A rain soaked morning at Crawley Road, with leaden skies and a cold wind.
The whirlwinds started the game like the skies above, grey and miserable. Sundon we knew would be well up for it, after conceding a last minute goal to lose the game just a few weeks back, they would be out for revenge. The home side didn’t get anywhere near matching their intensity, gifting them a goal with 5 minutes gone from our own goal kick 0-1. They very nearly doubled their lead, the home side lost the defensive shape, and a corner to the back post was just headed wide. It was a warning that wasn’t heeded, the next corner saw the visitors double their lead a header, a scramble and the ball in the back of the net 0-2.
Attacks for the home side were few and far between, but they should have halved the lead, a counter attack with Ajiri slotting in Jack M, the keeper and defender got in a muddle, presenting him with an open goal, he could only shoot in to the side netting. Bully then hit a pile driver of a free kick, which the ‘keeper saw late and pulled off a fine save. Two pivotal moments as the next action saw the visitors add a third, again a corner was flapped at, the ensuing scramble, saw the ball poked in the corner 0-3. It was turning in to a massacre, the home side not playing to their strengths, they somehow limped through to half time without conceding another.
A dressing down for the home side at half time, we knew what to expect but hadn’t matched our opponents intensity level. We needed to get the ball on the floor, play to feet and play to our own strengths.
The home team got the message, they started the second half, like they should have started the first, pressing as a team, winning possession and playing the ball around nicely. They got their rewards, Jake and Oliver combined the ball broke to Jack D, who’s shot was only half blocked by a defender and it flew in to the bottom corner 1-3. It was huge lift for the home side, and a second soon followed, Sam showed some quick thinking, taking a quick free kick on the left, he floated the ball in the box for Oliver to creep in on the blind side, and roll the ball in to the net 2-3.
Game on! It was all the home team now, a corner delivered by Sam found Jack D in space and his header was cleared off the line, Ajiri picked up the loose ball and his shot was blocked. Jake and Oliver were causing mayhem down the right, the away side struggling to cope with quick interchanges, ably supported by Brandon, who sadly had to come off injured after a robust tackle. The home side despite their second half dominance, couldn’t quite fashion a clear chance, Oakley coming close with a looping shot just over the bar. Then the killer blow with just 5 minutes left a cross from the right was spilled by Nathan, in his attempt to grab the ball, he was shoved in the back and the striker tapped in to an empty net, a clear foul, unfortunately missed by the Referee. Still the home side attacked and tried to reduce the deficit, a long ball from defence and 3 of the away side clearly offside, missed by the linesman(who later admitted his mistake) gave the visitors another a goal, and the game over as a contest 2-5.
Goals : Jack D, Oliver
Summary: It was a dreadful first half display, which started in the warm up, when several players messed around and didn’t take part properly, a fact that was reinforced in the half time team talk. We can’t play seasoned top division teams, and not be completely 100% at it from the first whistle. Second half was much better, we played more to our strength’s rather than the oppositions. The final scoreline wasn’t a true reflection on the game as at 3-2, there only looked one winner.
M.O.T.M. It was difficult today as the whole starting eleven let themselves down in the first half, despite an improved second half, we can’t just not turn up for half a game. The substitutes turned the game in our favour Oakley, Jake and the pick of the three Jack D who gets this weeks award, for his endeavor and grabbing the first goal.