scrappy then as Bogs became more physically dominant. That said we created some great openings down the flanks with JJ, and Seb getting behind the full backs regularly and backed up by Dan and Ziggy. Then we conceded the second. 2-0 and things looked shaky with Bogs having other openings as well, although we had also created chances. Then from a corner which bounced in the area our very own Duracell man Seb nipped in to head home. Now we could push on and get another. Wrong. The last 10 mins of the half we effectively shot ourselves in the foot as we conceded two more, both avoidable. 4-1 at half time and we were not in a good place even though we had played pretty well.
Second half we changed it to three at the back with Ziggy and Dan coming off and Roman and Kurt coming on to go two up top. Kelvin was also on to give Seb a blow. What followed this half was as good as we have played this season. Jed, Jack and Konrad were playing some excellent stuff with JJ opening the left up with some lovely wing play. Kurt and Alex began to dominate the defence as we battered at the door of Bogs defence. On the flip side we were liable to get caught on the break and Bogs did indeed miss a couple of good opportunities. For half an hour we had chance after chance with their keeper making some great stops. Finally Kurt took a lovely pass to his left opened his body and lashed a shot with his left past their static keeper. A glimmer of hope shone for us. Their keeper then made a goal line stop from Kurt and a great double save from Jed after a driving run into the box. 2-4 became 3-4 when a collection of short passes on the edge of the area found Alex who side footed a curler past their static (again) keeper. With five to go we threw everything at Bogs but they held out.
A day of what could have been and probably should have been, but that is irrelevant.
2nd half was excellent but unfortunately the 1st was a return to early season when every mistake or lack of concentration cost us.
On the positives was our collective desire to try and get a result when others may have given up was admirable. Obviously some of our play was a joy to watch with Jack and Jed bossing midfield and a super display from Konrad in midfield and defence.
This week is now crucial away to Polytechnic.