The Foxes were playing their 2nd league game of the season and they were home to Bessingby Park, a team who were starting their campaign with a bang. The game however was being played at the new Home Ground, Battersea Millennium Park Arena. With a pitch in the middle of an athletics track, similar to the Stadio Olimpico in Italy, the teams were lined up and ready to play.
As the Away side kicked off, we applied some early pressure and found ourselves in possession making one or two passes. It was a bright start by both teams and both teams were displaying some great football. It was pretty even for the first 10minutes. After our County Cup win last week I was watching a team who had some self-belief and confidence which allowed us to move the ball around the middle 3. However it wasn’t to be us opening the scoring as we were picking the ball out of the net on the 15th minute mark. Bessingby pounced on some lack lustre defending, burst into the area before lobbing the ball over the Keeper. It didn’t get any better for the boys in orange as the opposition soon scored their 2nd. With an intricate through ball that split the defence, the Bessingby striker raced on to tuck the ball away. Not letting their heads drop the Foxes kept pushing and pressing after the restart, but with some tough tackling they found it hard to break the opposition down. It took some fine passing and a superb run from Patrick to open the Foxes’ Goal account. A quick change of gears allowed Patrick to skip away from his marker and place the ball into the bottom corner. The game was not out of sight and a comeback was on.
As the half was playing out there seemed to be a scrappy end to it with free kicks being given to both sides as tackles were flying in and the use of hands were taking over when challenging for the ball. I personally felt that one of the free kicks we conceded was a soft one and it turned out to be a costly one. The set piece was taken and with one big kick it sailed over the entire area and into the goal. 3-1 to the Away team with only few minutes left of the Half to play. A couple of changes were made and we found a little spark to revitalise our game, encouraging us to get forward more and press high up the pitch. We were soon rewarded with a goal when the ball fell to Marco at the back who knocked it long into the opposition area where Elis, who was under pressure at the time, hit the ball 1st time and watched it roll into the opposite corner.
The half time whistle came shortly after and we were back in the game at 3-2.
Foxes kicked off the 2nd half and this half was definitely more physical than the first and it showed. Unfortunately for us I felt that the team were struggling with the physical side of things and our tackling was limited as we were seen backing out of challenges. This is something the team need to change otherwise we’ll be rolled over each week. It also increases the chances of injury too.
Changes were being made to the team more so, as we were picking up knocks and injuries all over the pitch. This caused us to lose any momentum and rhythm. Having said that it was our tracking back and keeping up with our opposite number that hurt us as Bessingby scored two soft goals. The 1st came from nobody following the rebound after the initial shot cannoned off of the crossbar and only the number 10 from Bessingby reacted and poked it home. The 2nd and their 5th came from Alexis making a good save from the long range effort but couldn’t hold onto it and parried it into the path of the on-coming striker. Those two goals were disappointing because I feel as though we would’ve gotten away with it last season but we must remember we need to challenge for every bobble, bounce and loose ball. Falling asleep will cost us goals, games and points. Being penned into our half made things really difficult for us to play our usual game and get up the field and this lead to some errors. One of those errors was being another free kick given away. The free kick was hit hard towards the middle of the goal and with no challenge made; the unmarked striker headed the ball home. 6-2 and only 10 or so minutes left of the game.
Despite the score line we did manage to score a 3rd. This time it was our turn to receive free kick due to a foul on Patrick. Sonny stepped up to the ball and struck a fantastic shot into the far corner leaving the Keeper no chance.
Full time result was 6-3 to Bessingby Park. The score line may suggest a different performance but we can definitely take many positives from today’s game. It will though, need everyone’s full concentration, determination and hunger to overcome the areas needed for improvement. We will need to regain our focus at training next week.
A big thank you goes to all of the parents who came out to support the team at the new ‘Den’. It was much appreciated. A special thank you must go to Fred who ran the Line today. It is a massive help to not only me but to the team as well.
Patrick x1 Marco x1