1 - Charlie W 7 - Cameron M
3 - Louis F 9 - Zach L
4 - Tom A 10 - Charlie T (C)
5 - Leo M 11 - Sam M
6 - Harry H
The Piranhas finally got 2018 underway at the weekend with a home game against Braintree Town Irons. The boys did not have a game the previous week due to a number of factors which meant they were a week behind most of the other teams.
Training had restarted and the lads were beginning to shake off their turkey and sweets hangovers, however, there is nothing that can replace match fitness.
We had a full squad to choose from with one or two managing to shake off illness in time for the game. The weather hasn’t been kind in recent days meaning the pitch at Laundry Lane wasn’t at its best. Heavy conditions meant that the Piranhas passing game would be difficult to get going.
The lads completed their warm-up routines with them all looking glad to be back and ready for action. A quick team talk and we were ready to get underway. Cameron M and Sam M started on the bench with the rest of the team taking up familiar positions.
The referee for today’s game, Christian Lund, called skipper Charlie T and his opposite number to the Centre spot for a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide who would kick off before the Piranhas got the game underway.
It would be fair to say the Piranhas looked a little rusty in the first half from their extended Christmas break, coupled with the difficult conditions, made for a tough performance. The team gave their usual 100% effort but there was just one too many touches of the ball, or the final pass just wasn’t coming off for them. Despite that, they were matching their opponents in the game. Braintree were organised though, and it would need to be slick passing that got through them.
The most notable action of the first half for the Piranhas was a left footed volley from Charlie T that whistled over the bar.
Charlie W looked solid in goal. The defensive players - Leo M, Tom A and Sam M were playing well, keeping Braintree at bay. Harry H and Louis F were industrious in midfield, Cameron M was powerful on the right and Zach L was his usual tricky self down the left.
Unfortunately despite going toe to toe with the Irons, the team from Braintree did manage a couple of goals in the first half that would prove to be the only goals in the game.
At half time we told the team to just forget about the first half and treat the second as if they were starting again. The score wasn’t important, we just wanted them to try to get a performance going that would help them as we moved into the coming weeks. Charlie T went in goal with Charlie W coming on up front.
The second half saw a huge improvement putting Braintree under pressure for the whole 25 minutes. Charlie T in the Piranhas goal only touched the ball three times, showing just how well the team were playing. Unfortunately, they just couldn’t find that clinical touch to get them back in the match.
A real game of two halves. A sluggish first half performance followed by a second half performance that we are more used to seeing. The lads should be encouraged by that as we get ready to go into the next game.
MOTM was split today between Tom A and Harry H. Tom was outstanding in defence and Harry did not stop running all game, a real box-to-box midfield performance.
Many thanks to Christian for refereeing so well, giving the players encouragement and allowing the game to flow, despite some unnecessary heckling from the sidelines!
Thanks to the Piranhas faithful who I’m sure are happy to see the team back in action.
Well done lads!
Next Match - Away v Maldon & Tiptree Panthers. KO - 12pm.