Today u12 match against AC Finchley was certainly one of drama for the neutral, albeit maybe not quite the result we had set out to achieve.
The first half was one of relatively little drama, the two sides were fairly evenly match, although playing with the slope, Finchley certainly had more chances on goal than ourselves, but we went into the break very much thinking that this was a team that we could and should get on top of.
The second half, however, contained two short periods that were full of action and controversy that ultimately determined the final score.
The incidence started in the 48th minute when Sammy finally broke through the Finchley defence and poked the ball past the keeper into the far corner of the goal. The ball apparently went into the goal and rebounded out off the side netting but the referee deemed it not to have crossed the line and did not allow the goal to stand. To compound matters, Finchley reacted immediately, ran the ball into our half where a challenge by Ben was deemed to be a foul, with a penalty awarded, when in reality it was more likely just a mismatch in terms of size and strength.
AC Finchley converted their penalty to make the score 1 – 0 and immediately attacked us from the kick-off to go 2-0 up, all I the space of 2 minutes.
At this point we had less than 10 minutes of the game to go and a mountain to climb.
It now looked like Finchley were only going to compound the issue as we simply did not get close enough to their men in midfield and in the following 7 or 8 minutes, Matt had to make 4 or 5 saves to just keep the score respectable.
That hard work from Matt paid off when in the final minute James broke through to net what seemed like a consolation goal and with the referee allowing for a minute of extra time, James broke through again and rolled the ball into the net to take the score to 2-2.
A game of two ‘mad’ periods, one where we can thank our lucky starts that we did come away with a point, but also kick ourselves for not taking control of a game that we really should have done.
Man of the match strictly should have gone to Matt for some tremendous saves that made a come back even possible, but ultimately awarded to James for not giving up on the game when all seemed lost with a minute to go.