A Game Of Two Halves
Today left rather a sour taste in the mouth, a really good first half performance followed by a really poor second.
I had hoped by switching the game to Silver Jubilee Park we would have an edge as we all know the surface and the size of the pitch. The early minutes of the game appeared to confirm my decision as we played the ball around nicely and created some half chances.
Unfortunately a Sandridge corner was not dealt with and one of their tall forwards headed home from close range, albeit against the run of play.
Heads however did not drop and within ten minutes we drew level, a long drop kick from Alex was headed on by Zack to Conall who beat the defender for pace and cooly slotted home.
Shortly after that we went 2-1 up with a pile driver from Joel from the edge of the box, I don’t think their keeper saw the ball till he picked it out of the net.
Unfortunately as we approached half time Sandridge equalised with what was to prove our Achilles heel throughout the game, a long punt forward which we didn’t deal with adequately leaving their forward a clear run on goal, which he duly despatched quite clinically leaving Alex little chance.
As we reached the interval our coach, Jamie, tried to instil the pertinent instructions on how to play the second half, clearly his words fell on deaf ears !!!!
Whether it was because James had to take a breather or Chike being forced to retire with an injury but we just didn’t seem to be able to compete as well as we had in the first half, SJP is a big pitch which saps the legs but Sandridge were playing on the same ground but seemed fitter and continued with their long ball tactics which we found increasingly difficult to repel.
A shocking ten minute spell saw us concede 3 goals and effectively ended the match albeit
Zack managed to pull one back with a left foot shot following a free kick from James which rebounded to him.
The next goal was to prove crucial, if we could of scored I would of expected a late surge and possibly even an equaliser, suffice to say Sandridge popped in the next and then finished us off with a penalty.
7-3 is a harsh scoreline, we played some good football in spells but tiredness and an inability to defend a long ball were to prove our undoing.
I am however very conscious that the team is not performing as a unit, I am not going to highlight who played well and who didn’t as you each know which category you fall into. There will however be significant changes made to the playing rosta and players positions in the coming weeks as I do not relish the idea of coming bottom of the Division.
ETFC U/16 White.