1 - Charlie W 7 - Cameron M
3 - Louis F 9 - Zach L
4 - Tom A 10 - Charlie T
6 - Harry H
Following some of the giddy antics of the previous week, the lads were looking a bit more focused this week and ready for action as we went through the warm-up routines. In the previous game, the team lost their shape a little too early and were struggling to get their short passing game going so we worked hard on this in the pre-match session.
The sun was out, the crowd were in good voice and we were ready to go. Referee Mark ‘Clattenberg’ Francis called the two captains together. Tom A was skipper today and in an unusual turn of events, the teams switched ends for the kick-off!
The match started off fairly even with both teams jostling for position in the early exchanges, however, it would be fair to say that SWF got into their stride earliest. It is not very often I say this but the Piranhas seemed a little off-colour in the first half, it certainly wasn’t the sort of performance we have come to expect from this team.
Charlie W between the sticks was tidy and made a few good saves and Tom A and Louis F defensively were outstanding. Moving the ball from back to front was a little untidy at times. Charlie T was becoming more and more frustrated which was affecting his usual standard. Harry H worked hard in midfield and Zach L was being a pest on the left. Cameron M was working to find space up front but the ball just wasn’t coming.
The team were struggling to keep pace with the midfield runners of SWF and it wasn’t long before the visitors broke the deadlock. Two great headed goals from them finished the half and the lads came in looking tired and deflated.
At half time, we tried to explain to the team the areas where they needed to improve. Moving the ball quicker from back to front through short passing and working hard to get back in shape when we lost the ball.
The second half saw a few changes with Harry H going into goal, Charlie W moved to right midfield, Zach L came into the middle and Charlie T out to the left.
The second half performance was much closer to the Piranhas usual standard as the team seemed to take on the messages. Harry H made a few good saves in goal. Tom A and Louis F remained solid at the back and the distribution of the ball was much more measured allowing the team to create more attacking opportunities. Zach L’s energy in the middle of the pitch gave more options and the wingers had more time to get the ball on the floor to play. Charlie W was buzzing around creating space for others.
The Piranhas finally got their deserved goal through a quick passing move which saw Charlie T slip a great through ball to Cameron M for him to knock past the impressive SWF keeper.
The team came off the pitch at the end absolutely shattered after a real performance of two halves. It hasn’t really clicked into gear yet for the Piranhas but the second half display shows it’s coming.
We are currently exploring some training options to enable the team to get together prior to games as there are definitely a number of things we need to work on, particularly getting back in shape and moving the ball quickly.
Thanks to Mark for a great refereeing display, helping players from both teams and keeping the game going. Thanks as always to the supporters for their encouragement. Tell the lads to keep their chins up, we have been here before and turned it around and we will do the same again.
Man of the Match this week was an easy choice. Tom A was outstanding in defence. Quite often left isolated in the first half, he stuck to his task and kept SWF at bay almost single handedly at times.
Well done to SWF, a great team who I’m sure won’t be in this league for very long, they will be a match for any side.
Well done lads!
Next match - Away v Braintree Town Irons. 10am KO.