The boys had to make a decision on their boots for the first time, after a bit of rain, and we get to see if they can make use of the quick surface on our large pitch. This combination, with the opposition turning up with 10 men was looking promising. However this soon became frustrating with Ibis being well organised with all their players behind the ball and our passes being a bit wayward - early days. We did get a penalty when Gavin Suddell, playing up front for the first time, was brought down whilst jinking his way into the box. But it looked like it was going to be one of those days when their keeper pulled off a great save and the game was still a stalemate. Soon after, Jack Robery, kept us in the game by pulling off a great save himself after we lost the ball sloppily in midfield, whilst playing out from the back. This was going to happen early in the season while we are getting used to the conditions and playing out from the back, which we will persevere with.
Eventually the pressure from our possession and probing, gained us a corner which gave the opportunity for “goal a game” centre back James Bex to get us off the mark once again rising like another salmon at the back post. Ibis were back up to 11 men with a late arrival so the game began to open up a little. Before the half time whistle we were rewarded with a second goal with a second assist from Matt Roles passing to Alfie Lloyd who smashed the ball past the Ibis keeper, which was no mean feat after witnessing their keepers performance in the second half.
The second half was far more open and could have given us a good lead if it hadn’t been for some outstanding goalkeeping from the Ibis man of the match. We did manage to get another 2 goals separated by one response from Ibis which was another disappointing goal which could have been avoided. A clean sheet is our top priority in the coming weeks! The third goal was an own goal from a ball driven in by Matt Roles who is claiming another assist! The fourth headed in by the towering Gavin Suddell from a James Bex assist.
All in all, a good all round performance and looks like we are heading in the right direction. Getting used to the large pitch and keeping the ball on the ground with fewer touches is sometimes a joy to watch and can only get better. The man of the match for me was difficult but goes to Alfie for his second goal of the season and his driving runs from his new position of left midfield. A special mention to Matt Roles for his workrate and three assists.