Charlie W Louis F
Sam M Cameron M
Etien H Harry H (C)
Charlie T Leo M
It was a beautiful Sunday morning for a trip over to Braintree to face an old foe, Braintree Town Hornets. The Piranhas would want to put in a real performance today as it was against the Hornets that the team’s downturn started, so there would be no better opposition to get back on track against.
There were no fresh injury concerns for Dunmow and all the lads had returned from international duty so there was a full squad to choose from. Harry H had put in a sterling performance in training the day before so he would captain the side today.
In the warm-up before the game, we focused again on passing technique and passing speed. The lads really seemed to get what we were looking for so it would be great to see how this transferred into the match. There were no instructions given to the team, just to go out and enjoy the match.
The team lined up with Charlie W in goal, and a familiar defensive pairing of Tom A and Sam M. The skipper, Harry H, was in the center of midfield flanked either side by Etien H and Cameron M, with Louis F starting up front as a lone striker. Charlie T and Leo M started on the bench.
Harry H went up for the coin toss. Now given that the pitch looked like it could double-up as a black run in the winter, Harry chose to play up the slope in the first half!
The game kicked off. The match started a little slowly but it was the Piranhas who found their rhythm earliest in the game putting together some fantastic moves. Braintree struggled to live with the slick passing, just as we practiced. The Hornets had a couple of early break-away chances but between Tom A and Sam M they kept them mostly away from Charlie W’s goal. Charlie had to make one good save from the only Hornets effort on target.
Harry H had the midfield under control, pinging balls left and right to the ever-willing Etien H and Cameron M. The passing movements between those three and Louis F up front created a number of half chances for the Piranhas. Louis F came close on a couple of occasions, but was just unable to apply the finishing touch.
Harry H himself came close and shots from Etien H and Cameron M also troubled Braintree. Sam M and Tom A showed great composure bringing the ball out of defense and playing simple passes to the lads in front of them.
Leo M came into the game and showed his usual enthusiasm as he fought for every ball, and Charlie T came into the midfield to give Harry H a rest. Charlie took a little while to find the pace of the game but his trickery provided the first goal. He picked up the ball in the middle on the pitch and jinked his way into the area, a really smart one-two with Louis F split the defence open for Charlie T to slot home with his left. A great move, with Louis F showing the quick passing we had been looking for in the warm-up.
At half time, Louis F swapped with Charlie W, meaning Louis took his place between the sticks. Charlie W went out on the left. The message to the lads at the break was more of the same, they were fantastic in the first half and should have been more than a goal up.
Playing down the slope meant the lads were encouraged to take on lots of shots. Charlie W was creating havoc down the left and it was his endeavour that led to the second goal. A burst down the right and a cross caused the Braintree defender to put into his own net.
The second goal seemed to galvanize the Braintree team a little and they scored from their first two opportunities on target.
The Piranhas picked themselves up again and there were some great passing moves that started with the defensive players Tom A, Sam M and Leo M being confident on the ball and beating their men or playing sensible passes once they had drawn players in.
Charlie W went on a run down the left and fired home to restore the Piranhas’ lead before a move down the right saw Etien H pass a ball into Harry H. Harry beat a player a passed into Charlie T who unleashed a shot into the top corner for his second of the game.
Again, with a two goal advantage, the team seemed to slow down a little and allowed Braintree back into the game. There was nothing Louis F could do about the goals, he was doing a great job between the posts.
The fighting spirit of the Piranhas came through right towards the end of the game though with Charlie W chasing what seemed a lost cause down the right, keeping the ball in play, he put a cross into the box where the powerful Cameron M was running in to smash home a deserved goal.
Despite an addition 35 minutes stoppage time ;-) the lads held on for a really deserved result.
Every single player gave their all in this game and for that reason the whole team was awarded MOTM. The lads were jubilant at the end and rightly so, they fully deserved what they got from the match. The Piranhas came over and received rapturous applause from their loyal fans who always turn up in their numbers.
That should be the end of the season now, so we will move into tournaments on the back of an impressive result and performance.
Well Done lads!
Next Fixture - TBC.