Old Parkonians 8s 2 – Alexandra Park 6s 2

SAL Minor Div 3 North | March 23, 2015

Scorers: Ramirez, Pope

Although we had pretty much blown our promotion chances there was still a mathematical chance and therefore it was important we kept up the pressure by beating an Old Parks side struggling in the league. The conditions on the slope pitch were tricky and we started the first half playing uphill into a viscous wind. It was hard to clear our lines and the defence came under a lot of pressure. We got away with a few mistakes and Connor made some decent stops to keep us in it. However we continued to battle with Roman and Jack putting in important challenges to break up the play. It was Jorge who really took the fight to Old Parks. He was clearly up for this game and was shrugging people off the ball and throwing in some pirouettes, threading some fine balls through. We grew into the game and it was through Jorge that AP stole the initiative and the lead. From a nice ball he peeled off the defender, making space for himself and produce a composed finish slotting past the keeper, 1-0 AP. After a hard fought first 45 we went in at half time knowing we had the slope and wind with us now. We were confident the game was there for the taking.

However, the second half was highly frustrating and we didn’t seem to be able to get a grip with the conditions. We kept overplaying the ball and time after time it would run through to their keeper. Then Old Parks were level, they had one forward who looked a cut above the rest, with pace and skill, and I have to hold my hands up, he left me statuesque, knocking it past me and finishing sweetly to make it 1-1. Although this was a set back we continue to press Old Parks. Josh did some good work down the left and Banny had a couple of decent chances. However it was Tris who came to the rescue to restore our lead, prodding home from close range, 2-1. Still the game was far from under our control and we continued to make hard work of the game, there were chances at both ends. However it was Old Parks who took advantage of some more slopping defending. From a set piece the second ball was played into the box and their forward somehow managed to get in behind us and despite our offside shouts we could only watch as he steered it into the net for a second equaliser with 15 to go.

We threw everything at them but nothing was really coming off. Then there was a moment of madness. A through ball was played for Tris that was getting away from him and as the keeper came out he challenged for it, although I think it was a little late and probably a foul he had every right to go for it. However the Old Parks keeper completely lost it. As Tris lay sprawled on the ground the keeper swung his boot at his head and Tris was incredibly fortunate he narrowly missed. It was an ugly moment that was really dangerous and could have been very serious. He had to see red and did. Unfortunately the ref had already blown for a free kick against us as we could have done with the penalty! In the last 10 mins we tried our hardest but it was highly frustrating that we never really tested the stand-in keeper. And so it finished 2-2, another disappointing result against a team we should have beaten. In the last two games we just lacked the quality to finish games, resulting in two draws that put pay to any promotion chances. I don’t think the conditions or pitch helped us as it made playing good football very difficult and levelled things up, but that is a bit of an excuse for what was a below par performance. It was a game that we were on top of the majority and let slip. Going forward we weren’t clinical enough and at the back we weren’t disciplined enough.

Much to improve on.

Man of the match goes to Jorge who had a superb game, reproducing his early season form he looked dangerous, hungry in the tackle and a class above the rest today.

MoM: Ramirez

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