1 - Charlie W 6 - Harry H
3 - Louis F 7 - Cameron M
4 - Tom A 9 - Zach L
5 - Leo M 10 - Charlie T
Rhodes have moved to a lovely new ground down at Flitch Green, and despite a bit of long grass, the pitch looked great it the afternoon sun. The Piranhas were really happy with their transfer business which they completed early in the window, picking up tricky winger Zach L from the Stingrays for an undisclosed fee, although they were a little disappointed to lose the ‘Mini-Messi’ Etien H, on deadline day to a late bid from Barcelona. Good luck Etien!
The team had one injury concern with Sam M missing out after picking up a facial injury whilst away on international duty, following his mum Louise into A&E after her alleged roller skating incident (still unclear if there was alcohol involved)!
During the warm-up, it would be fair to say that Ross and I had our work cut out to keep the lads under control which we have put down to it being the first match of the season. The Rhodes boys looked more focused and it was clear they were two or three weeks ahead of the Piranhas in their preparation.
Charlie W and Harry H were joint captain today as they both celebrated their birthdays in the last week.
The referee got the match underway.
Despite all the giddiness in the warm-up, it was certainly the Piranhas who started the brightest getting their football flowing and creating the better chances. Zach L was causing havoc down the left side and getting crosses into the box which Rhodes defended well.
Tom A and Leo M started at the back and between them and Charlie W kept anything Rhodes had at bay. Tom was organising brilliantly and Leo was closing down and winning every ball. Harry H was picking the ball up from his defenders and driving forward with Charlie T working hard to get up and down the right side.
Cameron M was making some good runs up front, but the Piranhas’ decision making in the final third was just a little off - not surprising really and this will get better as we move forward. Louis F came into the game in defence to partner Tom A and was outstanding, picking up where Leo left off.
Rhodes inevitably came back into the match, and took a created a couple of chances which they took well giving a halftime score that was a little hard on the Piranhas but that is what will happen in this league if you don’t take your chances. Despite picking the ball out of the net twice, Charlie W didn’t really have much else to do in goal.
At half time, the boys were absolutely shattered so we knew the second half was going to be tough. Tom A had picked up a slight knock so he went in goal. Charlie W came out into defence. Louis F stayed at the back and between him and Charlie W, they remained strong at the back.
As the game became a little stretched both teams continued to create chances, and as with the first half, Rhodes decision making was just a little better in this early season match.
Harry H was still bursting forward to support the attackers. Leo M moved out to the right and Zach L came into the centre and a lot of the spaces were closed down keeping Rhodes at arm’s length. Cameron M came out to left midfield and created the goal that the team deserved. Zach L won the ball in midfield and passed out to Cameron M, Cameron spotted Charlie T through middle and played a lofted pass which Charlie T ran onto and smashed home.
The final score line flattered Rhodes a bit in the end but certainly gave the lads a few things to think about with the main one being that they need to turn up to every match focused and ready for action. As soon as the whistle went to start the match, they all gave 100% effort as they always do and every player left everything they had out on that pitch.
There are no concerns about the outcome as we know that once we have a couple of games under our belt, the results will come again. Last season we lost the first two matches then went ten unbeaten, so there is no reason to lose faith.
Debutant Zach L was Man of the Match for his tireless running. Louis F ran him close with an outstanding defensive display but I think Zach covered every blade of grass so he just pipped Louis to the award.
Well done to the organised Dunmow Rhodes, they are always a formidable foe and we look forward to battling again in the future. Thanks to the Piranhas loyal supporters for the continued encouragement they always give the team.
Well done lads!
Next match - Home v SWF Lions. 1pm KO.