This week our goal keeper Dylan was called up, therefore wasn’t available for selection so a stand in goal keeper was required. That honor fell to Liam, normally our effective left midfield player.
So the Sharks lined up this week as follows. Liam in goal. Elliott, Jack, Giacomo, Jake, Freddie and Caleb with Josh and Aidan starting on the bench.
As the game got underway, the Sharks looked to take control of the game early on, passing the ball better than they normally do, and trying to work as a team, as the pitch remained bad and heavy, which was making the conditions testing. It became clear early on that the opposition had a great goalkeeper, small in size but with plenty character and was collecting and saving everything that was coming his way.
The Sharks formation was causing the opposition trouble, we were over loading the midfield and stopping them from playing the ball into attacking positions. As the first half was about 15mins old, the Sharks had registered a number of shots on target but the opposition goal keeper was up to the task, so it seemed that being patient and to continue pressing appeared to be in order.
The opposition managed to pull ahead through a mistake at the back by Jack, he tried to be creative in a dangerous position, if it would have come off would have been brilliant, but as it didn’t it was egg on your face time, which meant that Jack and Elliott were both caught out of position and the opposition attacker had a free run on goal. He remained calm and placed the ball just wide of Liam who was impressing in goal. This meant that the Sharks had to come from a goal down, not for the first time so everybody was remaining calm and we kept trying to play football as best as we could to draw level.
But as stated, the Sharks were enjoying a plenty of position and chances, but we were being rebuffed by this fantastic goalkeeper. Jake, Giacomo, Freddie, Jack and Elliott all having efforts on target but were all stopped and saved brilliantly.
The game was becoming a little physical, with players being fouled and complaining of fouls that was being committed and tempers were beginning to get thin with a number of the Shark players. So the first half finished with the Sharks trailing but everybody thought that it was something that could be turned around.
The second half started, and the Sharks once again pushed on to find an equalizer that would draw the game level. But the opposition continued with the physical approach to the game and on a select number of Shark players too, it became clear that tempers were beginning to go, and steps had to be taken to calm the situation.
As tensions began to raise between the players the opposition managed to extend their lead, it was harsh for the Sharks to concede, Liam pulled off a great save, but the ball dropped perfectly for the opposition attacker who didn’t need a second invitation to slot the ball home.
The Sharks continued to pond the oppositions goal, but as before the goalkeeper was having an outstanding game. If it wasn’t for the oppositions goalkeeper I am comfortable in saying that the Sharks would have been well in the lead and the game would have been over, but this wasn’t the case and a lesson that needed to learnt from this was the Sharks need to be more clinical in front of goal when faced with a good goalkeeper and to be able to work themselves into better positions to shoot from.
As the game drew to a close, it was a valuable lesson that the boys need to take note from. Sometime you do not get what you deserve with the effort that you have put in, but we will certainly need to keep applying ourselves like this, and we will win more games than we lose.
A special mention has to be given to all of the boys this week, due to testing conditions that they played in: Liam showed great character to go into goal when not feeling 100% and he should feel proud of his performance, Elliott as always was again big and strong, and rose to the physical challenge that was presented to him, Jack remained deft and skillful while also raising to the challenge when the time came. Giacomo battled away through testing conditions, he tried to play football in the right way whenever possible, Caleb played brilliantly, tracking back and being disciplined when needed and also rising to the challenge, Aidan also remained skillful under the pressure that was applied to him, producing good crosses and passes too, Freddie showed that he was able to adapt and play another position when required, keeping calm under pressure too, Josh tried his hardest as normal, giving everything within his capabilities, and last but not least our returning Shark Jake, he showed great endeavor with his running and ball carrying, and hard game back for him but pleased to have him back in the fold regardless.
So we move onto next week our last game before Xmas, so fingers crossed we can come away with a positive result and help with our Christmas cheer.
Once again thanks to my parents for all the effort and support that they are giving to the boys and me.