Old Lyonians 3s 1 – Alexandra Park 5s 4

SAL Minor Div 1 North | January 23, 2016

Scorers: Carpenter(2), L.Smith(2)

It was an interesting build up to the 5s game this week. After our poor performance last week there was a match report which had a mixed response and a few silences in the build up to the game. When we arrived at the ground it became evident that all was fine and we were up for this game. Spirits were high with Sievewright and Knight re-joining the 5s after long absences and having Carps for the week just added to the confidence. Many struggled to find the ground so we had 8 about 20 minutes before kickoff. We were shown on to a lovely pitch only to be told it was too nice for us and subsequently moved on to a flat but boggy pitch that was apparently more to our standard.

At 2pm we were up to 12 but there was no ref so we needn’t have worried, he turned up before our other two subs and we started. We started fairly slowly, perhaps nervous in what we had built up as a must win game. We tried to pass it around but were struggling to get any real moves together. They matched us and looked bright in spells. We were fortunate to have Sievewright back in goal and he made a couple of smart stops to keep us level. We were having some joy down the flanks with Smith and Filipovic getting on the ball but just not being able to break down Old Lyonian’s defence.

Things took a turn for the worse when we lost the ball too easily down our left wing, it meant they were through on goal and managed to get a shot past Sievewright. Rae was getting back to try and clear it away but could only hook it in to the opposite corner under presser from an Old Lyonians attacker. The rest of the half continued in a similar fashion, both sides trying to create something but lacking the quality to really hurt the other.

In the second half we were much better, we kept trying to play good football and finally started to open them up. Knight came on to play his first football since the end of last season and looked like he’d never been away, winning flick ons and playing the ball in to the channels for Dodimead and Bell to chase. With the ball in their half more they were under pressure. That pressure told when Watson was blatantly wiped out 25 yards from goal and Carpenter step up to knock it over the wall and in to the corner leaving the keeper stranded. Relief was the main emotion but we did deserve to be level. One quickly became two as we hassled and harried their defence and won the ball back high up the pitch. A few passes from Bell and Watson meant Carpenter found him in a good position to beautifully finish/scuff a second. From now on we controlled the game and created several more chances. Robinson and Wright were assured at the back and Rae and Hyde started to find space going forward. Wood was energetic with Watson and Bell in midfield but the reintroduction of Smith had a huge impact. He was getting the ball again and again and he put in a few crosses that Murdoch, Knight and Dodimead could get on the end of and had a couple of efforts from tight angles. He kept going with the shooting and scored two virtually identical goals with lofted finished into the far corner after cutting in from the right followed up by two over the top celebrations.

Murdoch worked hard to get a goal and after a bustling run should have won a penalty but was also lucky to escape a yellow for simulation for going down so theatrically despite the contact that was made.

A much better performance this week and hopefully we can build on this in the next few weeks. We showed if we support each other by working hard on and off the ball and stay positive we can produce good quality football. It also showed that honest truths/constructive criticism are sometimes needed too when things aren’t going as they should.

MoM: Lewis Smith

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