Away vs Redbull
After the cancellation last week due to a rock hard pitch the lads travelled to our oldest adversaries Redbull with a good squad of 13.
It was a great day for football and we had a strong unit.
The Game started at a fast pace and it was clear that Redbull also had a strong squad to choose from with around 16 or 17 good players. The were also fielding a youthful team too with some impressive pace at the back and the front.
It looked like we were sitting off them slightly and perhaps we were giving them a little too much respect.
Howard had begun brightly but with only 6 minutes on the clock he took a ball neatly on his chest in mid air and immediately felt his calf tear.
This was a shame for Howard but Rudders swiftly came on and started to get involved.
Howard's old buddy Nigel was in goal and he was marshalling things well from the back and and distributing it out to the full backs comfortably.
Each team had a few good forays forward but our final ball was lacking a little.
A great ball from Kevin Anderson picked out Rudders at the far post but his stooping header just hit the side netting.
Shortly after Midge nearly opened the scoring before the ball bounced to Rudders who drilled a volley just wide.
At the other end Redbull had players really moving well and swapping positions fluently which made life more difficult. Before long a good bit of passing interplay through the centre saw a midfielder break through and slot into the corner for a well executed finish.
We did not get our heads down though and tried to get back into the Game.
They had a dubious free-kick on the edge of the box but fortunately it just drifted wide albeit Nigel looked to have had it covered.
Gavin, Kev, Nigel and Paul were working hard at the back and although our opponents looked sharp and played some good football our back line was keeping them at bay with Nigel the keeper sweeping up where needed. Half time 1-0.
Sedge replaced Kev Anderson with Darren and switched it up a bit in the Midfield though Kevin had not done anything wrong in the first half.
In the second half we worked harder to try and support Midge and Rudders who had been left a bit isolated in the first half and we did look to get on the front foot to a greater extent.
That said a good bit of play from our opponents saw their left winger with a free shot at goal from 20 yards. We were slow in closing it down and a crisp shot nestled just under the bar 2-0.
We tried not to get our heads down and before long Two Touch had a header from a corner cleared off the line as we sought to claw our way back into the Game.
Sedge, Midge, Paul and Darren played some good stuff down the left and created a good opportunity but their Keeper Dave was up to the challenge.
Soon after it was 3-0 after a good ball into the box was taken by their fast forward in space who hit an unstoppable ball into the top corner.
3-0 would have been really harsh on us but we did not give up or get our heads down.
Gavin had pushed up on the right to give us more pace and a great bit of passing with Two Touch, saw Gavin make a lung and hamstring bursting drive down the right, he flashed it across the box and Rudders flying in at full pace lashed the ball into the bottom corner at full pace. Gav missed the goal with cramp but it was a cracker.
It was a cracking goal that no keeper could have saved and no more than we deserved. 3-1.
A couple of chances came at went but the Game was quickly over as I think we only played 80 mins.
Despite the disappointing defeat it was a good game and our opponents deserved the win for their clinical finishing.
We looked back on what might have been whilst enjoying the hospitality at the local sports and social club.
That is one win a piece this year with one to play... but who will finish the season on top.