Newbury Forest 0-1 Colebrook Royals White (HT 0-0)
Player of the Match; Max
Starting 9; Max, Saad, Majus, Arun, Leo, Lukas (c), Jake, Pavan, Caleb
Subs all used; Ismael, Cameron, Stanley, Abdullah
The weekend of rain paused for a couple of hours so we could play our game today in the dry. We had to cope with a ref's decision before the game where our 3 players who wear glasses; Majus, Abs and Saad were told they could not play with them on. Apparently they must have safety glasses / goggles. I should have known this but had taken it for granted as they have always played without a problem but I think the ref was correct.
In the first half we saw Max drawn into action a good few times. Max made several good saves and came out to crucially claim the ball at the feet of the opposition strikers a couple of times. He was excellent. Arun again was solid at centre back. We mounted a good few attacks but couldn't force a goal. Again we were guilty of not getting the ball to our wide players enough. All over the pitch we were often caught holding on to the ball taking too many touches when a clear simple pass to a player in a better position was on. However our bravery and fight helped us keep a clean sheet in the first half.
In the second period we upped our game as we did last week. We dominated possession over the half but we had to be quick to stop Colebrook break-a-ways. Mostly we did this so well and if they did break through Max was out quickly on several occasions to clear or claim the ball.
We were so unlucky to concede with just 5 minutes left as another Colebrook attack was being held by Arun and the defence at the edge of our area. The ball came to a Colebrook player who miss hit his shot but wrong footed Max and we had the heart break of seeing the shot roll into the net. After the goal we pushed even harder and it looked like we had won a penalty when one of our players (could have been Abs - not too sure) was tripped as he surged into the area. Ref blew and gave the penalty but the linesman called him over to say the foul was outside the area. We didn't score from the free kick. After that we saw Max make an incredible save low to his left to keep the score at 0-1.
So a better second half and I was upset for the boys who really did not deserve to lose that game but another fighting performance against another good team. The ref at the end got both teams together to say what a great game it had been and that it was played in the right spirit.
I thought Saad, Abdullah and Majus played so well without their glasses. Leo was strong today in the middle, making tackles, blocking shots and crosses and playing his passes well. Ismael worked hard on the wing when he came on and played some lovely passes down the line himself. Cameron continued to improve and linked the play well. Jake was moving the ball wide as well as he could under heavy challenges. He also was found helping his defence out on several occasions. Caleb and Stan battled well up front. Caleb was close to beating his defenders a few times but they were strong. Pav battled on the wing and at full back during the game. Captain Lukas worked so hard as usual. He was on the wing or in central MF. He had to go off just before the end as he was heavily challenged by 2 Colebrook players as he surged down the wing.
Again our heart was there to be seen clearly but as I said we did dwell too long on the ball. When coming forward we were again running into walls instead of making the correct pass. We must learn to do this quickly or suffer more defeats. Again if we are in the area facing away from goal with 6 opposing players behind us, right on top of us, we must learn to lay the ball back to one of our players to have a better chance of scoring rather than trying to turn into their wall of defenders. By just doing these things we will completely change these results in our favour against good teams.
Thanks to our Family Vinciguerra for providing our centre back, goalie warmer upper and lino!! (Arun, Richi and Manrico)
Well done all. Great attitude and spirit shown. Truly unlucky to lose. Another tough game next week. More hard work in training. Remember we win and lose as a team. These are the times we must show our team spirit is strong. Onwards and Upwards