5’s League Double Header vEdmononians5’s:
Saturday 27th March 2010
Match 1: Won 4-1
Scorers: Match 1 Scott Farmer, Davied Upali, Colum O’Driscoll & Own Goal
Match 2: Lost 3-2
Scorers: Match 2 Scott Farmer & Ollie O’Driscoll
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
The importance of today’s Double Header was spelt in no uncertain terms before the first ball was kicked, and it was a 12 pointer, not just a 6 pointer, as if we had won both games we would have created a 9 point advantage over a side with 4 games in hand on us! As the league table showed us top, and Edmontonians 3rd, just 3 points behind us with I repeat 4 games in hand.
Match 1 – “The Good”
We lost Gary Monaghan within the first quarter, as he pulled up with a groin strain, and he was replaced by Ollie O’Driscoll who was visiting from the “Black Country (Wolverhampton)”.
We went 1-0 up when Scott Farmer passed a shot into the corner of their net from 12 yards, and their keeper did not even dive.
Our second goal was football at its best, “the Good”, a brilliant move on the break involving Sam Ward, Ollie O’Driscoll, Scott Farmer and Davied Upali, whereby we broke down the right wing and after 4 passes; Davied Upali was left with a tap in from 8 yards to convert a great team goal.
2-0 up and the Oppo were at times giving us problems with their long ball approach to the game, and at times defensively we did not look assured. They came close to scoring on at least 2 occasions before the break.
Half-time: Good attitude by all. More of the same please.
Second half saw good work by the lively Scott Farmer forced an opposition defender to score an own goal to put us into a 3-0 lead, and Colum O’Driscoll again got on the scoresheet converting inside their 6 yard box to put us 4-0 up!
Sam Ward and Scott Farmer with a quarter remaining were replaced by Jamie O’Brien and Mick Ward.
We looked good going forward and continued to create chances and Mick Ward should have extended our lead and buried a great cross by Ollie O’Driscoll, which he connected with wrong.
We were unfortunate to concede a consolation goal in this game to Edmontonians 5’s as Tim Burles had gathered everything with ease, and he had looked a class act.
We won 4-1 and Scott Farmer was Man of the Match.
Match 2 – “The Bad” and “The Ugly”
Firstly before this game even started we conceded advantage to our opposition by being concerned about what they would think, if we repeated our pre-match ritual by linking arms and making a roar again as we had done before Match 1. We should have done this again and I should not have listened to a certain individual who was wrong telling us not to do this. Several years ago Leeds United arguably lost a Premiership play off Final to Watford in the tunnel before the match: – Aidy Boothroyd the Watford Manager at the time had instructed his players to jump up and down in the tunnel and shout before they went out onto the pitch, and this unsettled the Leeds team who lost 3-0 and never got into the game – so in future please leave Mind Games to others!
Sorry to continue my moan, but that was our problem as we did not approach Double Header Match 2 with the same attitude and winning mentality as we had done for Match 1!
The second match saw Ollie O’Driscoll start in place of the injured Gary Monaghan, and Jamie O’Brien on for Paul Holland, and the shape of the team was changed significantly from the first game, and the writer will accept criticism for not getting our shape, or tactics right in this match.
The match started and we took an early lead through the lively Scott Farmer. 1-0 up and we should have pushed on with more effort and passion, but we played to the contrary without purpose, or conviction and we allowed the opposition back into the game.
Firstly, one of their players was allowed to attack our left side and run half the length of the pitch, without us making one challenge on him! He shot wide of the post from inside our box, and this sent out alarm bells ringing.
Soon after we conceded two sloppy goals, and our opposition were 2-1 up and full of confidence, whereas we looked tired, unorganised and lacking effort – “The Bad”.
Half-time: Two changes made, off Colum O’Driscoll and Peter Johnston, and on Paul Holland and Mick Ward.
The second half saw us playing against a confident opposition, and it seemed like we were playing against 12 men, as on nearly every occasion that they shouted for a decision at their Club Secretary Referee, they were awarded an offside, free-kick, corner, goal-kick and throw-in in their favour, whereas us on the other hand we were probably being awarded a fifth of what we deserved. This was a shame as the referee was excellent in first match, but in my opinion poor and he was 80% biased towards his own club in the second match!
Still as we tried to find our way with the clock ticking down, their number 4, scored a spectacular goal from outside our area into the top corner, after cutting in from the right, he was allowed to move unchallenged before unleashing the best individual game of both matches.
This really hurt, 3-1 down to the same 11, as they had no subs, after beating them at a canter in the first match. Difference was though, that they were clearly more up for it and they did not change their long ball approach which paid dividends, whereas we had lost our way and shape.
With 5 minutes to go the skilful Ollie O’Driscoll scored goal number 2 for us, which was just reward for his hard work from midfield.
As we became extremely frustrated by poor refereeing decisions towards the end of the game, “The Ugly” set in, whereby we lost time and momentum by arguing and barracking their referee which was totally unacceptable. It damages the good name of our club to act like Premiership players and use decent in this manner, and I would not have been surprised if one of the younger players had seen red!
The whistle blew and we lost 3-2, and we have now blown any chances that we had of a top two finish! The fact is that there are now SIX sides below us, who can now go above us in this League Ravenscroft Reserves, Edmontonians 5’s, Queen Mary College Old Boys 3’s, Mill Hill Village Res, Parmiterians 7’s and Camdenians 4’s who all have games in hand on us!
Ollie O’Driscoll was a deserving Man of the Match for this game, and the only other player who played well in this match was Tim Burles.
We now have a break of 3 weeks until our next game, and other sides will be playing catch up, and we now can have no say in how the aforementioned sides finish their season, except against Parmiterians 7’s and Camdenians 4’s who are 2 of our remaining 3 football matches.