When it came to writing this report, I looked back on my notes and realised how little I’d written down for this match. Not because there was nothing to report on, but the game was that engrossing that I didn’t want to miss anything.
We were a tad depleted today, with no Luke Brown, James Payton, Aaron or Gregor for assorted reasons. The propose line-up was described as “experimental” by Jo but the lack of Gregor had necessitated some changes. To that end, we lined up with Oscar in Goal, a back three of Sammy, Will and Luke Dobney, a midfield of Kaden, James Carlton and Thomas and Kye and Charlie up front. Billy was our lone sub today.
We started really well, with plenty of possession and had the first half chance of the match through James C. This led to a corner, also taken by James, but no-one could get on the end of it.
The Gedling keeper was struggling with his kicking, no doubt due in part to the wind that was gusting across the pitch (nothing to do with last night’s dinner) something we were beginning to recognise and capitalise on. Our second chance came through some lovely passing from Thomas and Kye, with Kaden trying an audacious lob which went just over the bar.
And that’s pretty much where the detailed notes ended.
There were plenty of last-ditch blocks from Gedling, a long-distance effort from the again impressive Luke D but clear-cut chances were few and far between. I did note that it wasn’t until the 20th minute that Oscar got a touch of the ball.
Second half (this IS brief!) got underway with us playing into the wind, our first sight of goal was Thomas on the volley, but unfortunately he didn’t connect quite sweetly enough to re-enact the Tomas Rosicky goal against Brighton in the FA Cup in 2015 that it reminded me of when I got home (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ds-DZFbqyU) .
After a spate of Gedling pressure, they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position; fortunately, even with the advantage of Hurricane Tarquin or whatever it was behind them it didn’t amount to much and the subsequent corner didn’t either.
There was some great skill by Thomas on the edge of the Gedling box where he flicked it up in the air and headed it over the defenders (see Adrian for video footage on his new phone!), James C cleared Gedling’s best chance thus far off the line and Will and Luke D were defending really well. There were two nervy moments towards the end where Gedling were one-on-one and Will had to scramble back to clear and another one I can’t really remember.
That’s the end of the scant notes.
Will Shore was voted Man Of The Match for his imperious defensive display but it would be remiss not to highlight the fantastic team performance today. We didn’t win, granted, but the effort and overall TEAMWORK that the lads put in was outstanding. The defence hardly let anything through, even when the conditions favoured the opposition in the second half, both Luke and Sammy were outstanding. Midfield too, Kaden running tirelessly, James C playing again to his usual high standard and Thomas showing some excellent footwork, skill, close control and initiative. Charlie and Kye worked really well together and when Billy came on during the game he was working hard, harrying the Gedling players.
The only thing we lacked today was a finishing touch; everything else clicked together and there were a distinct lack of foul throws – there were none at all until I mentioned it, to be honest. Well played boys.