3 - Louis F 8 - Charlie W
4 - Tom A 9 - Zach L
5 - Leo M 10 - Charlie T
6 - Harry H 11 - Sam M
7 - Cameron M
Following the monumental effort from last weekend and the ultimate disappointment at the end of the game, the lads wanted to get a fast start to put that behind them. There was a full squad to choose from, with all players returning from injury or international duty.
The warm-up routines had gone well and our opponents were ready so referee for the game, Mark Francis, called the two captains together for the coin toss.
The team lined up with Charlie T starting in goal, Leo M and Louis F in front of him in defence, Tom A in the middle of the park flanked by Zach L and Cameron M on the wings with Charlie W up top. Sam M and Harry H started on the bench today.
In stark contrast to the previous week, the pattern of the match was determined very early with the team in orange dominating their opponents from the first minute to the last. Charlie T in goal had very little to do apart from dealing with a couple of back-passes, with Louis F and Leo M taking complete control of the game from defence. Tom A is starting to look really comfortable in that position just in front of the defenders and everything was starting to come through him. It was Tom’s endeavour that created the first goal when he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and his fierce shot was only parried by the keeper, the ever-willing Zach L was on hand to slot home the rebound. Fully deserved!
Cameron M and Charlie W were making a nuisance of themselves early in the game and it was that combination which created the second goal. Cameron M went on a driving run down the right before finding Charlie W who shifted the ball onto his left and finished well.
Sam M and Harry H came into the game and picked up the pace really quickly. Sam comfortable in his defensive role and Harry creating from midfield.
The game continued in this fashion until half time with the only slight concern being the relatively low score line. The lads were really inventive in their play from throws and corners but on occasion were trying to be too intricate rather than getting some shots away.
We got the lads in and were full of praise for how they had forgotten the disappointment of the previous week and were really taking the game to Valley Green. We also heaped praise about how inventive they were being trying to keep the ball, as well as encouraging them to be braver in front of goal. Tom A went in goal, with Charlie T coming on up front.
The second half continued in much the same way as the first. Tom A had a couple of routine saves to make. Leo M was absolutely dominant at the back ably supported by Sam M. Louis F is such a versatile player and popped up in all areas of the pitch. His reading and understanding of the game has improved so much.
The more forward-thinking players Harry H, Cameron M, Charlie W, Zach L and Charlie T were linking up and moving brilliantly causing Valley Green all sorts of problems and it wasn’t long before the goals began to follow.
Charlie T picked up the ball in the middle of the pitched and danced his way past two defenders before finishing with his left foot. His second soon followed, after some great battling on the right by Louis F saw him find Charlie in the middle whose shot flew past the keeper.
Charlie T then completed his hat-trick with a long-range effort which found the top corner. The score line was starting to feel a bit more realistic, such had been the Piranhas’ dominance.
The lads had started to switch off a little as the game drifted towards the finish and some mistakes around the box saw the Piranhas concede a late goal. An area we need to work on, however we cannot be too hard on the lads given that the concentration and effort that had gone on beforehand was first class.
Another great performance from the team matched by the support from the side-lines which included our very own celebrity good Samaritan, Kev H!
Thanks to Mark for a great refereeing display, keeping the game flowing and helping the boys from both teams at every opportunity.
MOTM Today went to Charlie T who put in a real captain’s performance with three goals to top it off.
Well Done Lads!
Next Match: 22nd April. Away v Galleywood Kestrels. KO - 10am.