This week’s game was a league cup match and having lost our first league cup match out of 3 we knew that we needed to win this one. We had played Verwood in our first game of the season and won a dramatic 7 goal thriller 4-3 so we were hoping for the same result but hopefully making it easier for ourselves.
The game started very well, going 1-0 up after just 2 minutes when Sam G drilled a low shot at the keeper which he spilled, leaving Alfie to stab home from close range after making a good run into the box. The score line got even better just 5 minutes later with Alfie again finding the back of the net; Tyler drilled a low cross diagonally across the box towards the far post, which Alfie again found himself in a good position to poke home. Just a minute later we continued to apply good pressure and were unfortunate to not be 3 up when Sam P took a shot from outside the box and saw it come back off the post. For the remainder of the half the colts continued to play extremely well, keeping possession and winning it back very quickly if they gave it away, we had another couple of half chances in the half but nothing to really test their keeper. We were solid defensively with Dan having very little to do for the majority of the half, other than clear the occasional through ball.
We started the second half as we had started the first, with fast paced attacking football and 5 minutes later we scored our 3rd and best goal of the game. Tiernan had a throw in on the half way line on out right hand side, the throw went back down the line to George who then played a pass into Alfie in central midfield, Alfie passed diagonally back to Josh out in our LB position who then played a clever through ball down the line for Kieran to run onto who’s drilled shot from outside the area found the bottom left corner. This goal brilliantly summed up what we’ve been working on recently.
Unfortunately for next 10 minutes of the game the players began to look tired and rather than focusing on defending our well earned lead our midfielders were caught too far forward, leaving a big gap in front of our defence that Verwood were beginning to create chances from. Their first goal came with around 15 minutes of the game left to go when their midfielder used the time and space he had to pick out a clever through ball into our box which led to one of our defenders getting tangled up with the opposition striker whilst trying to get goal-side and giving away a penalty. Dan did very well to guess the right way however his fingertips weren’t quite enough to stop the well placed penalty.
After this our defending did improve slightly, we looked more compact however we couldn’t keep the ball very well which continued to invite pressure from Verwood.
With just 2 minutes left a cross into the box from Verwood was turned in making for a very nervous final couple of minutes but the lads held on for what was overall a deserved win.
Man of the match went to kieran for his brilliant work rate and what turned out to be the winning goal.
This week saw us take on another team we hadn't played before and they were sitting a couple of places above us in the league table so we knew it had to be another strong performance.
We started positively and had good spells of passing and moving up the pitch, however the game was different to the last couple of weeks, with Longfleet creating far more chances than us in the first half, and we had some great saves from George and some good defending to thank for the 0-0 score line with just under 20 minutes gone. We'd created a few good chances of our own, with Alfie being through on goal but being stopped by a good save and a couple of offsides.
With 10 minutes left of the half we were finally broken down, when their striker was allowed to dribble past our defence far too easily and fire a shot past George. The lads showed a much better reaction to conceding this week, they didn't panic and instead continued to move the ball around well, and with a minute of the half to go we'd earned a throw in near the corner flag, which Dan took and made a good run towards the edge of the box to create a good angle for himself, Alfie played a clever 1-2 from the throw and Dan's shot looped over the keeper to give us a deserved equaliser.
Unfortunately we couldn't hold on until half time, in a lengthy spell of added time our defenders were again shy on the tackle in the box and the opposition striker finished calmly to make the half time score 2-1 to them.
We decided to change to a slightly more attacking formation for the second half, believing in our defensive organisation as they had prevented a lot of Longfleet chances and adding an extra man to the attack.
This seemed to work brilliantly and 5 minutes into the half we were level again, a good shot from outside the box from Alfie came back off the bar which lead to pinball in the area before Dan stabbed it in from close range for his second of the game.
The remainder of the second half was a good competitive match up, with neither team creating many clear cut chances. Both teams had good spells of possession in the middle of the pitch.
With just a minute of the game left Alfie went on a good driving run into the heart of Longfleet's defence and was brought down by a late tackle, whilst everyone else switched off waiting for the whistle, Josh was alert to the ref playing advantage and to the ball that had rolled into his path, he slotted the ball away calmly to give us the win.
Man of the Match went to Josh for a brilliant performance in central midfield in the second half, breaking up a lot of Longfleet's attacks.
Another strong performance from the colts in what was a very close game between 2 well matched teams. The lads definitely deserved a win after their recent performances and hopefully we can keep this momentum going.