Greenway 1 Hobbs Hill Wood 6
Another day, another match report. Only, this one will be far more enjoyable to write (and hopefully to read).
We headed over to Greenway with a sense of trepidation. Well, I say that, but I was probably the only one feeling worried – the boys were probably all fine. This year, we seem to be in a very tough league with teams that have given us some problems over the years. St Paul’s won the league competition last year, and Greenway beat us in the final a couple of years back. I know that every year is different, but some schools have a habit of always producing strong teams. Added to that, we didn’t have a sub so it might have been a struggle keeping up our energy levels to the end of the match.
As promised, we learned some valuable lessons from the first match and tweaked our tactics accordingly. We had some specific passing moves mapped out and we knew where to direct our throw-ins. For this match, the ‘keeper could kick out and there were no back passes (which is how it should be!).
Then we were off. Oh boy, were we off. We were straight out of the gates and flying – confident touches, quality passing, and it wasn’t long before the shots started flying. Ollie and Alfie had some good efforts from distance and Kieran was making a nuisance of himself in the best possible way. Our defence looked solid and I was beginning to think that we stood a good chance of getting some kind of result. We couldn’t, could we?
Our first goal was an absolute beauty: an accurate cross from Riley on the wing was met with a fantastic volley from Kieran. The ball flew past their keeper before he could blink. Blimey, what an opening!
Striking while the iron was hot, we kept up the pressure and, soon after the first, we doubled our advantage. I’m not sure exactly what happened but a long shot from Riley ended up in the back of the net. When the ball left his foot, I expected their keeper to save it, but alas no! We’d take it, though!
As FIFA 2019 keeps telling me, 2-0 is a dangerous lead to have. How true that was.
Having hardly been in the game, and with 2-0 being a fairly flattering score line, Greenway finished the first half very strongly. They won themselves a couple of quick-fire corners and then got themselves a goal back thanks to a massive stroke of luck. With the ball drilled across the box, Jack’s attempted clearance sliced in the wrong direction and headed agonisingly towards the bottom corner. Lewis’ desperate dive wasn’t quite enough to prevent the ball from crossing the line. Goal line technology or VAR wasn’t called for this time.
The half-time whistle went at just the right time for us. With Greenway in the ascendancy, it gave us a chance to regroup and catch a breather. As happy as we were at having scored two goals, we rued some missed chances and the unfortunate own goal. We knew that we needed to start off the second half strongly and reassert our dominance, but could we do it?
Yes. A most resounding YES! An early chance presented itself to Alfie who found himself bearing down on the goal with only the ‘keeper to beat. One low, drilled strike later and our two-goal cushion had been re-established.
Then, to be honest, the second half just went crazy. While we maintained our disciplined formation, Greenway adopted a go-for-broke strategy, which meant that most of their players moved higher up the pitch to get themselves another goal. This may have put some extra pressure on our defence, but it left massive gaping holes in their defence. With no offsides, Kieran found himself totally alone and with the run of the penalty area. Hoofed clearances and some well-placed passes gave Kieran (and our other midfielders) chance after chance after chance after chance.
In what remained of the second half, Kieran scored himself another three goals. Some were smashed in, others were tap-ins following ‘keeper fumbles. And it could have been even more. Everybody felt they had a chance to score and they very nearly did. And then it ended – 6-1!
Overall, it was a tremendous performance from all the players and the final scoreline did not flatter us at all. Our defenders defended solidly, our attackers attacked ruthlessly and our midfielders…er…midfielded?! Our midfielders ran the game with great passing and dynamic runs.
So, next it’s Potton End on Friday – who knows what will happen?! I can’t imagine we’ll ever have another half like this second half, but it’s nice to dream.