Start of the Year brought us the start of our Northey Division journey. Away to Dunmow Rhodes Panthers was a good opportunity to see whether the 5 weeks without a game impacted us.
Missing our top scorer in William was a shame, although enabled others to step up and show their capabilities. Starting with Josh, Henry, Cullen, Maksim & Joseph, we made a solid start and the two teams probed each others defences to see the opportunities.
Little was given by either side and there was some nice movements by both teams aswell as individual skill. Plenty of running by the Vikings but every break was snuffed out by some good defence and goalkeeping by the Panthers. Jess, Angus and Bastien came on and we had more of the same up and down, probing and running. Josh pulled off a few nice stops, including one on one's, but eventually we conceeded , which was tough to take.
We continued to commit players and in the morning sun, the lack of more passing play hurt us as we were doing too much running which fatigued some of our team. Great efforts but definately made it harder.
We went into the break behind but came out and took the game to them. Again, much running but without the accurate passes it worked against us, especially with some great speedy recovery by Rhodes. Cullen, Angus & Henry were strong in the middle and Cullen unleashed a lovely shot but onto the post. Jess and Maxsim were looking for the link up and gave their all in supporting the defense this week. Angus was all over the park, battling and trying to create and likewise Joseph was like a dynamo. Plenty of effort by all but just needed to be a bit smarter and let the ball do more work.
Josh pulled off some more smart saves, a great one getting in between the attacker and the ball late on but after taking a kick to his thigh (free kick ref ? ) we lost another goal and Josh, with Jess going into goal for the last couple. The game ended, fairly close score to be honest, little difference apart from Rhodes finished their chances and we didn't . Good opposition and played in good spirit. Well done both teams.