After a few tough weeks the colts were sitting in 3rd place in the league and were up against a team 1 point behind us who also had a game in hand on us. We’d drawn 3-3 with Poole Town when we played them earlier in the season, having been 2-0 behind so we knew we were capable of playing good attacking football against them.
In very wet and extremely windy conditions the game started with Poole Town on the front front, having the majority of possession in the opening 15 mins, but the colts defended very well and left George with nothing to do. For the remainder of the first half we began to get on the ball a bit more and create some half chances of our own, the best being Sam running onto a through ball and knocking it round the keeper but his touch was just to heavy to get a shot on target. Our higher line meant George also took up a higher starting position meaning he was able to deal with several through balls from Poole town very well and also be an option for our defenders in possession.
The half time score of 0-0 was probably fair, with neither keeper really having to make a save. The half time message was that we were impressed with our defensive organisation but we wanted to try to keep the ball more in order to get in control of the game and fashion a few more chances of our own.
Thankfully that is exactly what happened, when on the ball we got players wide and had some good passages of play getting us around the opposition penalty area, but again the final pass or shot didn’t quite come off and we still hadn’t properly tested the keeper. With the game opening up as it did the defence had to perform even better and they did so, communicating with each other and putting in good tackles to stop the Poole Town breaks. The first real chance of the game fell to Poole Town; after a string of poor clearances from Broadstone a cross into the box saw their striker connect with a bouncing ball brilliantly from around 8 yards at the near post and the ball seemed destined for the far top corner before George threw himself across his goal and got his top hand to the ball to palm it away, leaving the managers and coaches of Broadstone and Poole Town in disbelief. This seemed to trigger a reaction in the stones’ players, and their passing play seemed to gain the speed and accuracy that had at times been lacking so far. A passage of possession down the right hand side led to a clever through ball which drew the opposition keeper out of his box to get there before our striker, however his clearance was low and fell to Sam P around half way into the attacking half who showed incredible composure to almost pass the ball beyond the keeper into the far bottom corner to give us a well earned lead.
The remaining 15 minutes was seen out well by Broadstone, showing good game management skills for the first time this season, not over committing to attacks and saying strong defensively to ensure Poole Town didn’t have anymore clear cut chances, meaning the game finished 1-0.
Man of the match went to George, although he didn’t have much to do his starting position was much improved to mean he didn’t have to make the saves as he went and won the ball before the striker when he needed to. It’s easy for a goalkeeper to switch off when they have a quiet game but to stay focused for the entire match and pull off an incredible reaction save that seemed to turn the game in our favour it is much deserved.
Although it was a very different performance to what the players have shown so far this season in terms of the amount of possession we had, they should all be very proud of how well organised and disciplined they were defensively to give Poole Town so few opportunities and how they capitalised on the main one we created. If they can combine the passing football with that defensive resilience they are sure to do well going forward.