So, the Sharks lined up as follows, Dylan in goal, Elliott, Jack, Giacomo, Jake, Caleb and Aidan, with Josh, Liam, and Harry starting on the bench. With reg cards exchanged it was surprising to notice that they had 2 goalkeepers within their team, and with the last game between us going in the Sharks favour it could only mean that the opposition have managed to strengthen that position, this could be a testing game, and with the team not playing together for a while it was important that we stuck together and raised our game to get the desired result we wanted.
The game got underway at a hectic pace, with both teams trying to impose themselves on the game, but the sharks seemed to be getting the better of the early exchanges, with the midfield of Giacomo, Aidan, Caleb and Jack all pressing the play and giving the opposition very little time on the ball.
Aidan and Caleb had started the game well, with Aidan playing some cracking through balls for Jake and Giacomo to run onto, and with Caleb doing a solid job on the left-hand side of midfield tracking back when needed as well pushing on when given the chance. The Sharks managed to register the first shot on target with only 7/9 minutes played, the ball was played through by Jack to Giacomo who managed to get his shot in early only to be denied by a very good save from the opposition’s new goalkeeper. This set the tone for the opening 15 minutes, with Dylan being a spectator with very little to do, apart from taking goal kicks and running after the ball when the oppositions’ attacks where thwarted by the Sharks defence.
The Sharks Managed to take the lead around the 17 minute mark, with the team playing well trying to pass the ball into space for the more attack minded players to score that first goal that we so richly deserved, and the break through came via the right foot of Giacomo, with Liam and Harry both doing well in midfield the ball was played forward to Giacomo. He managed to control the ball causing confusion in the oppositions’ defence before lashing home into the roof of the net giving the goalkeeper no chance to save it.
With the lead the Sharks begun to forget once again that passing the ball is better than trying to run the length of the pitch with the ball and then getting caught out of position causing the Sharks a problem as the opposition was exploiting the space that was being left in behind them.
This made the Sharks look jaded, and we begun to bunch as everyone wanted to have the ball, we lost our shape and it begun to look a struggle. But thankfully the Sharks managed to get to half time still with the advantage that Giacomo had given us.
With some small adjustments, and a reminder that the ball never gets tired, so that means that they need to pass the ball to each other more when we started the second half.
It was a positive start for the Sharks again, but the opposition clearly had changed something as they were more of a threat going forward this half and Dylan was more involved, but on the whole the Sharks still looked comfortable and we were getting chances to extend our lead. The Sharks were then awarded a penalty for hand ball in the box, Jack being the Sharks penalty taker, was given the responsibility of converting this chance. Jack’s track record is pretty good so we were confidant that this would continue, Jack placed the ball and struck it, but missed the target on this occasion. Fortunately the Sharks didn’t have to wait much longer before extending their lead.
With the game remaining close the chances were still falling to both teams, but the Sharks then managed to extend the lead with about 10/15minutes gone of the second, with some good defensive work from Harry and Elliott, the ball broke to Jack who controlled it well, skipped a challenge, before playing a great through ball to Jake, who deceived one defender before rounding another with the goal at his mercy, he slotted the ball home fantastically well giving the goalkeeper no chance to prevent it from going in.
This seemed to boast the Sharks and deflate the opposition at the same time, and with 7/8minutes remaining it seemed like it was going to be a positive result for the Sharks. With everyone playing their part the Sharks look strong, even though a little ring rusty because they haven’t played together for a while. It was pleasing to see the boys apply themselves in this way.
The Sharks weren’t finished with the goal scoring, as they managed to add another through Jack, making up for the penalty miss earlier, with more good work though Aidan, Josh, Liam and Elliott the ball broke to Jack, who was about 15 yards from goal, rather than striking the ball cleanly Jack toe poked the ball goalward as hard as he could and it did the trick, as it evaded everyone even the goalkeeper who just let it slip past him without even trying to stop it. He must have been unsighted because the opposition goalkeeper had proved that he was a very good keeper and this type of effort normally wouldn’t have beaten him.
With the game now settled, it was now about keeping a clean sheet for Dylan, but unfortunately the Sharks were not able to do so, with the dying seconds left on the clock the opposition managed to score, to be honest they deserved it with their team spirt and fight, and their never give up approach.
So the Sharks remain unbeaten, and we look forward to next week with figures crossed that the bad weather and rain has stopped and we can continue this great run of form.