The Whites faced Grads Red this week who were sitting pretty having not yet dropped a point in division 4. They’d done a number on us early in the season so we were hoping to put on a better performance this time around.
Steve had a pretty strong squad to choose from, with only Rob, Wes and Glyn missing from his best team.
Glyn’s absence meant Steve had to play in goals & test out his ageing shoulder. At the back was Matt Gardner and Eddie out wide, and Lev and Saf in the middle. The midfield consisted of Phil and Bobbie on the wings and the ever reliable Saber and Jan central. Up top were Benny and Chad to spearhead the line-up.
Steve gave his usual spiel about having fun, win, lose or draw (as long as we win) , and then got to the more serious matter of reminding us to play short passing game, hit feet & make it as easy as possible for each other.
And right from the outset we did just that. Eddie and Matt were just too fast at the back for the Grads Strikers to break through and our midfield were consistently first to the ball. We had numerous chances to open the scoring, but somehow conspired to consistently miss the target. Philip, Jan, Chad, Saber and even the author were all guilty of inaccuracy in front of goals.
On the other hand Grads had one clear cut chance in the first half, & thankfully Steve was up to the task & parried it away.
At the break, the talk was positive (we were already 4 down in the previous encounter at this stage), even the coach had some good things to say, although we all agreed we should have really been 3 up at least.
The old cliché that football is a game of two halves rung true however, as right from the kick-off the Grads took the ascendancy. Their midfield began to take hold, as we also were guilty of missing our passes and going long too soon on a number of occasions.
Thankfully though, their shooting wasn’t great either, with Steve only forced to make a couple of saves.
In an attempt to shore up our defence, Darren and Tomas came on, and James came on for Bobby on the wing.
The other significant move was that Lev moved into goals, with Chad coming to sweeper and Steve went up front.
Lev was instantly in the game, pulling off a couple of good saves, whilst Chat was made to make a couple of fierce tackles at the back.
In the end the result was nil all, which I think was a fair reflection of the game. This was a great result for the boys though, as we’re the first team to take points of the Reds. Hopefully we can use this result to push us on for the rest of the season.
Another stand out performances from Eddie was great to see, but really this was a game where the coach could say ‘all played well’