The Men’s 5s continue their winning start to the season with a 3rd clean sheet in a row, comfortably beating Hertford 6s 3-0.
With injuries to 2 of our youngsters during the week, Cooper with a broken metatarsal & Lawrence with a damaged arm, it wasn’t looking promising, we also thought we were going to have to play with 11 outfield players, but thanks to Colin Izzard kindly volunteering to come along after playing for the 4s and pretty much watch our game from the back wearing the keeper’s kit.
Mark Sutcliffe made his debut for the 5s today, what is it with the youngsters nowadays, they can stop the ball, strike the ball and find a good pass, both Mark & the youngster on the Hertford side had great first games for their respective clubs (and I am sure Nigel was just being kind when he allowed their youngster to control the ball, turn, put it between his legs & skip past him!).
The first half was all ours, we pressed hard & kept the ball in the Hertford half, last week’s tactic of the direct ball into the D looking for deflections wasn’t working, as their wily defenders knew how to pick those, so we switched to getting the ball wide and playing it in from there, a tactic which payed dividends as we drew short corner after short corner. Better injections meant cleaner chances, a slip right pushed wide, a slip left toed away by the keeper, another toed away from a straight strike, they kept out the ball back to the injector & the short pass driven in on the angle. Eventually our pressure paid off, another straight strike from a short was padded away, it came back to Andy P who slipped it to Ant on the right of the D and he found the backboard for his first goal for the club. The second wasn’t long coming, another short, a straight strike from Andy P, bottom left hand corner, 2-0. We continued to press high, disrupting their midfield and breaking up their distribution from the back, but it stayed at 2-0 until the half time whistle drew a very impressive half to a close.
They came out strongly at the start of second half, but we soaked up that brief spell of pressure and got back into our stride, moving the ball wide to stretch their now tiring legs & bringing it back into the middle to drive at their defence. They didn’t concede so many short corners in the 2nd half, but we were creating chances from open play, the forwards found space in the D, but unfortunately not the goal. That was until a ball in from the right from Mark was cleared to Andy P at the top of the D, he found Matt in space on the P spot and he struck it first time past the keeper for our 3rd. And that’s how it ended up.
Must mention the defence, not our usual line-up, but Alex, Dave & Andy T, with Nigel providing protection, sweeping up in front of them, earned us another clean sheet, but defence starts from the front & everybody played their part today, Deven & Matt chasing everything they could, Ant & Paul taking up good positions to minimise their options from the back & Andy always available as an outlet for anybody with the ball.
Man of the match was tied between Ant & Nigel, with Matt & Mark picking up the remaining votes.
Another great performance, let’s keep it going!