Our first away game of the season saw the Silvers play Parkfield Youth B at John Rumney playing fields. This ground reminded me of the secret garden, after battling with the GPS and then entering through a well concealed gate, beautiful playing surfaces bathed in sunlight opened up before us.
Looking at the surface I was filled with confidence that the quality of football would be high as there was no ditch or divot in sight. In having a good playing surface mistakes that occur will be those created from lapses in judgement and concentration, rather than that of unexpected movements of the ball due to a poor surface.
With a lack of knowledge on our opposition, other than the fact that they lost 10-1 to Wembley in their opening game and without the energy of Adrien in the centre of midfield I decided to start in a 2-5-1 formation.
Harry started in goal, Jonah and Alex occupied RCB and LCB, Ossian and Lucas began on the wings, Sasha, Gyan and Remi occupied the centre of midfield and Georges started up top.
Before the game began the Silvers huddled up where we spoke of not allowing the oppositions previous score line affect our approach, in order to achieve 3 points we must work as hard as we can from the first whistle to the last.
With the opposition setting up in a 3-4-1 formation and all the preparation complete, the ref signalled the beginning of the game.
Parkfield playing from left to right got the game under way by laying the ball back to their centre back whilst their midfield four and striker pushed forwarded to receive the long punt the centre back sent in their direction, our back line dealt with this tactic well and got the ball down so we could play.
Their midfield four who were pushing too high, allowing our centre midfielders to find tons of space to work in and therefore the supply to our striker Georges was limitless. On one such occasion the ball was fed into him and he coolly slotted in to give the Silvers a 1-0 lead.
With great width being created by Ossian and Lucas’s great positional discipline the Parkfield back line was being stretched and the Silvers were exploiting the space created. Lucas driving from the left beat their right back with ease pulling out a beautiful pass into Gyan whom on the penalty spot fired straight at the keeper, so close!
Again Gyan finding space turned their CM inside out to have a clear sight of goal however, oozing confidence he decided to not shoot and tried to bamboozle their centre back, only to see the angle shut down and restricted to winning a corner. The confidence and skill shown in this move is something I will always promote however, we must be ruthless and if Gyan had been a bit more ruthless he would have had a goal as well as an assist in this game.
With 15 minutes gone Cameron replaced Georges and Milo replaced Ossian on the right, Gyan again finding space showed his beautiful passing ability with a splitting ball between the oppositions left and centre back for Cameron to latch onto and sink to give the Silvers a two goal lead.
Remi playing in the centre was beginning to really influence the game with intelligent interceptions and beautiful through balls however, their keeper was pulling off some great saves to keep the gap at two goals. That was until the last 3 minutes of the half, Parkfield won a corner on our right hand side. They whipped the ball to back post where it was met by an unmarked player to cut the deficit down to one, and to bring the score at half time to 2-1.
With the amount of space that we were finding in the middle of the pitch I decided to switch the system to 2-4-2, this saw Georges and Cameron up top, Lucas on the left, Ossian on the right, Remi and Sasha in the middle and Jonah and Alex at the back.
The second half got under way and with the CM’s finding tons of space coupled with having two forwards the Silvers were creating chance after chance. On the few occasions that Parkfield found their way into the our final third they were denied by both good defending and good goalkeeping.
A mix of good saves and glaring misses was keeping the score at 2-1 however, with 15 minutes left Milo came on for Cameron up top and Gyan switched with Sasha, within moments this decision was rewarded. Lucas who was having a formidable game hit a diagonal ball into Ossian on the opposite wing who then rolled a delicate pass into Milo behind the right back. Milo with great calmness and vision picked out the oncoming Georges in the middle of the oppositions box to slot home to claim a well-deserved 3-1 lead.
Moments later Milo’s selflessness was repaid when Georges was set free and selflessly played the ball into Milo, who with time and space slotted away to extend our advantage to 3 goals and kill off any chance Parkfield had.
Still with chances being created the Silvers could have extended their lead further when Lucas whipped a delightful ball into Ossian who had to spin his body to hit a side footed volley towards the top left corner however, the tight angle meant his control took the ball narrowly over the bar.
When the final whistle went the Silvers had claimed a 4-1 victory and maintained their 100% start.
The opposition this week were not the most organised or technically strong which could have prompted the Silvers to play “Playstation football” however, throughout every second of this game the Silvers maintained their professionalism, positional discipline, work ethic and hunger to achieve 3 points.
The football on display was controlled and beautiful, if we were a little more clinical we could have scored anything between 10 and 15 goals however, the main objective was to claim another 3 points and we did this very comfortably.
Whilst every player had a good game this week with little in the way of errors a few really did impress me, they were the performances of Lucas, Milo, Remi, Gyan and Georges.
Lucas was a bundle of energy in this game, his vision and passing range really aided in opening up the defence time and again, his positional discipline constantly saw him in the correct area of the field to be able to both deny and create attacks. He even on a few occasions used his weaker foot to create some good opportunities, a fantastic all round performance this weekend.
Remi and Gyan when in midfield ran the show, using intelligent movement to create and exploit space they too generated some fantastic phases of play with great vision and execution, their positional discipline was the main reason the Silvers were so dangerous this weekend.
Milo was fantastic this weekend and really showed how influential he can be when he thinks as a member of the group, his selflessness and vision on many occasions allowed him to create cutting attacks and earned him not just an assist but also a well taken goal, great stuff!
Georges this weekend was voted man of the match by the squad, this was due to his unceasing movement between the oppositions back three, as well as being calm and composed on the ball which allowed him to beat players at will and aided in him creating a goal and also finishing two attacks. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the hat trick but with performances like the one he put in last weekend we will see him grab a few before the season is out.
Overall I am extremely happy with this performance as it was almost perfect, the movement, positional discipline, vision and composure was top, top quality. In future I do hope we can finish a few more chances after creating so many as that would make the performance perfect.
Thank you to all the came and supported the Silvers, I do appreciate that this venue was not easy to locate but with patience and perseverance we overcame the non-footballing obstacles and therefore gifted with a wonderful game of football. Your support as ever, is greatly appreciated.
I hope you all have a good week and I look forward to begin our cup campaign next weekend.