1 – Russell L 2 – Rufus G
3 – Louis F 4 – Thomas A
5 – Leo M 6 – Harry H
7 – Cameron M 8 – Charlie W
9 – Zach L 10 – Charlie T
11 – Sam M 14 – Thomas R
The team were missing John R today who was away on international duty. The rest of the squad were fully fit and available for selection. Charlie W had recovered from a foot injury and Charlie T was over the illness from the previous game. The warm-up drills looked at short passing and build up play and we spent a few minutes working around the tactics board.
The line-up for the start of the game saw Russell in goal, with Tom A and Leo M partnering up at the back. Louis F provided the shield in front of the defence with Rufus G, Zach L and Charlie W supporting Thomas R and Charlie T up front. The pitch had quite a slope on it and Rhodes won the toss and elected to play down the pitch.
The game was frantic to start and when Rhodes scored a really soft goal, there was a slight concern that the demons from the previous match were coming back to haunt the Piranhas. It wasn’t long though, before the team clicked into gear and put on a display for the rest of the game that Rhodes simply couldn’t live with.
It started with Russell L in goal, whose distribution was first class for most of the game – something we are working hard on. The defence of Tom A and Leo M in front had come into the game and were stopping anything getting through, supported by the shield put up by Louis F. It wasn’t long before the Piranhas were back in the game when a ball out from defence was picked up by Zach L who beat his defender and put in a cross from the right. Charlie W was at the back post to slam home.
The second goal soon followed, when a ball in from midfield found its way into the box. Charlie W laid the ball back to Charlie T who took a touch and fired into the bottom corner. Rhodes pulled one back straight from kick off when the Piranhas occasional ‘soft centre’ allowed the player with the ball to walk straight through the team – definitely something to work on for the lads.
That was the only blip in the performance though, and soon the piranhas were at it again. Charlie T picked up the ball in the middle of the park and played a defence splitting pass that Thomas R ran onto and finished. A great goal and exactly what we talked about around the tactics board.
Changes were made to the team with Cameron M coming on to the right, Harry H taking up his familiar role in the middle of the park and Sam M up front. The performance level didn’t drop as a result of the changes and the boys were denied what would have been goal of the season. The ball was played out from the back by Russell L to Tom A.
Tom picked out Charlie W on the left who played a neat one-two with Harry H. Charlie crossed in to Cameron M who ran on to the ball and smashed it towards goal. The ball hit the bar and dropped on to the line. It looked like it had gone over but with no goal-line technology to call on it was difficult to know!
Cameron M was involved in the next goal when he was fed through by another slide rule pass, this time from Thomas R. Cameron’s shot was saved by the keeper only to be driven home by Charlie W for his second of the match.
The half time whistle went and the Piranhas had been brilliant. We spoke about more of the same in the second half, but also warned the boys not to get complacent and allow Rhodes to get back into the game.
More changes were made and Sam M became the shield at the back. We all know about Sam’s defensive qualities and he didn’t disappoint. Zach L went to the left and Charlie T and Rufus G went up front.
The team were now playing down the pitch and the football was mesmerising to watch at times. Defensively Tom A, Leo M, Sam M and Louis F were in total control not allowing Rhodes any free time on the ball. Russell L was his usual brave self and when called upon was as reliable as ever. Harry H had started to take control of the midfield and when he quickly spotted a short corner, managed to get a shot away which bounced off the keeper into the path of Rufus G who slotted home from close range.
Rufus G got his second with an almost identical goal. The ball was cleared by Rhodes out to Tom A on the half-way line. Tom only had one thing on his mind and in came the long-range effort. Again, the keeper could only parry into the path of Rufus G who tapped home. The last goal was a bit special with Zach L picking the ball up on the left. He cut inside and bent an effort into the top corner. A great way to finish the scoring.
The team were outstanding today and deserved everything they got. Thanks to Rhodes and good luck to them for the season ahead. We look forward to our next encounter.
MOTM today went to Rufus G. Rufus contributed in a couple of different positions and his work-rate was exceptional. He also managed a couple of goals to top it off.
Great Team Mate went to Zach L who ran Rufus close for MOTM. Zach worked tirelessly for his team and did a lot of running both forward and back.
Thanks to Mark F for running the line and to the travelling Piranhas faithful, supporting and encouraging as always.
Well done lads!
Next match – Away v Galleywood Eagles. KO – TBC.