1 – Russell L 2 – Rufus G
4 – Tom A 5 – Leo M
7 – Cameron M 8 – Charlie W
9 – Zach L 10 – Charlie T
11 – Sam M 12 – John R
14 – Thomas R
During the week the signs were that we had a full squad to choose from, but unfortunately Louis F failed a late fitness test. Other than that, the squad was fully fit and raring to go. Russell L gave us a slight scare turning up just in time!
With the training facilities currently out of action, the lads had not trained together, however, all looked sharp during the warm-up.
Prior to the match, there was a minute’s silence to remember those tragically killed in the helicopter crash outside the King Power stadium in Leicester. Referee Darren M blew the whistle to signal the start of the minute and the silence was observed impeccably by players, coaches and supporters from both teams. First class.
Down to business. The team lined up with Russell L in goal, John R, Tom A and Leo M at the back. Charlie W anchored the midfield with Zach L and Cameron M either side. Rufus G played just behind Thomas R up front. Charlie T and Sam M started on the bench.
Skipper Cameron M won the toss and the Piranhas kicked off, playing up the slight incline.
The first fifteen minutes of the game looked comfortable for the Piranhas, as the boys in orange dominated the ball. Zach L was up for the game, causing panic in the Uplands defence every time he got the ball. Charlie W was a dynamo in midfield, displaying the bundle of energy he is. For all of the good possession though, the team were unable to create any clear cut chances.
Charlie T and Sam M came into the game and the pattern continued, however, Uplands also brought on their key player who helped bring them back into the game. The defensive unit of John R, Tom A, Sam M and Leo M were starting to get tested, which they stood up to brilliantly. In their first attack of the game, Uplands squeezed a shot past Russell L. Harsh on the Piranhas who were looking comfortable up to that point.
We got the lads in at half time and there wasn’t much to tell them. Some of the football was great to watch and they would now have to dig deep to get themselves back in the game.
The second half got underway and it was obvious the Piranhas were keen to turn this one around. Cameron M and Zach L were still bursting down the wings trying to create chances. Rufus G, Thomas R and Charlie T were linking up well and making runs into space with Charlie W at the base of the unit making attacks possible. There was a real intensity about the play.
Any opportunities that Uplands had were limited by John R, Tom A, Leo M and Sam M at the back and on the rare occasion Uplands got through, they came up against Russell L whose fine form continued.
It wasn’t long before the Piranhas pressure paid off. Sam M made an outstanding tackle and clearance which was picked up on the left by Charlie T. Charlie weaved his way inside the box and slotted past the on rushing keeper.
The second goal soon followed when Charlie W picked up the ball outside the box and flashed in a shot which was well saved by the Uplands keeper. Thomas R was on hand to slot home the rebound.
Goal number three came when Thomas R unleashed a wicked drive which cannoned off the cross bar. The ball bounced around in the box before being smashed home from a tight angle by Charlie T.
With the turnaround complete, the lads quickly turned into defensive mode to see the game out, which is a real learning for the team compared to the early weeks of the season. Rufus G dropped into central midfield to support and Tom A played just in front of the defence.
I seem to say this quite a lot (as the boys reminded me!) but this was the best complete performance the team had put on so far this season. The togetherness, effort and character really shone through and showed that the team is far more important than any individual, no matter how good they are.
MOTM today went to Zach L who terrified the Uplands defence every time he got the ball. We know Zach likes to get goals, but the opportunities he creates with his trickery is just as important.
Great team mate was Tom A. Tom was solid in defence and then when we needed to see the game out, he moved to Central defensive midfield to stop attacks getting through, using whatever means necessary!
Thanks to Darren M for a great refereeing display and to Scott R for running the line. Thanks as always to the Piranhas supporters for setting the example during the minutes silence.
Next Match: 11th November 2018. Away v M&T Pumas. KO – 10.00am.