This week in training we had again worked on passing the ball out from the back and short sharp passing moving up the pitch so it was brilliant to se the lads implementing this in the match.
Unfortunately just 5 minutes into the game a powerful run from one of Wimborne's players saw him dodge 2 tackles and make his way into the box and finish well to put us 1-0 down early on. However rather than giving up on our short passing like last week it was brilliant to see that we continued this despite the set back and began creating some half chances. With 10 minutes left before half time a run down our left hand side from their midfielder drew our defence across leaving a man unmarked at the back post who finished calmly when the ball got played across. So half time and the score was a disappointing 2-0 and 5 minutes into the second half things didn't get any better, when we conceded a third as a result of going looking for some goals of our own.
That was the only negative of our second half, what followed was easily the best I have ever seen the team play. The lads continued the short sharp passing play and really began to open up Wimborne's defence with excellent movement on and off of the ball. With 20 minutes left of the half to go this is where our goal came from. With Wimborne having just attacked George played the ball out to Tyler on the half way line who controlled it brilliantly. The speed we had moved the ball up field meant it was just Tyler and Joseph against 3 Wimborne defenders. Tyler played the ball to Joseph and then made a run through the middle of 2 of the defenders whilst Joseph waited until just the right moment to slot the ball through to Tyler who took 1 touch and finished brilliantly, completely showcasing the passing style we'd been working on. From this moment on in the game Wimborne only very occasionally made it out of their half and didn't really trouble George at all, whilst we forced several good saves from their keeper and played some more excellent football but we couldn't find the goals we needed.
Having played so well but still losing I was expecting the players to be quite disappointed however I was very surprised that the first words out of George's mouth were 'that's the best we've played in ages' which was then echoed by several of the other lads.
I was worried that by not getting the win for the second week after playing so well on the ball they would begin to doubt the passing style we were looking for but they all recognised how well they played and were clearly very pleased with how the game had gone despite the scoreline. If we continue to play in this way we are sure to win more games than we lose in the long term.
Man of the match went to Tiernan as he was very calm in playing the ball out from the back but also some excellent communication throughout the match which is what we lack at times so it was great to be able to hear it from the sidelines!