Newbury Forest 1-6 Colebrook Royals White (HT 1-4)
(scorer; Lukas 24)
Player of the Match; Triumph
Starting 11; Max, Saad, Pavan, Arun, Triumph (debut), Leo, Abdullah (c), Jake, Lukas, Cameron, Caleb
Subs all used; Majus, Casian
So to our first ever 11-a-side game and also our first time on a full size pitch with full size goals. It was also a very hot afternoon and the young ref kindly allowed a drinks break half was through each half. We also welcomed one of our new players Triumph to our team / family. Triumph joined us about a month ago and has been to every training session and always shows great attitude and ability.
Now to the match; an even first few minutes was ended with Colebrook striking first. It was a long high shot which gave Max no chance. It showed we had to stop central shots and for most of the first half we succeeded. We equalised after 24 minutes after Abdullah's great work down the right ended up in a cross for Lukas to score from. Unfortunately 2 minutes later Royals were level from a well struck high free kick. Then we nearly saw Triumph score from a great move where he weaved his way towards goal linking with other of our players. His shot beat the keeper but as it was going in was cleared off the line. As the half was coming to an end Colebrook broke away twice after we lost the ball in attacking positions and scored twice which took the game away from us. In the second half we fought and fought. Abdullah was relentless as was Caleb. Jake had a shot saved well. Abs just missed with a chance as did Caleb.
Again we matched Colebrook for most of the second half until near the end when they scored two quick goals again. The last kick of the match saw Caleb take an excellent Free Kick from way out on the left after he was fouled. We all thought it had gone in at the far post but it had hit the net of the goal behind.
So a tough fixture to start our season off against a strong team. This was our heaviest defeat with most goals conceded in the Echo League for our team but we will stick together and work hard to put things right. Max performed well in goal with some strong saves. Arun was solid with Pav working hard along side him. Saad played at his usual high level at full back and in the second half centre back. It was good to See Majus out there and although it was hard for him we saw a couple of spells where he showed his strength and quality. Leo put in a shift and showed glimpses of his good qualities of challenging and passing but again he found it hard out there as did many / all of the team. Cameron was part of some good moves and he again will have gained from being out there and putting in a shift. Triumph, as I have said, was excellent. Playing in the unusual position for him of left back he worked so hard and moved the ball with passing so well. He, like Saad and others shows a good footballing brain. I am sure we have signed a top player and we will see this as the season progresses. Abdullah was captain today and led by example. He created some great moves driving down the middle of the pitch and playing some great passes in to our attacking players. He just never gives up. He was angry at the end and I know it hurt him to lose so heavily. Good attitude. I feel it too as do most of the team and that will help with the hard work to put it right. Caleb showed his magic during the game, beating players left right and centre. He was unlucky not to score. Jake put a long hard shift in and again was more than unlucky not to score. Casian also really put in a big physical effort and helped a great deal with some of the first half attacks. Finally Lukas was fantastic today. Every single time he was played a pass down the right he beat one, two and sometimes three opponents before delivering quality crosses which we just couldn't convert. We must work to use Lukas as much as possible with our play and we will work on this. Excellent Lukas.
We were beaten today by the better team on the day. They worked well together and like we do created some fast attacks. On another day we may have got something out of the game by taking some of the good chances that were created. We need to make sure when we play Colebrook later in the season we show them what we can do and I am sure we will. Credit to the 13 players who turned up today. It is also hard when there are fewer subs to bring on especially with the heat, size of pitch and 70 minutes of of play . See you all on Wednesday