We arrived in Hitchin for the graveyard shift at 430 on Saturday. Having been briefed on Monday night training by Will Holderness, we introduced the full press strategy into our game which seemed simple but effective.
As at Friday afternoon, we had a bare 11, some of whom were still carrying injuries (Ed foot; Rocky elbow and having not played since March; Saleem injured ankle; Dawood hand), Dawn's brother Waleed kindly stepped up at the 11th hour to boost the team.
The game began and our press was decidedly shaky - as this was a new format for us. Despite working hard and becoming tighter with our marking in our new roles, we couldn't convert a single short corner (6) - their goalie was outstanding - we went into the break 2-0 down.
The team talk at the half way stage was positive, inspiring and direct - keep it simple; do your job and keep the faith.
The second half was quite frankly inspirational, The work rate was upped; the marking was tight; the confidence grew; and the team work was palpable. We were rewarded with the break-through we had been waiting for - Dawood converting a short corner - 2-1.
After 15 minutes into the second half our indomitable skipper Ed launched himself headlong into a shot on goal, falling dramatically in a pool of blood having been bludgeoned by the oppo's stick right across the eye socket.
Despite this, the team felt a wave of newly found confidence - it was only a matter of time until Waleed then slotted one in from open play 2-2. hearts were turning blue and were sinking, There was a feeling the game would play out 2-2.
With 10 minutes to go, captain going wild with encouragement on the side line, we bagged the winner, again from Waleem. What a feeling, what a result, what fun - bring it on!