GK - Charlie W
DEF - Tom A (C), Sam M
MID - Etien H, Harry H, Cameron M
STR - Charlie T
Given the nature of the previous game, it would be interesting to see how the lads reacted to the home fixture as they were coming into it on a great run of form, scoring 22 goals in the last four games and conceding only 7.
The only change for the Piranhas on this wet December morning, was the return of Tom A who was passed fit, despite suffering from a cough. Harry H was also touch and go for the game as he suffered a ‘party related’ injury the previous day and was struggling with back pain.
Knowing the opposition would provide a physical test, the pre-match drills focused on getting to the ball early and protecting it. The boys looked up for the game, seemingly not wanting to relinquish their great run without a fight!
After their performances in training the day before, it was Tom A and Charlie T in contention for captain today and a ‘best of three’ Rock, Paper, Scissors saw Tom take the armband. Charlie W also ran them close but declared early that he didn’t want to be skipper today.
Tom won the toss and decided to let Galleywood kick off. What became clear from the first whistle was that the Piranhas were up for the battle and it was the team in orange who had the better of the early exchanges which really set the tone for the whole match.
Tom A marshalled the defence superbly, staying central which allowed his partner Sam M to have a bit more of a free role, supporting both Tom and the midfielders. I really think you would struggle to find a better defensive pairing in the league than Tom and Sam. They have built up a great understanding.
The three lads in midfield, Harry H, Etien H and Cameron M had the game in total control feeding the ball up to Charlie T whose clever runs were pulling the Galleywood defenders all over the place.
Despite having the better of the game, it was Galleywood who had the first real chance with the striker one on one with Charlie W. As always, Charlie was equal to the strike pulling out a great save.
The Piranhas pressure soon paid off though with a Galleywood corner being cleared to Cameron M who found himself in the centre circle. Cameron looked up and sent Charlie T clean through the middle, Charlie gave the keeper the eyes, before coolly slotting the ball beyond him. Nothing more than the lads deserved.
Every single Piranha stood strong in the game, winning their individual battles and it wasn’t long before goal number two came. Sam M played the ball down the left wing to Etien H. Etien popped it into Charlie T on the edge of the box with his back to goal. With a great bit of skill, Charlie dragged the ball round between two defenders legs and opened his body to take a strike, the keeper pulled off a great save to his left but could only parry the ball to Cameron M who was following up superbly. A real poachers goal!
At half time, every player deserved their drink. There was a quick check on the fitness status of Tom A and Harry H with both lads desperate to carry on. The message was simple - Every player had their duel won but be careful not to switch off or get carried away.
The second half got underway with the two Charlies swapping places, Charlie T in goal and Charlie W as striker.
It would be fair to say that the Piranhas were a bit slow out of the blocks in the second half as Galleywood pressed to get back into the game. Tom A and Sam M were dealing with the pressure for the most part, until a deflected pass ended up at the feet of the Galleywood striker, who put the ball in the back of the net.
The Galleywood tails were up a bit now but the Piranhas soon got themselves up for the second half and took back control. The third inevitable goal came when Harry H battled and won the ball in midfield. Harry played a great pass into Cameron M whose instinctive strike struck the defender in what looked like a handball, it didn’t matter though because the ball dropped kindly to Charlie W who finished with style.
I was becoming increasingly concerned about Harry H who didn’t look like he was moving freely but after a quick stop in the game and a chat with his Dad, Harry said he was OK to carry on showing real fighting spirit.
The Piranhas retained the ball extremely well and looked like seeing the game out without any problems until a last minute corner saw Galleywood bundle the ball over the line to create a slightly nervy ending.
Every single player had given their all in this game and they were all shattered as they came off at the end of the game. MOTM went to Tom A for his imperious defensive performance, particularly as he wasn’t feeling his best.
Thanks again to Ross Morley for another excellent refereeing display and to the loyal Piranhas’ supporters for coming out in the wet to be entertained by their young football stars. Well Done lads!
There will be a short break now over the festive period. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!