We got off to a bad start by leaving free space at the back, from which the opposition managed to take advantage and score in the 1st minute: 1-0. To further compound our ineffective start to the game, in the next attack the opposition managed to find another gap in our defence which they used and in the 2nd minute they made 2-0.
With that said, the players showed great attitude to not let their heads drop and started to work their way back into the game. The midfielders noticed the issues and started to plug the gaps at the back to reduce the spaces. Further to that, we started to focus on counter-attacking when possible as the opposition were committing numerous men forward and therefore leaving gaps in behind. With our quick turnovers, we were quickly transitioning from our half into their box and overloading their defenders.
In the 7th minute, we got back into the game as one of our counter-attacks proved its worth. Westye got the ball around the touch line and struck a powerful shot, which the keeper managed to parry, but Ryan was in the right place at the right time and confidently headed the ball into the net: 2-1.
We continued to improve from here on in and the game started to become evenly balanced. Up front, our midfielders were supporting the strikers and we were becoming dangerous in attack.
In the 10th minute, a curious moment lead to us stopping play thinking that there was a referee whistle, but it turned out not to be so and the opposition used the situation to get another goal: 3-1. Playing to the whistle is what we learnt from this unusual event.
Nevertheless, we continued with our good performance. The players stuck together and played as a team. The midfielders were working hard and giving their best to close every space on the pitch. Up front, we were more and more dangerous.
In the 15th minute, the opposition caved in to another of our counter attacks. Westye got the ball in the opposition final third, managed to outrun two of their defenders on the way to the goal, and just entering the penalty box send a powerful and accurate shot into the goal: 3-2. Fantastic play!
We wanted to keep the ball, our strikers were looking for space and asking for the ball all the time. Midfielders were playing quick and looking forward every time we got the ball. At the back we were solid, our defenders were closing down, and marking very well. Teo had his moments and saved everything that was coming to him. Up front we were creating chances and at moments we were outplaying the opposition.
In the last 5 minutes of the first half however, we appeared to lose focus and gave away a quick flurry of goals which ended the first half 7-2 to the opposition.
We started the second half much better. We were very well organised defensively. Our defenders were giving no space for the opposition. Midfielders always were there closing the gaps and asking for the ball. We were confident in keeping the ball, and that made the opposition leave gaps at the back. We were creating chances up front. Our midfielders were constantly running, chasing, creating space, opening gaps and there were points were we were the better team on the pitch. The defenders played very solid, and Teo was doing his part very well in goal.
Having started the second half so well, it was a shame that we conceded a second penalty in the match which the opposition converted. Despite this, there was some excellent leadership and spirit amongst our team as the boys showed willingness to get the ball back to the halfway line and go again.
Despite the scoreline. we continued to create chances up front, our midfielders were looking very good, and at moments we were attacking with overloads, and we had good opportunities in their half. In the 18th minute however, we lost focus for a slight moment which gave the opposition the opportunity to shoot from distance and take game to 9-2. Going into the last 10 minutes of the game, we gave our all and continued to push forwards knowing that this was risky and we would leave space behind us – however at this stage of the game, the we were happy to take the risk. We created a few chances but unfortunately were unable to convert any. The oppositon on the other hand, coutner attacked effectively and and scored 3 more goals in the last 10 minutes to end the game 12-2.
In this game, we showed how much our mentality had grown. When we were up against it, we were not pointing fingers, rather we stuck together and continued to to work together until the final whistle, which was great to see.