4 - Tom A 9 - Zach L
5 - Leo M 10 - Charlie T
6 - Harry H 11 - Sam M
7 - Cameron M
Following the battering the pitch has taken recently, it wasn’t looking too bad. The surface was a little bobbly where the mud had dried out but it should provide a good platform for the boys to get their passing going. We have seen recently at Dunmow Rhodes what a good pitch does for the team.
We had a couple of fresh injuries with Charlie W injuring his ankle and Louis F feeling unwell. Harry H had also woken up with a headache but was feeling ok to play. Playing with no subs would require a big effort from everyone. The boys went through their warm-up routines well and we reminded them about the performance against Rhodes and asked if they could repeat it.
Today’s opponents were Maldon & Tiptree Panthers. A team we have met previously but not this season. We were aware they were a good side with a very good goalkeeper.
Charlie T started the game in goal with Sam M and Leo M in front of him. The midfield started with Tom A in the middle, with Zach L and Cameron M on the wings. Harry H started up front. Christian Lund was today’s match official and he called the skippers together. The Piranhas won the toss and got the game underway.
The boys started the game well and really the pattern for the whole game was set pretty early. Wave after wave of Dunmow attack being thwarted by the Panther’s excellent keeper.
Maldon didn’t really threaten the Dunmow goal too often, mainly because of the efforts of Sam M and Leo M. Leo organised the defensive line from start to finish and Sam provided him with an accomplished defensive partner.
Tom A offered a shield in front of that back two and, as always, Zach L and Cameron M were a constant menace up the left and right. Harry H lead the line superbly with the attacking players all linking up well. Charlie T in the goal had very little to do but swept up when required.
The attacking pressure soon paid off when a clearance from the goalkeeper arrived at Tom A’s feet and from just inside the Maldon half, Tom struck an absolute beauty which flew over the big keeper into the top corner. A great strike.
A rare Maldon attack caught the team napping a little when the striker was left in acres of space. He made no mistake giving Charlie T no chance.
Now those that watch the Piranhas play and train will know how much emphasis we put on short, sharp passing football and this was demonstrated perfectly for the second Piranhas goal - probably my goal of the season so far. Charlie T played the ball to Sam M from a goal kick. Sam played the ball to Zach L on the left who found Tom A infield. Then between Zach L, Tom A and Harry H they played one-touch passing triangles around the Maldon defenders which Harry H finished with style. An unbelievable team goal.
At half time, we heaped praise on the boys and asked for more of the same. The team duly obliged! Tom A went in goal, Harry H dropped back into midfield and Charlie T went up front but the game stayed the same.
Tom A in goal rarely touched the ball. Leo M was outstanding at the back providing the platform for every Piranhas attack. Chance after chance came their way and if it wasn’t for the goalkeeper it would have been a cricket score.
The team were starting to get a little frustrated with the number of chances that went begging and with everyone pushing forward, they had started to leave a few gaps. Fortunately, Maldon were not able to capitalise. The deserved third goal soon came with Charlie T receiving the ball on the right, he found Cameron M all alone in the centre of the box and Cameron finished well.
It was another brilliant performance from every player. The team were able to play their passing game and the Panthers just couldn’t live it. The boys need to learn that getting frustrated with each other doesn’t help anything, they just need to keep being patient. They also need to learn that they need to concentrate for the full match and not get caught up the pitch towards the end of matches. That said, I don’t want to be at all hard on them as they had no subs today so they were all tired at the end.
MOTM today was Leo M. Leo’s defensive displays have been getting better and better and today he was also taking charge of getting the team forwards as well as joining the play, making an extra player at corners.
Thanks to Christian for a great refereeing display, helping players from both teams and thanks as always to the Piranhas faithful.
Well Done Lads!
Next Match: 8th April. Away v M&T Tigers. KO - TBC.
HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!