On Tuesday 28th January, the A team played their fourth league match - against new opponents Gade Valley.
As usual, the game started very evenly with both teams trying to find their feet on a rather challenging pitch. Long grass and a rather wicked slope - this was going to be interesting.
We scored the first goal fairly early on. Kieran’s powerful shot was well saved and Riley just beat him to the rebound. Alfie made it 2-0 soon after. The ball was rolled to him on the edge of the area and he hit a sweet first-time effort into the far corner. (All of that work at football club on the importance of taking a first touch paying off, which was nice to see!)
It was at this point that complacency began to set in. We’ve had so many matches where we have scored goal after goal that everyone wanted a piece of the action, and inevitably, everybody gets a piece of the action. Unfortunately, Gade Valley had quality in their team and they created a number of very good chances - opportunities that they really should have scored from. At 2-0, this game was far from over.
A great save by Lewis kept the sheet clean for the time being, but it was looking unlikely that the score would remain the same for very long.
The frame of the goals were hit so many times at both ends that I genuinely lost count. For the neural, this was a cracking game of football.
The score could easily have been three-all by the time Ollie calmly side-footed in after a lovely dribble around a number of desperate defenders.
We then made it 4-0 with the best goal of the match: a brilliant dribble on the wing by Albie ended with a totally selfless lay-off to Ollie, who blasted the ball home.
And with that it was half time.
Now then, it has become traditional for the team to be losing heavily at the end of the first half to give up. We’ve seen it time and again over the past few seasons. Heads drop, spaces open up and our players gleefully gobble up the numerous chances presented. It came as a bit of a surprise, therefore, that the second half began with Gade Valley attacking with renewed vigour! This wasn’t in the script.
It then came as a real shock when they pulled a goal back. Our defenders, expecting to get themselves on the score sheet, suddenly had their work cut out at the back.
Our attackers were trying their best to add to the four goals already scored, but the Gade Valley ‘keeper appeared to have grown, or the goal shrunk, or something. We could not hit the back of the net.
Another defensive scramble and Gade Valley scored again. 4-2! There wasn’t a lot of time left, but things were certainly getting interesting.
Thankfully, we made the game safe by scoring one more late on. Albie, unmarked in the centre, could have calmly placed the ball either side of the ‘keeper - but where’s the fun in that? Instead, he adopted the tactic of blasting the ball as hard as he could straight at the ‘keeper who, having parried the ball straight back to Albie, was off balance and could do nothing when Albie calmly passed the ball into the corner of the goal. Classic! 5-2 and done.
Well done to all the boys again, but we have to tighten up at the back. There must be no complacency going forward . You don’t see Liverpool getting complacent, do you? No you don’t - even when they are (checks notes) 19 points clear at the top of the Premiership!
Next, we play Nash Mills away (on Friday 7th Feb - letters will go out on Monday) and then Gade Valley at home on the 11th.