|Posted: 03 October 2014 at 8:50am | IP Logged
Result: 1 – 2 (aet)
I think we went to this game with no belief that we could win it, especially as 3 weeks prior to this game, the same team had beaten us 8-2 in a friendly. Not only this, the mood in the changing room and around the pitch wasn’t the normal mood for a team full of confidence going into a game.
Anyway, we started the game really well and we were in control. There were very few mistakes (actually none which I can account for) which added to the confidence of the team. Shortly after kick off, when I looked around I noticed that all of the football was being played in their half and there were not many occasions when there were more the3/4 Old I’s in our half. They tried a couple of balls over the top and a couple of long balls but we always had these covered. Down the other end, a couple of snap shots from Paddy forced the keeper to make some big saves early on. We were in the driving seat and working so well together we thought it was only a matter of time until a goal came All of a sudden a long ball from their keeper and some smart play from the opposition left midfield and a clever through ball, their striker had an attempt on goal. Luckily for us he hit the crossbar and our new keeper Michael Cunningham was able to scoop up the ball safely.
A couple of minutes after this, they broke again, trying the ball over the top routine, this was quickly cleared by one of the defenders (not sure who) but the clearance only went as far as their right midfielder who was standing at the corner of the box. Unfortunately we failed to close him down and he was able to get his shot off. It slipped under Michael, and to our disbelief we were 1-0 down. Heads dropped… briefly! A few inspirational shouts and we restarted the game with the same confidence and ambition we had been playing with for the first 25 minutes. We constantly posed a threat for the rest of the first half, however unfortunately could not get a goal back.
Time for the half time team talk! It was all positive and everyone knew that we were undeservedly 1-0 down. We knew if we carried on playing the way we had been, we would soon be back in the game.
They started the second half and straight away we were looking to get the ball back. The first 15 minutes of the second half were the same as the first half, not much of the game was played in our half, and then Callum found himself with the ball just outside the opposition’s area, BANG, he’s curled one over a couple of defenders and over the goalkeepers reach to bring us back to 1 – 1. We changed our positioning slightly and Mason was pushed upfront with Steve Casey. Again we continued to dominate. The rest of the second half continued much of the same. The final whistle went.
We started extra time with same mentality and quickly we were back into our rhythm of beautiful football. 10 minutes into the first half the ball ping ponged itself between a few of their defenders, Paddy, Steve, Callum and Matt; before Steve found himself facing the goal with a couple of defenders in his way… (much like the recent Valencia goal for West Ham against Hull) he’s struck it cleanly and once again it sailed over the keepers reach and into the top of the goal. I’m not sure if there was a slight deflection and the keeper may have got a small finger to it, but there was nothing that was going to stop this ball from going in! 2 – 1 to Ignatius 3rd XI.
The last 15 minutes they really came at us but we expected it. With some superb defending from the midfield (as there had been all game) the only chance they had was a low shot which deflected of Dave Hawthorne and headed goal wards… Dave’s rear end clenched tightly… but with some super-fast reactions from Michael in goal, he was able to smother the ball and avoid them the chance to take us to penalties.