EMH Eagles 3-3 Newbury Forest (H-T 1-2)
scorers (Caleb 10, 14, 31)
assists (Jake 2)
Man of the Match (Caleb)
Starting 9; Max, Cameron (debut), Majus, Arun (c), Leo, Abdullah, Lukas, Caleb (debut), Jake (debut)
subs all used; Stanley, Casian, Pavan (debut)
For our first Echo league match we visited Breton Outdoor Centre to play EMH Eagles on a sunny late summer's morning. The pitch was lovely and both teams started with some flowing moves. Max made a strong early save from a high shot as did the EMH keeper. We lost our captain for the day Arun early on to injury. (hopefully wont be serious and will just need rest). This meant we had to re-organise at the back and during the game Lukas and Abdullah took it in turns to play there. EMH took the lead from a long looping shot which left Max with no chance. less than a minute later and we created a move down the right which saw Jake cutting inside to play a perfect pass into the path of Caleb who punched a right foot shot into the top corner. 1-1. During one of our attacks we saw Leo playing in the middle of midfield win the ball just outside the area and quickly fire in a low shot which was heading just inside the post before a defender got a toe on it and put it behind for a corner. On 14 minutes Caleb jumped onto a short EMH goal kick. He ran the ball back into the box and placed it well into the opposite corner away from the keeper to give us the lead. Abdullah, playing on the right wing, while Lukas was at CB, had made some great runs. He created a few chances and really showed his skill and strength beating and turning the quick, strong EMH full back several times during the half. We had further chances before half time but so did EMH. So half time saw us leading 2-1. EMH kicked off in the second half with a fast attack but we quickly broke it up and before a minute had gone in the half we saw Jake powering through the middle of the pitch releasing a perfectly timed and weighted pass into the path of Caleb who took it on and curled his short high and round the out rushing keeper. Wonderful finish. A Hat trick on his debut! Sensational stuff and a sensational smile as he celebrated by running along in front of our supporters. EMH were now 3-1 down but to their credit they upped their efforts to get back in the match and on 37 minutes they scored from a strong shot which Max just couldn't save despite getting his right hand to it. It was just too hard a shot. We saw Stanley nearly score after that with a looping shot from way out on the right hand side. Lukas bombed down the right and got 2 or 3 great crosses in but we couldn't get on the end of these. Jake had a couple of attempts saved also but as the half went on we were seeing we had to put more into defence to keep EMH at bay. They smashed the post once and Max made a couple of great high saves to keep them out. Pavan fought so hard at full back today all though the game as did Stanley, Cameron and Majus. Casian and Leo shared the CDM role and again we saw some heart from them trying to stop our opponents. With seconds to go on the watch EMH moved the ball to their left and with the very last kick of the match on 30 minutes they smashed in the equaliser again giving Max no chance.
So a very exciting first game. Everyone giving 100% effort and we also saw some lovely skills. Players like Lukas and Abdullah who are two of our best attacking players put the team first today and showing maturity when called upon to defend by working so hard. I am very encouraged and I can see with some hard work we will enjoy this season. I know the players were disappointed with the draw today and that's not a bad thing. looking at it objectively a draw was a fair result overall as we were better in the first half but EMH were on top in the second.
Well done all.