|Posted: 12 March 2017 at 5:22pm | IP Logged
A GAME OF TWO HALVES
Economicals 3- 3 Old Ignatians (1ST XI)
Goals: Conor O’Grady (2), Own Goal.
Man: Conor O’Grady
Muppet: Matty O.
The 1’s got their oyster cards out for another mission trip to South London to play Economicals, who were sitting pretty in 3rd place. Tommy provided directions from the train station to the ground and somehow managed to take us to the wrong venue. After 30 minutes of sitting in the wrong place and now being late, we hopped to the actual ground which was next door. Luckily, Cully Cramps (who despite being ruled out for the season with a knee injury but can still manage to go skiing ??), was not around, so Tommy was able to avoid any late fines.
Sean Nolan, Matty O, Liam O’G, Jack Barton,
Dan Porter, Tommy Martin, Eoin O’G.
Conor O’G, Jake Watson.
Subs: Sean McDermott, Rory Brien.
Sean and Rory were victims of the bench having missed the previous game against Park View. Dave clearly didn’t see the backlash Wenger received when he dropped Sanchez v Liverpool. North London fabric stores are already believed to be on alert taking orders for the DaveOut banners.
The lads were pumped in the dressing room having listened to Craig David and Shaggy. Before Westlife had a chance to be played, the music was paused as Dave delivered the team talk. Having lost 4-0 in the reverse fixture before Xmas, the focus was on starting sharply from the first whistle and letting the oppo know we were there.
The usual warm-up drills followed with two players in the middle trying to win the ball back from the players on the outside. Someone please explain to Nolan the rules of ‘Keep Ball’. His pass completion in the warm-up, and the match in general, peaked at a little over 20%. Although, he did make no fowl throws today so his loan-spell to the 2’s looks to have been beneficial.
The first 20 minutes were fairly even. Joe O’Grady made a great save to tip a shot onto the post and out for a corner. Down the other end, Matty O went close from a corner, and Connor’s clever quick free-kick to Jake nearly resulted in the I’s taking the lead.
Their link-up continued and Conor’s through ball to Jake saw the keeper save well from a stinging shot from distance. What could have easily been 1-0 to the I’s, the ball remained in play and Economicals lumped it up field. The second ball dropped to the feet of their ambitious No 10 who tried his luck from far out. His shot took a deflection on the way, and despite Joe O’G getting a hand to it, the ball trickled into the bottom corner. 0-1.
Economicals were beginning to get on top and were flooding the midfield with bodies who were battling well for every ball. I think we need to see the re-emergence of the tactics board in the team-talk so there is clarity on who the 3 in the midfield position should be picking up. You taking notes Dave?
Economicals dominance saw a lofted through ball split open our centre halves and their striker was through on goal and he coolly chipped the ball over the on-rushing Joe. 0-2.
Rory came on to replace Eoin O’G to add some steel to the midfield and the I’s were able to finish the half strongly, however the damage already seemed to be done.
Team talk: Ren/Matt/ Dave all chipped in with similar thoughts. It was clear we weren’t tight enough to the opposition and the work-rate as a team needed to be much higher. We also needed to be braver on the ball and look to provide support to Conor and Jake as they were often left isolated in the final third.
Changes: Jack Barton who had a solid half made way in a straight swap for Sean McDermott. Liam also came off with an ankle injury so Eoin O’G returned to the midfield as Ren slotted in at the back.
As per the title above, it really was a game of two halves. Straight from the off the I’s were on top. Clever balls were slotted into the channels for Conor and Jake to chase and their energy in the second half began to cause their defenders problems.
A ball was delivered into the oppo box and what seemed like a straight forward collection for the keeper, Tommy made a gut- busting effort to get in front of the keeper and he was duly clattered to the ground. Penalty to the I’s. Conor O’G showed he had the minerals and demanded to take the kick. Conor gave the keeper the eyes and slotted the ball to the left of the goal. Screams of ‘Get the F**king ball’ were heard as we sensed the comeback was on. 1-2
The I's were looking good but were then dealt a blow as Economicals soon restored their two-goal margin. A cross in from the right into the corridor or uncertainty saw Ren and their striker battle for the ball. Ren will deny it was an own-goal, but we all know he got the last touch. 1-3
I can’t really remember the details, but there was also an own-goal the other end as well. 2-3.
With about 15 minutes left, a ball made its way through to Conor who may have been marginally offside. The ref who had got a few calls wrong all afternoon didn’t spot this, and Conor was able to caress the ball into the top bins leaving the keeper with no chance. Great strike Con. 3-3.
With 15 minutes left to play and Economicals tiring, the momentum was with us. Barcelona’s inspiring comeback midweek was about to be matched and we needed one final goal to complete the comeback.
Another through ball fell to Conor and the keeper rushed off his line to close him down. Conor turned away from goal and shot into the open net with what surely would be the winner. Dan Porter nudged the ball into the goal off his back, however the referee deemed Dan to be offside despite there been an Economicals player on the goal-line. Fair play to the ref he made the correct decision as there needed to be two oppo players behind Dan and there was only one.
In the closing minutes, a scramble in the I’s penalty box saw Economicals unfortunate to have a penalty shout turned down. A kick from Sean McDermott onto one of their players was somehow missed by the ref. Stonewall penalty.
The fixture ended 3-3 and a draw was probably the fair result.
This season we’ve contested well against league leaders Park View despite picking up no points, and have earnt draws on the road to 2nd and 3rd place, Clapham and Economicals respectively. We know we can compete with anyone in this league, but we can’t afford to start sloppy and again a few individual moments proved costly.
Positives can be taken though, most notably the character to comeback from two goals done and the fruitful relationship Conor and Jake are developing up top.
Man: Jake ran Conor close as he was a constant threat, but Conor’s two goals edged the votes.
Muppet: Not a clean sweep, but Matty O picked up the most votes. I’m not sure whether this was for his booking when arguing with their striker, or for when he milked it rolling around the floor when he took a knock, or for when he took his weekly quick free-kick and kicked it straight at their player. I thought you had a good game overall though, Matt. ;)
Next week we host Old Paulines which will be followed by the annual St Patricks day shenanigans at the clubhouse.
I hope to see you all there.