|Posted: 04 October 2017 at 4:48pm | IP Logged
Old Ignatians 1st XI, 1 – 1 Reigatians
Scorer: Conor O'G
Man – Conor Gaffey
Muppet – Jordan Gray
The boys were looking to put in a more convincing performance this week, after narrowly overcoming Vaughnians in the cup last week with a poor display.
A good turnout at training saw all the boys working hard, putting a lot of effort in. Tommy had his rugby shooting boots on, but was adamant that most of his skyed efforts were down to Nolan’s ‘sh*t’ passes. To which Nolan responded, ‘na you’re just a sh*t player mate’ .. Nothing like a bit of encouragement and confidence building eh boys? Onto Saturday..
The lads all showed up on time and seemed to have their heads on what was inevitably going to be a tough game against a strong Reigatians outfit who were yet to concede a goal in the league and had started with 3 wins out of 3 and sat top of the table.
We lined up with Joe O’G in goal, Jack Barton, Peter O’G, Liam O’G and Matty O’S in a back four. Renaldo, Steven English and Sean Nolan made up the three ahead of the defence, with Conor O’G playing just behind Conor Gaffey and Jordan Gray up top – a positive, attack minded change to the formation. Jim Kerr, Joseph Connelly, and Sean McDermott made up the subs bench – Joe back from America for a brief period and chucked straight into the fray, and Sean McDubbs coming straight from the airport after his return from a holiday in America.
We began the half with the better of the play, dominating ball possession and being first into most challenges, it was clear from the off that all the boys had their heads screwed on this week.
We went close with a couple of chances, most notably when Renaldo threaded the ball through the eye of a needle to play Jordan inside their left fullback. Jordan’s shot went narrowly wide of the left post.
Gaffey had their right back in his pocket the whole game, and some neat play between him and Jack Barton saw Gaffey’s mazey run with the ball end up at Jordan’s feet, who proceeded to perform a dive Tom Daley would have been proud of. A yellow card for his troubles and quick jog back into position.
Completely against the run of play, a ball up field from the oppo saw Matty’s attempted clearance deflect off Jack and into the oncoming striker’s path, who finished his one-on-one coolly past Joe O’G in goal; a bit of misfortune that only seems to happen to us.
Frustrating but nevertheless, we knew we were well in this game as the referee blew for halftime.
After a positive team talk from gaffer Dave O’G, we set out in the second half to make up for the goal conceded and push for a first league win of the season. Peter O’G was rolling back the years, on countless occasions sending their striker for a Lucozade and a Mars bar with his trademark drop of the shoulder and casually walking the ball out of defence, not bad for a 74 year old ! The oppo striker had put on a stone by the end of the game.
We finally made a breakthrough when Nolan’s tidy run found Gaffey on the left, who completely skinned their full back for the 373rd time and delivered a teasing cross into the box, with the ball being cleared to Conor O’G on the edge of the box, who finished first time into the bottom left corner. 1-1.
Sean McDermott and Jim Kerr came on for Jordan and Steven English, and the rest of the game saw us pushing for the winning goal. Chance after chance came, Renaldo and Nolan with shots blasted over from outside the box, and a neat one-two between Conor O’G and Ren that led to a fluffed one-on-one opportunity by COG.
Matty O’S, who had been solid the whole game, decided he actually prefers losing, and decided to play their striker in one-one with Joe O’G – a poor effort followed with their striker missing the target; sighs of relief resounding round the pitch from all of the team. Matty was already looking forward to tea and biscuits with the wife later on.
The last opportunity of the game fell to Conor O’G when he was played in by Renaldo to the left side of the box. One touch and a blast at goal saw the keeper parry the ball back into danger, but we had no oncoming players to capitalise and a clearance from the oppo led to the ref blowing for full time and the game finished 1-1.
A game we should have won, but everyone was a lot more positive as we had put in a solid performance, dominating the game from start to finish in what would hopefully be a sign of things to come.
There were a couple of standout performances: from Gaffey, who let their right back out of his pocket in the changing room; Jack Barton who linked very well down the left side with Gaff; Nolan who came back into the side and put in a solid performance, always looking to get forward; Matty O and Joe O’G who looked more confident in and around the danger area, and finally a special mention to Peter O’G, who was comfortably the most composed player on the field – making it look easy, imagine what he was like in his prime – pure class!
Man of the match went to Gaffey for his terrorising performance down the left wing, and Muppet went to Jordan for the dive of the century.
We go into next week with a lot more confidence and looking for a solid victory.