Hayes & Yeading were today’s hosts for the Foxes. The weather wasn’t too bad but the pitch was very wet and slippery which was always going to play a part in today’s game. It was just as well it wasn’t raining, as it could’ve got worse.
For the second week in a row we were short on players and went into the game with only 9. Just like last week it was a disadvantage to us because tired legs soon became our enemy and to make matters worse both teams were heading into the game looking to win their first set of points.
The hosts kicked off and applied pressure very early on which put us onto the back foot. We struggled to find any rhythm and we allowed one or two attempts on goal through poor tackling and closing down. Whenever we managed to clear our lines and go forward we looked good with a few passes out wide allowing James and Owen to get down the wings. However we couldn’t make use of the possession. After 10 minutes or so we conceded our 1st goal. It was a poor goal kick that found the opposing striker who took no 2nd invite to bury the ball.
The team took it on the chin and went searching for the equaliser. Chances were created and chances were missed. To my frustration it was the decision making in the opposing area, which became our downfall. Being caught in two minds whether to pass or shoot was the ultimate decision and it was usually the incorrect one. What was disappointing about this was we practiced this in training the day before. Nevertheless it was good to see us create chances.
Hayes & Yeading soon notched their 2nd of the game when we were caught out on the counter attack and they punished us for it. With still time to play we knew we could get back into the game as one goal would be all we needed because we knew heads would drop. The team thought we did just that when Ciaran went racing through on goal but saw his shot came crashing off of the post.
The half time whistle went and we came in 2-0 down. At the half we discussed about our decision-making and the need for finishing our chances off. It wasn’t going to be easy though because Hayes & Yeading were full of confidence but we went out knowing we could do some damage as we have always come out on top in previous games after the break.
The Foxes restarted the game and we tried to push forward at every opportunity to see if we could carve our way through the opposition. Pat and James were linking up well together with one or two good passes but we could never finish the move off, as the defenders were not going to allow us through as easily as we were hoping. The second half took a wrong turn when the 3rd goal flew in. It wasn’t for a case of trying to score but we caught on the counter attack and suddenly 3-0 down. This then opened the floodgates as we started to lose shape, concentration and all basics. I’m not saying we gave up because we didn’t at all; it was a case of just losing the focus and allowing simple errors to become big problems. The 4th goal came from not following our man, as Alexis, who was again drawing all the plaudits from the opposition, made a crucial save but could only parry it into the path of the unmarked striker.
The Foxes still looked for a way back into the game and continued to get the ball forward. We did go close on a few occasions but again we just couldn’t utilise them and get the goals we wanted. Both James and Ciaran had a couple of efforts go wide or saved by the goalkeeper.
Hayes & Yeading’s 5th goal was an example of what we should’ve been doing when in attacking from wide areas. The opposing midfielder found some space out wide, broke through the defence, cut inside and placed the ball into the far post. Tackles from the Foxes were inconsistent as we would make some excellent tackles but then balance it out with some poor efforts to win the ball. This became more apparent as the game wore on because of tiredness and not being able to substitute anyone off. To coincide with this the 6th goal was just unfortunate because we were pressing for a goal but lost possession and found ourselves watching the opposition race off down the field and pop the ball home. Tracking back and winning the ball back as soon as possible is key to success but we just couldn’t find that boost or hunger to do so.
James came the close at the end of the half with an effort that shaved the post and bounce out to safety, to the relief of the opposing defender that had just been out skilled and left standing still.
The final whistle came and to be honest, you could see the relief on the team’s faces that it was over. The team never gave up the chase and for that I give them full credit. We’re a team really down on our luck at the moment but some how the boys still give it their all and one day they will be rewarded for their efforts. What we must do is try to improve on our decision-making as it really shot us in the foot today because of the chances missed.
Thank you to all of those who came out to support the team and if we keep the faith our time will come. Big thanks to Rob who ran the line. Not an easy task but it is always appreciated.