|Posted: 24 October 2017 at 12:24pm | IP Logged
1st X1 2 Old Salvatorians 3
Scorers: Conor O'G, Steve English
MoM: Jack Barton
Muppet: Steve English and Jack Barton
Back to the league this week after a week long break from
football. After an indifferent start to the season the
boys were keen to start getting some points on the board.
After two wins in the cup and a draw to league leaders, we
turned up at the Loyola fortress confident (maybe too
confident) that we could get the first league win of the
season against bottom of the league Salvatorians.
On to the game. Again, this week we found ourselves short
on numbers with Gaffey, Tommy, Jordan away and Ena still
on the injury table. Kane was a late drop out as he
decided to go to the Chelsea vs Watford game instead. The
big red machine does what he wants to be fair. The gaffer
was also missing this week, back in Ireland for a big sesh
so Ren was left in charge. Big mistake.
Therefore we lined up with Ryan in goal, Matty O right
back, Liam and Peter O’Grady in the centre and Jack Barton
on the left. In the midfield we had Renaldo, McDubbs and
Nolan orchestrating the play. On the wings we had Steve
and Alex adding some pace with Conor O’Grady up top as the
lone frontman. Making up the bench was just Porter. I must
say to turn up to a game against a fellow struggler at
home with 12 players was thoroughly disappointing and I
feel definitely contributed to the outcome of the game.
Captain Ren took the pre match chat, trying to get the
boys to replicate the form of two weeks ago in the cup
game. It was vitally important we battled for every ball
today and got stuck in. We know we can play some great
football but we needed some steel to weather the Old
Salvos attack. On the sidelines today as unofficial and
unwanted coach was Cullycoys, who had pried himself away
from pulling 64 birds to watch the lads in action. If
Cullycoys can show that commitment then I think players
should take a leaf out of his book if they want to be part
of the 1st XI.
For a team that were lying at the bottom of the division
and who the infinitely wise Ren described as ‘small’,
Salvos came out of the blocks fast in the first 20
minutes, playing some nice passing football, winning 90%
of the aerial battles and pressing relentlessly.
In typical Old I’s fashion, we conceded a goal early
doors. A long throw into the box was knocked on by the big
man up top. The ball bobbled around in the box whilst we
tried to slash it clear, it ended up falling to a
midfielder free on the edge of the box to stroke home. We
had been given a warning on these long throws before this
point in the game but we just can’t seem to learn our
lesson. Poor goal and down 1-0.
From kick off we tried to strike back but to be completely
honest we were very sloppy in possession and didn’t seem
to keep hold of the ball as well as we normally do. A
failed attack broke down on the edge of the opposition box
and all of 10 seconds later we had conceded another. A
ball through the middle had too much on it for Peter to
catch, but the striker had plenty of pace about him so
collected the ball one on one with Ryan to slot bottom
corner. 2-0 down after all of 15 minutes played.
Again, we were still getting put under pressure and it
could have been 3-0 but another one on one was saved by
Ryan. Maybe Klopp was watching our game as after 30 mins a
change was made with Peter O’Grady withdrawn for Porter.
This switch meant Matt reverted back to CB, Nolan slotted
in at RB, Alex went back into the middle to add some legs
and Porter was RW.
The switch gave us a little boost with Alex ever eager to
get on the ball and drive at the opposition defence. A
breakthrough for us came just before half time when after
some nice play resulted in a free kick on the edge of the
box. Up stepped Conor to curl the ball away from the
keeper to bring us into the game. Was the goal deserved? I
am not sure but I don’t really care either. 2-1 and we
could get some belief back.
Half time chat centred around where we could press on from
here. 2-1 down we knew we could get at the team the second
half with the wind with us and the sun in the opposition
eyes. It was pivotal we got control of the midfield
battle, the number 6 for them was pulling all the strings
so we needed to shut him down. Up top we had to make sure
the wide men stayed wide to give us the outlet and keep
the middle of the park becoming congested. This team would
doubt themselves in the last 20 mins with struggling this
season as well, so we needed to be ready to capitalise on
any nerves in the team.
Rejuvenated we came out in the second half with a lot to
prove. As much as we seemed to control the possession and
keep the ball much better. There wasn’t an awful lot of
clear cut chances created. A great run from Alex into the
box saw him one on one with the keeper but unfortunately
after driving full pace with the ball all of 30 yards, the
legs had gone and he dragged the shot narrowly wide.
Progressively getting on top in the game we finally made a
break through when some nice passing play left Steve in
the box to place the ball into the bottom corner. 2-2 and
we were pushing for a winner. 10 minutes later and Steve
finds himself in pretty much the exact same position but
this time can only pea roll it straight back to the
keeper. Big chance gone begging and an even bigger muppet
Over the second half we defended resolutely, Matty O and
Liam were winning everything in the air even against the
big man. The wingbacks worked tirelessly to support play,
in particular Jack Barton was always an outlet going
forward and keeping a tricky winger in his back pocket the
whole game. I think Calbo should be taking notes, after
seeing his latest travelling snapchat, the fella is
struggling to pass a ball at the moment. It should be no
surprise then that after working tirelessly the whole game
his legs gave out. Two bouts of cramp 10 minutes apart put
an end to his game and entered him into the fray of muppet
2-2 with 15 minutes to go, we looked in the ascendency but
once again we conceded. The left winger just seemed to
have all the time in the world to drive to the line and
clip a ball into the far stick to be bundled home by the
striker. An absolute sucker punch to our hopes. The rest
of the game we continued to give as much as we could to
get at least one goal back but it wasn’t to be. 3-2 the
game ended and another defeat for the team.
Matty O rightly gave the lads an ear bashing after the
full-time whistle. We had conceded 3 goals to bottom of
the league, a team that had only scored 1 goal in their
previous 4 games. We have now taken their place rooted to
the bottom of the table and now face the prospect of a
relegation battle we simply should never be involved in.
We simply can’t start games this slowly at the level we
are at, concede a couple of sloppy goals early, and then
expect to get a result out of the game.
Man of the match went to Jack Barton for a great display,
probably one of the only lads who could hold their head
high after Saturdays game. Hopefully there are more
performances like this to come in the weeks ahead. Nothing
would please me more than seeing Calbos little boat race
on the sidelines when he returns.
Muppet of the match was shared this week. I think there
were quite a few calls after a poor team performance but
Steve and Jack both won it. Steve for his glaring miss
which could have put us 3-2 up, and Jack for getting
cramp. Must have been Cullycoys aka Cullycramps cursing
him from the sidelines.
We roll on to next week where we hope to get things back
on track, hopefully plenty of numbers at training and
available for the game. Competition for places needs to be
pushing people on, then in a couple of weeks striker Jake
Watson returns from his travels finding out the secret
origins of ladyboys and will be hoping to force his way
back into Dave’s plans. Lots of games to go and lots of
points up for grabs to push ourselves back up the table to