3 - Louis F 7 - Cameron M
4 - Tom A 8 - Charlie W
5 - Leo M 9 - Zach L
6 - Harry H 10 - Charlie T
Today, finally the team were able to get a game against local rivals Dunmow Rhodes Tigers, who taught the Piranhas a bit of a lesson in their previous meeting earlier in the season. With the rain over the last couple of days, the decision was made to reverse the fixture away from Laundry Lane to Rhodes home pitch. A decision that proved to be correct as the Flitch Green surface was in great condition.
The lack of football showed in the warm-ups with things looking a little disjointed. We sat the team down and asked them to focus on working hard and demonstrated the positional spaces we wanted them to get into, with and without the ball.
Sam M has been ill so was unavailable for the game, the only player missing from the squad. Charlie T started in goal. Tom A and Leo M lined in defence. Zach L, Harry H and Cameron M made up the midfield and Charlie W was up front. Louis F started on the bench.
The referee called captain Charlie T to the centre circle to meet his opposite number and the Piranhas got the game underway.
It wouldn’t be unexpected to see the team start slowly with the lack of recent game time, however, it was quite the opposite. The team started with the bit between their teeth. The passing football exhibited by the Piranhas in the opening ten minutes was fantastic and their opponents simply couldn’t live with them.
The front four of Cameron M, Zach L, Harry H and Charlie W terrorised the Rhodes defence which soon gave way. Great football on the right saw Harry H slip in Cameron M who finished smartly. The second was soon to follow, with some great work on the left by the ever, tricky Zach L finding Harry H who played the ball into Charlie W who finished confidently.
Inevitably Rhodes came back into the game following the initial shock delivered by the Piranhas. At that point, the team started to lose a bit of shape and were looking a little panicky. All of a sudden Rhodes were quicker to the ball and the defensive unit had to be on their toes. Leo M and Tom A had everything covered, as did Louis F when he came on. All three of these lads marshalled their area smartly and made strong challenges to keep Rhodes at bay. Charlie T in goal had a couple of saves to make which he did well.
Rhodes pressure soon paid off and they managed to pull a goal back before half time.
At half time, we heaped praise on the boys who had all worked really hard. We explained how they had started to allow Rhodes back into the game and reminded them to keep their shape. Tom A went in goal, Louis F moved into central defence. Charlie W moved to the right of midfield and Charlie T went up front.
The team took on the half time instructions superbly and produced a second half even better than the first.
Tom A made light work of the few Rhodes chances that came his way. Leo M and Louis F were imperious at the back, looking like a really accomplished defensive pairing. The energy from the midfield players was outstanding, protecting the defence whilst linking the attack.
Going forward Charlie W, Zach L and Cameron M terrorised the defenders in yellow. Charlie T was making great runs pulling Rhodes this way and that and Harry H was pulling the strings from the middle of the park.
The goals soon started to flow and Cameron M was first to profit following a quick throw into Charlie T. Charlie moved the ball over to Harry H who found Cameron M in space who finished well for his second.
Harry H got the goal he deserved following some battling work down the left by Cameron M whose cross found Harry in acres of space and he finished comfortably.
Harry H was again involved as he passed to Charlie T on the edge of the box who smashed a shot into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. The goal scoring was complete.
It was a fantastic performance by the whole team with the most pleasing aspect being how they took the half time words on board and implemented them in the second half.
The performance today came as a result of how hard every player worked and any one of them could have got MOTM. The award though went to Harry H whose shear effort earned him four assists and a goal for himself.
Thanks to Rhodes for a great game and thanks to the Piranhas faithful for their continued support.
Well Done Lads!