We went with high hopes that it would be a close game and we could come out on top but it was not to be!
We started off well with two swift goals from good feeds which showed we had the know-how to get through a tight Brooklands defence. This however did not last and Brooklands soon drew even and went quickly on to get the better of us. By half-time they were 4-2 up.
At this point we didn’t let our heads drop and went back out to get one back early in the third quarter; it looked like we were going to get back on track, but this was short-lived as Brooklands then got another three. We then went back at them again, managing to get one more before the last quarter.
So going into the last quarter we were 7-4 down. Then we seemed to completely lose focus and forget a lot of the basics that were drilled and drilled into us last season and, as a result, Brooklands punished us by taking three more, making a final score of 10-4.
There were no individuals to blame - this was a team lose. Quite a few long shots from outside the restrainer which, particularly against Brooklands, we know does not work. We should be looking to feed the ball to players better placed to hit the target and assist the goal (which is every bit as important as scoring!) This helped to lose possession and then, with Brooklands making some very fast breaks, the midfielders were not getting back in time to help the defence and which left us out numbered.
Also the lack of turn over with the subs meant we were getting very tired within the midfield. We must learn to turn over the midfielders more and keep those legs fresh. To do this we need to adopt the sprint / return and sub (get the ball to their end and if lost back to our end to defend once we have position again sub and rest the legs). Having one set of legs for around an hour does not do the boys any good or the team.
We have a lot to take away from this game and we must remember that this was a ‘friendly’ and therefore an opportunity to learn and take stock.