Not the score line that we would have chosen to go out on as we went down 5-4 away to Whetstone Pumas in our final game of the 2013/2014 season.
Pumas were always going to be fired up for this game as a win would move them out of the bottom two but strictly this is a team that we should have handled with relative ease.
As it was, we started well playing with a strong headwind, hitting the post and crossbar in the first few minutes but very quickly resorted to playing the long ball as it was clear, as with the last time we played them, that we had them for pace up front.
This resulted in an early goal for Keiran and a second for him just 15 minutes into the game.
Unfortunately, even though we had encouraged the boys to play a passing game before the start, they continued to send long balls forwards, passing up the opportunity to retain possession and with it giving up the opportunity to actually control the game. As such, it became a game of attack and counter-attack which Pumas started to get fairly adept at themselves.
Some 20 minutes in Pumas scored a goal of their own on the counter-attack, and while the score stayed at 2 – 1 for a little while, Adam hit back with a goal of his own to make it 3 – 1 with just a few minutes to go until half-time.
Unfortunately, a lack of concentration, and any kind of commitment down our right allowed Pumas to bring the deficit back to within 1 goal within 30 seconds of the re-start. This was a key turning point in the game as we suspect that had we gone in at half time at 3 – 1, with the momentum in our favour, then we probably would have seen the game out.
As it was, with just a one goal lead, the second half was going to be tough now playing into the wind. And so it turned out as we were now unable to retain any form of possession, and Pumas gradually clawed their way back into the game and into a 4 – 3 lead and very much looking the more dangerous side.
Bringing Sammy back off the bench had an immediate impact as he worked well with Keiran as Keiran completed his hat-trick to take the score to 4 – 4.
Again, had we gotten into a rhythm of retaining the ball early on, we could and should have been able to hold the score to take at least one point away from the game but another goal from Pumas, six minutes from the end, sent them into a 5 – 4 lead that we could not come back from.
Overall it was certainly one of our less convincing performances albeit Keiran signed off his season with a tremendous hat-trick and the man-of-the match award.