Billericay Town Colts 4-2 Newbury Forest (HT 2-1)
Scorers: Lukas 15, Abdullah 43
Player of the Match; Max
Starting 9; Max, Saad, Arun, Majus, Abdullah, Jake, Ismael (c), Lukas, Caleb
Subs all used; Stan. Cameron
It was a lovely day but the pitch at Billericay was extremely heavy. Colts were a good team who played some good football. Max was on top form as always making saves and collecting the ball well. We were missing Leo, Casian and Pavan so we only had 2 subs to share the load with. On 7 minutes Colts took the lead but we were straight back up the other end battling for an equaliser. We thought we had scored after a good move down the right with Lukas who got the ball across and eventually on to Caleb but the goal was ruled out for off-side. A minute later on 19 minutes we forced a corner and Lukas hit a low one into the near post that went straight in. 1-1. We were at a slight disadvantage in the first half as we were battling up hill on a bog of a pitch and Max's area was the muddiest of the 2 ends. Billericay took the lead after 19 minutes and were awarded a penalty with a minute to go in the half when Arun shouldered a player off the ball while he was running through on goal. Harsh I thought. Anyway Max saved the penalty high and to his right. Excellent! After that we were straight up the other end and unlucky not to equalise from another great move down Lukas' right. We had made some good chances but were just not able to convert them into goals. Colts defenders were good.
In the second half we looked strong. We equalised again after 43 minutes when our corner was cleared straight to Abdullah standing centrally outside the area. Abs let the ball come to him and hit a high lob over the keeper's head and just under the bar. Great goal Abs. Well played. With 15 minutes left you would not have been able to pick a winner out of the two teams. We were creating more chances than Colts but not putting them away. In the end 2 goals from Colts on 46 and 53 minutes ended the game and although in the end I felt it was deserved it was disappointing for the team to have lost after their hard work. Things went against us but we will have a chance to put things right when Colts come to us on the 2nd February. As you know they pulled out of our home fixture before Christmas but despite my repeated requests for clarity from the league the points still have not been awarded to us. I would rather play the game as that is the point of having 14 players all wanting to play as much as possible so we have agreed on the 2nd February.
Max was Player of the Match, he was terrific. Arun played well as did Lukas. I thought Majus did well playing the whole game at left back. He was against some very good Colts players and he more than held his own. I won't mention all players in this report but I know all tried hard.
We tried to move the ball but frankly it was stuck in so much mud it was a joke also the stand in ref gave some dubious decisions (both ways to be fair). But we need to be better to overcome anything that is put in our way.
We do need to be more focused though. We did not mark properly at throw ins constantly leaving Colts players free to receive the ball . As usual when we had successfully cleared the ball and started our own attacks we did get out quickly enough from the back leaving Colts players in dangerous forward positions on side. Our younger players had to step up on a day like Sunday and to be fair they did but sometimes when we have a chance to win loose balls or to even get a shot off we need to totally commit to the challenge or chance.
I was cross at the end as we need to again focus. Players have had a whole 6 months to get used to this now but at the end when I am talking I don't want to constantly have to tell different players to stop messing around by kicking balls around and moving away from the group. We have seen a great attitude from players since the Christmas break and we need to continue in that vein.
Anyway not a bad performance by any means. We showed a lot of heart and if we had taken some more chances would have triumphed.
See you on Wednesday