With 5 players unavailable through injury the game was always going to be a challenging one. It didn’t get any better when Chris Morgan came off after a couple of minutes with a bad back and Archie Lloyd followed after turning his ankle in the first half. Luckily we had squad players to step up to add to the boys from last week who coped with the pressure of playing in an unbeaten team. However It did emphasise the importance of coming training and getting fitter, because as the game went on our normal organised set up was all over the place! In summary come training, (Fail to prepare, prepare to fail) and do some extra on your own if necessary. Well done to the boys that stepped up and didn’t look out of place.
Despite the injuries, we found ourselves ahead with a delightful chip over the Alexander Park defence by Laurence Connolly into a clever run from Gavin Suddell who slotted it past the keeper. We then broke a cardinal sin by allowing the opposition to pull one back within 5 minutes, concentrating after scoring is so important and the lesson must be learned. Going in at half time at one a piece was not a bad result having played against the wind and disrupted by 2 injuries, so everything to play for.
The second half was very quiet and flat for some reason, we seemed to have lost some self belief, which should not happen to a side that has won every game up to this one? To the rescue comes Jake Lawrence who was everywhere setting a captains example. He put in one of his driving runs and sent in a diagonal ball into the box that tempted Jardell Stirling who smashed a great header into the top corner. From then on it was backs to the wall, where we went through possibly the worst phase of play that I have seen from the team this year. We were disorganised and unable to keep possession of the ball, not stringing two passes together. Training essential to get back on track! It was no surprise that we conceded, giving away a sloppy goal, put away by an unmarked player at the back post in open play. The game was now open and a draw looked like the best bet. There was thankfully a twist in the tale when the game looked dead. Matt Roles took an exquisite corner and found an unmarked Tom Carl Fletcher who headed the winner. Sometimes you just get away with it.
My man of the match was difficult this week because the performance was a bit below par. The team was a little disrupted with changes to personnel and players playing out of position, but these are the games that feel so good when you win. Winning ugly is sometimes the best feeling! There were good performances from always consistent Alfie Lloyd, Matt Roles & Jake Lawrence. But I am giving the accolade to Gavin Suddell, who at times worked tireless on his own up front when our backs were against the wall and scoring the opening goal.