1 - Charlie W 7 - Cameron M
3 - Louis F 9 - Zach L
4 - Tom A 10 - Charlie T
5 - Leo M 11 - Sam M
6 - Harry H
Fresh off the back of a disappointing performance the week before, the lads would be keen to get back to their normal football. In training we had gone back to basics - quick passing football - just what the Piranhas are good at.
Wilvale also play in orange so it was a rare appearance for the Blue Dunmow kit. The team got about their warm-ups well, continuing the theme of short passes, and were looking good. We have explained to the boys that we are looking for a permanent Captain and Vice-Captain for the rest of the season so would be observing their overall behaviour and effort in the next few weeks to see who would get the honour.
Charlie T was captain for this match as a reward for his effort and attitude in training. He, along with a number of others have made a good start in the run-in for skipper so let’s see how it shapes up. The team talk to the lads was simple - forget the last game, go back to basics, work as a team, talk and encourage and ENJOY IT! The two captains shook hands and the Piranhas got the game under way.
Now the team clearly followed the messages they were given, however, there was one extra that they just pulled out of the bag of their own accord! The boys came out of the blocks like Ussain Bolt! The passing was crisp, the tempo was high and the combination play was outstanding! I have not seen the team start like this for some time, they were clearly up for battle.
Going forward, Harry H and Charlie T were linking brilliant with the two wide players Zach L and Cameron M. The passing and movement between these four was causing Wilvale all sorts of problems. They did not know what had hit them. The lads had three or four good chances inside the first five minutes.
Obviously the key is to take advantage when you are dominating spells in games and the Piranhas did exactly that. A shot from Cameron M was saved by the keeper and Wilvale stopped because they thought the ball was going out. Zach L and Harry H didn’t switch off though and Harry slammed in for the opening goal. Nothing more than the team deserved.
After the initial shock, the team from Chelmsford inevitably came into the game and mounted some attacks of their own. Tom A and Sam M were looking very assured in defence, as was Leo M when he came into the action. They were all positionally aware and making some great tackles. Wilvale made some more good chances but not only did they face a defence in determined mood, they also came up against Charlie W in his best form, making some outstanding saves including one that he stopped right on the goal-line. I thought the ref had given a goal but he had seen it and made the right decision - great refereeing.
Louis F came into the midfield and made an instant impact and, after latching on to a through pass from Charlie T, Louis slid the ball past the on-rushing keeper for the important second goal. As the half went on there were more chances for Charlie T, Harry H, Zach L and Cameron M with their efforts being saved or just missing the target. The lads didn’t get down-hearted they just kept playing their football.
At the other end, Wilvale continued to create but Tom A had the defence really well marshalled whilst Sam M and Leo M put in crunching challenges to deny the threat on goal.
As the half time whistle went, the boys came in and took their well-deserved drinks. It was an easy team talk - more of the same please! Cameron M went in goal and Charlie W came out on the left.
The second half started a little slower than the first, however, the pattern of the match remained as team continued to press. Wilvale had certainly come back into the game and started to have a few efforts on goal but Cameron M was doing a great job between the sticks, looking assured with his handling. Charlie W was causing new problems on the left and Zach L continued to probe down the right. Louis F came into the defence for a while but the result was the same - solid committed defending.
The third and final Piranhas goal came when Charlie T hit a shot that was well saved by the keeper and Harry H was there to pick up the pieces with a finish from a tight angle.
As the energy levels inevitably dropped, Wilvale pulled a couple of goals back to make it a nervy finish but on the balance of play, I think the Dunmow boys deserved their result.
A really big thanks to Wilvale. A great team with a great attitude. Probably similar to ourselves which is why we always get such a great game against them - two teams playing the game in the right way. Good luck to them for the rest of the season.
I am extremely proud of how the lads picked themselves up after the last game and the effort shown today to turn things around was superb. We may have to make blue the default kit if it produces these performances each week!
Thanks to the Piranhas travelling support. The six Piranhas matches this season have yielded thirty three goals so at least the fans get entertained each week!!
Thanks again to new ‘unofficial’ Piranhas photographer, Richard W, for more great pics.
Well done lads!
Next match - No game next weekend.