Cold Opening, Strong Middle, Disappointing Ending
A Gaggle Of Geese Delays Kick Off
Fleetwood went into their away game with Aldwinians in good spirit. This all changed when they arrived. The pitch was completely covered in what the hosts named "Geese fecal matter". After asking the home side to pick it up before playing earned 'Fleet no friends in Audenshaw.
Due to the as aforementioned clean up job, the game kicked off late, which was to Fleetwood's detriment. Fleetwood started cold and slowly. The home side punished Fleetwood with two early tries. It was only after this that the lads stared to take things seriously and upped their defensive work rate and looked to push forward.
Despite the renewed effort, Aldwinians were the ones to strike again to further increase their lead.
Fired up by this, from the resulting restart 'Fleet charged up the pitch, using their big powerful forwards to good use. After many phases and resolute defence from Aldwinians, Skipper Foden found a gap to score from close range. Conversion missed by Howe.
Shortly before the half time whistle, Aldwinians had a man sent to the bin for a a high tackle.
At half time, the mood was good between the lads, they had the momentum and were playing the better rugby, a good second half could have provided a stunning upset. Thinking that it was only three tries to one, this seemed like a reasonable ask. Unbeknownst to Fleetwood, the official had awarded 4 tries to the hosts in the first half, with the away side scratching their heads as to where that had come from.
Fleetwood attacked hard at the start of the second half, trying to use their man advantage. Aldwinians had other ideas though and defended for their lives and managed to whether the storm to get their man back on the pitch.
After a botched Reece Heer line out, Fleetwood readjusted and drove hard for the line, with each forward having a go for the line. In the end it was Skipper Foden scoring again with his trademark 30cm dive to the line. Conversion by Pearce.
At this point, Fleetwood thought that they were only within one score and were pushing hard for the win. Unfortunately disaster struck and Gregson got sent to the bin for a high tackle.
Tired legs and a man down, Fleetwood fell to a rejuvenated Aldwinians who piled the pressure and scored a few runaway tries to finish off the game.
Full Time: 57 v 12
A slow start and a poor ending was Fleetwood's downfall. The boys need to get straight to that solid showing and maintain it for as much of the 80 minutes as possible. This again is good advert as to why going to training and working on fitness would help massively with the results in the league.
Man Of The Match
There were some good performances on display this last weekend. O'Hara and Astin taking plenty of ball forward. Daz Williamson had a good second team debut, after some stellar showings for the 3rd team. Pearce and O'Driscoll did well with their link play between the forwards and backs.
But this weeks award has to go to Callum Rocks, who tirelessly took the ball up the pitch and really took the game to Aldwinians. He definitely didn't just get the award because we needed a rower in the post match boat race....
The Weekly Sam Pook Report
Sam was hiding on a boat playing hide and seek again. 0/10 for effort.
Next Week sees the return of Chris Travis as 2nd team manager and a fierce derby game against Preston Grasshopper. As the clocks have changed kick offs are now 2.15pm.
Squad: 15. Howe; 14. Hearne; 13. Gornall; 12. Hall; 11. Birks; 10. Pearce; 9. O'Driscoll ; 1. O'Hara; 2. Astin; 3. Foden; 4. Gregson; 5. Williamson; 6. Barnes; 7. Hargreaves; 8. Rocks; 16. Heer; 17. Blunn; 18. Kirkbride.