A somewhat unsavoury game (at least from where the management were standing) saw United lose out 4 – 1 to an all-conquering Pinner side but still emerge with our heads held high.
With Pinner having won all of their previous home fixtures, scoring 6 goals in three of them and 8 goals in the other, playing away to Pinner after our well-earned 0 – 0 draw at home was always going to be a tough game and possibly one of trying to keep the score respectable.
The 3 – 0 score-line at half-time was not something that we would have necessarily bet against before the game but the fact that one of the goals was from a non-descript penalty and one from a 25 yard strike belied the fact that we had defended well but had been unable to execute our plan of getting enough of the ball, or indeed any of the ball, out of the middle of the park and to our two pace wingers in Sammy and Keiran.
In the second half. The boys started to build on the possession that we did had and whilst we conceded a sloppy fourth goal from a set-piece, we started to carve out a few chances of our own.
After some strong work down the right wing, we won our own corner and the familiar combination of Adam’s deep cross and Ben’s late run into the box to volley in a goal, the fifth time that combination has worked for us this season, resulted in us registering on the score sheet.
From that point forwards the game seemed to open up much more and whilst Pinner continued to attack, our resolve remained strong and we created more opportunities of our own, most notable being James twice getting the better of his man to create half-chances which unfortunately went begging.
The result finished as 4-1 (also thanks to Gavin standing his ground on his off-side decision) and, all-in-all, to keep the score to 1 – 1 in the second half was a tremendous performance when the boy could easily have rolled over and conceded several more.
Whilst a loss is a loss, to add to our record of having been the only team to have taken points off Pinner this season with our 0 – 0 home win, we are also only the second team to score on their turf and similarly restricted them to the fewest goals. It should be remembered that the Pinner lads are a great set of footballers and are in the finals of the Middlesex County cup for good reason – so let’s hope they get stuffed in that ;0)
The management awarded the man-of-the-match award, or men-of-the-match award as the case is this week, goes to the defensive trio of Ollie, Barsa and Ben.
Matt awarded the Captain’s armband for the next game to Ben, who also joined James this week in being the second of our boys to hit double-figures in the goal-scoring stakes.