Who would believe that a miserable Thursday night, playing at Harvesters in the lightening and rain would actually be the scene of possibly one of our most pleasing performances of the season.
Having played poorly and lost to Harvesters South earlier in the season, this game was a big one in that a win for Harvesters South was the only way that they were going to finish ahead of us in the league.
We spoke to the boys before the game about trying to get back to basics and actually putting the training they do during the week into action. Lo and behold, the message seemed to sink in and they started the game very strongly playing two and three touch football, keeping possession and really gelling as a team. The conditions were far from ideal for a passing game but the boys stuck at it, manoeuvring around and through the puddles to create a number of openings.
With most of the game being played in Harvester’s half, the only downside of our performance was that we just didn’t seem to want to shoot at goal.
The weather was always going to make it incredibly difficult for any keeper but for some reason we didn’t seem to want to put that theory to the test.
Harvesters were restricted to playing on the break and did manage to break away four or five times but our defence were solid and Matt’s handling was very assured in goal, despite a mini quagmire developing around him.
The fact that the score remained 0 – 0 at half time made it a nervy affair and we had to implore with the boys not to change the way they were playing in the second half.
The boys did themselves proud in the second half, sticking to the mantra of playing simple passing football and as the game wore on, our reluctance to shoot dissipated and it felt like just a matter of time before the goals would come.
The first goal came courtesy of a corner won by Sammy wriggling away from his man down the left hand side. We have become used to Adam delivering a quality ball into the box from corners this season and he did not disappoint again finding James taking up position on the penalty spot to neatly head home (I can only assume he had mistaken James for Ben in the driving rain!)
Adam again turned provider for the second goal. This time it came on the break from a Harvesters attack. Matt raced off his line to pinch the ball from the Harvesters attack, he laid the ball off to Ben who found Adam who in turn put James through on goal to complete his brace. An exceedingly pleasing goal, three passes, about 5 seconds and a goal from a move started in our own penalty box.
We continued to force the game in the final few minutes with James breaking through a further couple of times and being unlucky not to complete his hat-trick.
The final score finished at 2 – 0.
It was another one of those games that made it difficult to pick a man of the match as so many of the boys put in really top performances. All of the boys at the back were exemplary, especially Matt for keeping a clean sheet in such testing conditions. Ollie and Barsa were both immense.
In midfield Sammy again had the measure of his man and Luke and Jake were both in great form in the middle of the park.
Ultimately we awarded the man of the match to James for a really top performance, albeit Adam was only just behind, also with a great game behind him and two assists with it.