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'you were robbed'
So, I think my last report ended with a plea for someone to remind me to take a team photo. I had completely forgotten again when our amazing top scorer Alex reminded me just before the match - thank you Alex I said, I will do that in a sec, I am just checking where the referee has got to (he had gone to Southwick Rec, home of Southwick Rangers, not the first to have done that) and then I forgot again....aaarrrggh. So, plea repeated can someone remind me next time, and tell me to take it there and then!
Today's game was going to be interesting, it was our opponents last game and they needed 3 points to tie the league - anything less and Eastbourne Borough would win it. We will finish 3rd whatever. We also knew that they had a player who had scored 39 goals this season and so training was more game orientated than normal yesterday (in typically horrible Saturday conditions, so much so I was slightly worried about another postponement).
The tagline of the report summed things up today - 'you were robbed' were the words of the opposing manager. Certainly, we did not deserve the cruelty of losing right at the end, and I think a draw would have been a fair result. But, disappointed though we were to lose, I could not fault anything of the players, teamwork, attitude, discipline, tactical awareness, accepting that the balance of certain decisions were not going our way etc was brilliant from every single one of them. Win, draw or lose I am proud to be the manager of this group and we lost nothing in defeat today.
Kaden - Did very well, couple of brilliant saves today and kicking was especially good, particularly in the first half
Callum - Was devastated we lost but should not be, his contribution to this team over a number of years now has been excellent and today was no exception
Billy M - I doubt their strikers have had a harder game this year, Billy was first class in the tackle and clearances today
Daniel Pr - Caught the eye of the opposition as a danger and it was another of those classic runs down the wing which ultimately led to our goal
Ben W - If there was one player who never seems to put a foot wrong it is Wrighty. He won a number of tackles he had not right to
Steffan - Said at half time he did not think he was playing well - wrong! He played very well in the centre of midfield, on a really tricky pitch
Felix - Same as Steffan, got through a lot of work and also won a load of tackles. Covers lots of blade of grass and the muddy patches as well
Ben R - What impresses me about Ben is that if he gets a specific instruction, he carries it out to the letter as he did today. Superb.
Sam - Level of performance today would bring Sam goals and assists against other teams, he got into lots of dangerous positions
Alex - hexsroubdcgor! Today was another sign of a great striker - they may only have a one chance in a game but it goes in, and that was the case today. Quite a back flip too!
Daniel - Disappointed that the one team he got clear, he was flagged for offside and stopped, only for the ref to say he was over-ruling the flag, by which time we had lost possession.
Rhys & Finlay - I am ashamed that, again, I have not brought substitutes on and humbled by their accepting attitude (as well as Alan, Neil and Shirley's). Finlay will start the game next week, and Rhys the game after when he is next available. I cannot speak highly enough of the pair of them (or indeed others who have been substitutes) and it does demonstrate me that we are a collective group who pull together - players not on the pitch make a significant contribution as well!
Thanks to Kev for his help over the weekend, Al and Pete for running the line and Pete for net assistance too, Michelle for collecting the subs and all of the parents for their support, and to the players who as always were an absolute pleasure to be with.