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Hard Battle

Away to Ashfordby we were given a hard lesson from the off today, the sun was low and blaring into our eyes and Asfordby started with some high pressing from the start and lovely through balls trying to play through our lines.

It took some shrewd defending from our defensive line up of Matty and Jack who were busy blocking the runs along the flanks. Centre backs Luke and Cameron were solid with Cam saving our skins a fair few times. They all worked really hard to keep the flurry of attacks at bay with Rocco in goal making some fine saves and great long balls out.

After 10 minutes Asfordby managed to plough through the left side to cut a goal in to the bottom right corner.

The match was end to end excitement and on the 28th minute, Evan broke through with a dribble into the right hand side of the box placing a great shot past the finger tips of the goalkeeper.

Then off a counter attack, from a run forward in the 34th minute, the sun blaring into our eyes we were caught out, a play through the centre lobbing a ball over the top of our defenders and goalkeeper, only for them to finish off with a tap into bottom left corner.

Into the last minute of the first half a surging run from the left by us making a quick switch of play to the right letting Finn make a break to the touch line with a lovely cutback to Evan making a run towards the box and being fouled inside the right side of the penalty area to give us a penalty.

Luke having asked me in pre warmup session if he could take a penalty if one came up wasted no time when the opportunity arose, he calmly walked up to the spot, placed it down took three paces back, ran and pounded a shot straight down the middle like a rocket, for the perfect penalty goal.

3-2 down at half time, led us to jig our formation a little and bolster our midfield to control a little bit more of the play.

Thinking we would now benefit from the bright sunshine in the second half, this was not meant to be, the sun went behind the clouds and it was a tough second half.

Asfordby are a tough and physical team and a few of our players suffered their wrath. But our boys are not shy in coming forward and batlling through their pains, bruises and injuries, fighting the fight.

Midfielder Osayd, AJ, Lucas, Evan and Tom worked hard, and battled for control, but managed to supply forward some great balls to Ollie in striker position and wingers Finn and Massimo to make a succession of attacks only to be met by opposition defenders and goalkeeper. Eventually 20 minutes into the second half an attack up the centre led by a ball fed from Tom out to the right wing to Finn, who put in a lovely cross into the middle of the penalty area only to be headed out by the defender to the far left of the penalty area, fortunately finding Massimo who shimmied by one defender and curled a shot by two defenders and goalkeeper to find the top right corner of the goal. To give him the equaliser and his debut goal for the club and team. Gotta say bit of a proud Dad moment and Manager too.

Man of the match award goes to Massimo this week for gaining the equaliser but also assisting in some fine runs and some great crosses into the goal mouth that led to multiple attempts on goal by Ollie and others.

The final 10 minutes we led the game more and seemed to control the pace better, but just couldn't find the winner.

My verdict is this was a hard game jumping up technically 3 divisions and not knowing what to expect we battled against a strong disciplined team. Had we of had the same advantage of the sunshine in the second half we probably would have won. However no excuses, we fought hard to get the draw, even with injured players, we took the fight to them. Good performance in the end and a great start to the spring season.

Keep the fight going boys always proud of your achievements.

Well done Juniors for getting a draw aswell. 4 goals for Ollie and one for Zac I was told it was an exciting match too.

Special thanks to Omar and Rico for running the lines for our resident Linesman Danny, who took time off this weekend to get engaged to Kully our Welfare, huge congratulations from all at Phoenix.

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