The team looked lively and ready after a good pre-match warm up with Steve and myself.
Oliver R - the stand-in Captain for the day in place of last week’s MoTM Christian J, absent for this weeks encounter, won the coin toss and the Stingray’s kicked off.
After early exchanges, it was clear the opposition were a strong team from defense to attack, but better teams the Stingray’s have beaten so confidence was high on the touchline.
Strong defending as usual by the defensive trio of George D, George W and Oliver R as well as some tough midfield battling by Ollie W and Spencer S protected Freddie G in goal who really did not have too much to do. At the other end, Ryan E and Jasiu C were trying their best to create some chances, but were also met by a good defensive display by the opposition - it was a bit of a stalemate.
Finally the deadlock was broken - a soft goal for the opposition. For once, our defence switched off and left a player unmarked on the RH corner of the penalty box, who had time to take a pass from the left hand side and place it into the far corner before any defenders could get across to make the block.
The Stingrays responded strongly, continuing to battle for possession and move the ball forward with every chance. It was soon rewarded - with battling from Ollie W in the middle to win the ball and played through to Ryan E who left the opposition defense in his wake, flicking the ball with the outside of his boot past the opposition goalkeeper.
It was an impressive goal, but it was topped by the celebration with the team combining to create the ‘Gone Fishing’ - see youtube.com/watch?v=82wM8s-_2RM if you are not familiar!!
The opposition manager wasn’t impressed by the boys fantastic celebration but our team is all about enjoying the game and having fun - win, lose or draw!!
The half time whistle soon followed - scores level at 1-1.
The 2nd half kicked off with the players refreshed and refuelled. The early exchanges were pretty even with chances for both sides, but as the half went on the Stingrays performance level dropped and the opposition took control. The boys stopped working and marking, especially in and around the box, which allowed the opposition to score 5 without return - probably all could have been prevented if the boys were at their normal level.
The game finished 6-1.
Whether or not it was tired legs which took its toll - only one sub available today, but I know we are a lot better. As the Manager, one thing I took away was how the substitutes are managed when we have only one available. If we rotate the subs more frequently through all the team and throughout the game, this should help to keep the boys as fresh as possible - the plan for next time!
Therefore, not our day on the field, but the boys were back to their usual high spirits soon after the final whistle. MotM was Ryan E for yet another fine performance, rewarded with yet another great goal!
Thanks to Steve Rowell for another fine refereeing performance - I know that was not an easy one - thanks to all who helped set up and put away, and of course thank you for your fantastic support!!
Next Game: Away v Tiptree JobServe Blues.