Reserves end solid season with 3 - 1 defeat
Reserves lose their final game of the season 3 - 1 at home to Bluntisham
We finished our campaign hosting mid-table rivals Bluntisham Rangers, hoping to finish the season with victory to extend our recent unbeaten run at home and make amendments with a 4 - 1 loss in the reverse fixture. It was a slightly muggy, but dry day. Being the end of the season we were hosting a Family Day at the Cass with the 1st team in support and a BBQ set to get underway towards the latter stages of the match prior to our Player of the Do. We had another strong squad of 16 available...
Team: Luca, Ryan, Wayne ©, Beattie, Callum , Jun, Josh, Jack, Rickie, Rob, Cam B
Subs: Cam R, Dan, Kenny, Jonny, Suki
For the first 20 minutes it was a relatively even affair as both teams tried, but with no avail, to open the scoring. Possession was being exchanged as neither could quite hold on to the ball long enough to create a clear chance - Needingworth's tactic was to use their wingers and get balls into the box, while we were playing some neat football in the middle off the strikers and trying to push our opponents defence back with balls over the top.
Needingworth drew first blood as their winger finished well when free after a ball across the box capitalised on a couple of mistakes. We continued battling well and tested the keeper with a couple of good shots from distance. With a full squad the plan was to utilise the rolling substitutions and we did with Cam R replacing Jack just after the half-hour mark and Jonny on a few minutes later when Josh took a blow to the face.
At half-time we spoke about the need to continue the battling but improve our passing when in attacking situations. We also made a couple of changes with Kenny coming on up front in Rob's place with the aim to unsettle their defence with his physical nature (re-kindling some memories of a few years ago), while Dan came into the back 3 for Ryan.
Kenny's presence had an impact as twice he held off the centre back to create a chance - the latter a glorious goal-scoring opportunity from 10 yards which he blazed over the bar. Just as we were starting to get the edge and looking most likely to equalise, the visitors doubled their advantage after a break through the middle saw the striker played in and finish well.
Shortly after we reduced the deficit to one as a throw-in from the right allowed Kenny to hold off his man and square the ball to Jonny who finished well when moving into the box from the edge of the area. Suki came on moments later in place of Rickie but only lasted 10 minutes as he came off worst in a 50/50 with their defender.
We continued pushing to level the match but the ball was being lost quite a bit by each team either in the middle or when making that final ball in the attacking third. A defensive mistake in the last 5 minutes saw Needingworth go 3 - 1 ahead and manage to hold off our late attacks to win; they celebrated as if they had just won promotion or a cup, which shows how far we've come this our last encounter.
A disappointing result not performance in our final game of the season. The most frustrating factor was flag-happy linesman replicating their approach to decisions in the reverse fixture. The Reserves are a team heading in the right direction so hopefully after a strong pre-season keeping much the current squad while adding a bit more quality, next season we can make a challenge towards the top end of the league. Time to celebrate a solid season by the club, with the Player of the Do and a night out in Cambridge on the cards...