1 – Russell L 2 – Rufus G
3 – Louis F 4 – Tom A
5 – Leo M 7 – Cameron M
10 – Charlie T 11 – Sam M
12 – John R 14 – Thomas R
The squad was a little light with Charlie W and Zach L away on international duty. The rest of the team looked hungry, playing quick short passes in the warm up session. With kick off looming, Tom A made a late dash to join his team mates, I think his chauffeur overslept We have been working in a number of areas with the team recently and these were the messages that were relayed in the team talk. Pressure the player with the ball, pass the way your facing and don’t be afraid to pass backwards and move the ball early.
The team lined up with Russell L returning in goal, John R at the heart of the defence with Louis F and Leo M either side of him. Rufus G was in the centre of midfield, Cameron M and Sam M were right and left respectively. Thomas R and Charlie T were the forward players with Thomas just behind Charlie. Tom A started as sub to give him time to complete a warm up prior to coming on.
The game got underway and it was the Piranhas who started brightest, moving the ball from side to side and passing well. The movement up front was good and started to cause Notley a few problems.
John R was marshalling the back line well and between himself, Leo M and Louis F, Notley were kept to half chances. Rufus G was the pivot in midfield and Cameron M and Sam M were always available as an option out wide. The movement and passing of Charlie T and Thomas R up front was creating spaces for the other players to get into. It was a good start.
Tom A came into the midfield but shortly moved into the central defensive position as John R pulled up with an issue. The change in personnel did not change the team shape but unfortunately Notley were able to find a through pass which was finished well. The second Notley goal was a cruel deflection which ended up in Russell L’s goal. Nothing Russell could do about it.
The heads started to drop a little at their misfortune and the third Notley goal was the killer. The defender smashed the ball from just inside half way and the strong wind took it into the corner. The lads looked deflated and another goal soon followed.
The Piranhas did get one back before half time when Thomas R fed the ball out to Cameron M running in from the right. Cameron smashed home a delightful finish past the big Notley keeper.
We got the lads in at half time and told them to forget the first half had happened. They had played really well and did not deserve to be down the way they were. We told them to start the second half with smiles on their faces and to enjoy the game. John R was ready to come back on but Leo M had pulled up with a suspected groin injury. Sam went info defence and Louis F moved out to left wing.
The second half performance was exceptional with every player working their hardest. The Piranhas got the first goal of the half when Cameron M found Charlie T who calmly slotted the ball into the corner. The expansive football left one or two gaps at the back allowing Notley some chances too.
Cameron M soon added the Piranhas’ third goal with a sublime pass from Louis F giving Cameron the run on the defender. Cam powerfully finished the effort off. It was clear that the lads enjoyed the second half from the way they played and hopefully that can be the springboard to take us forward in to the final game of the year.
Man of the Match today was Louis F for his solid defensive display and marauding performance on the wing including that exquisite through ball for the third goal.
Great Team Mate went to Cameron M – Hard work. Two goals and One assist. What more can you say?
Thanks to Mark F for another great refereeing display and to Darren M and Dave T for taking a half each with the flag and thanks as always to the Piranhas faithful – please keep the encouragement going and don’t let the recent results worry you or the boys. The second half performance today shows what we can do and the results will soon follow.
Next match – Away v Braintree Town Irons. KO - TBC.