A bitterly cold Saturday morning was doing its best to freeze us, body and mind. Through chattering teeth we planned to play our passing game that had been so successful in recent times.
However, a slight change in personnel meant a shift in emphasis in our formation which was perhaps our eventual undoing. Despite their work rate, our three-man midfield could not maintain the required to-and-fro to join up the cluttered ends of the pitch.
An extended period of locked horns was finally ended when Dawood Iqbal found their back board from a questionable short corner, slightly against the run of play. However, their rapid equaliser meant the party at half time was more subdued than we'd hoped for; again we determined that we should pass and move as when we do this well we can beat most teams in this league.
The second half saw two further Berko goals, from Toby P (an instinctive turn-and-shoot) and from Paul's ball Whitby (sorry, can only remember the pre-goal shout) but the game was slipping away from us. They suffered a frozen calf muscle depleting them to ten and a half men but, perchance, had the cold frozen all of our eleven tiny minds? Mistakes abounded like snowflakes and our structure melted. Individuals tried hard and played well - particularly our youngster Jon B who played with composure beyond his years and earns MoM - but what we needed was more width and more work off the ball. The post match handshake was, perhaps, the first time we felt our own little hands and it was a 5-3 defeat that we reported to those snug in the warmth of the clubhouse.
Did I mention it was cold?