Today was the first game in this season’s Spring Plate, a tournament of 10 teams split into two groups with the top two from each progressing to semi-finals.
We started our journey with an away fixture against St Albans Rangers of the white division
We started extremely strongly having the lion share of the possession and playing most of the game in their third of the pitch. We were winning the ball in mid-field well and James was creating all sorts of having up-front linking with the mid-field and in particular with Adam.
We did not manage to put the ball in the net however until 15 minutes in when we introduced Alex who, within 2 minutes of coming on hit a shot from not much more than 5 yards inside of the right hand touchline and a good 25 yards out to see the ball fly into the far left of the goal, leaving the goalkeeper no chance at all.
Whilst we have found in recent weeks that it takes something like that to spark us into life, this time it seemed to have the opposite effect as whilst we remained strong for another 5 minutes or so, St Albans started to galvanise themselves and we did not rise to the challenge. St albans crafted one or two chances in that last 5 minutes or so of the half but we managed to make it to half-time at 1-0
We switched from a 4-3-1 formation to 3-4-1 at half time to try and win more ball In mid-field given we weren’t doing that towards the end of the half but the reality is, when the going got tough, only one team got going and none of the boys covered themselves in glory for the next 30 minutes.
St Albans drew level early in the half and then a poorly weighted back-pass to the goalkeeper gifted them a second goal.
To our credit, we did pull a goal back to level the score at 2-2 pretty much immediately as both Dillan and James broke through, got a shot off on target and Alex followed up to get his second of the game when the keeper failed to hold onto the ball.
With 5 minutes to go, our fate was sealed as we continued not to put pressure on the opposition and they broke through to tale a 3-2 lead
We did were unlucky not to get an equaliser with an Adam free kick a the death, but the reality was the team that wanted it most today ran out deserved winners.