Where do you go from here? 14 players selected on Tuesday with 2 players released down to teams below, the team had a strong look to it. Fast forward to Saturday 3pm, with 2 pull outs and 2 players no shows and non contactable we were left with 10 players to take on Old Actonians away from home. Further to this, one of the players who failed to show up had the kit bag! We were forced to borrow an opposition kit for the day. It defies belief that individuals in this day of mobile technologies have the gaul to let their fellow team mates down like that. It was an embarrassment.
To the game and Norsemen put up a pretty good show with 10 men causing a few problems to Actonians especially at set piece time. However, the good fortune wasn't to last as firstly a niggle to Andy Grant and then a quite major injury to Danny Hagan, later diagnosed as a semi dislocated knee, further decreased Norsemen's strength. Both players played on, showing dedication that some non attending players could use a dose of, with Hagan putting the team first and swapping into goal though he could hardly stand.
The numbers did eventually tell though and Norsemen were to be 3 nil down before Mark Sarfo earned a penalty following some slippery work inside the box. Having earned it he stepped up and promptly converted to make the half time score 3 1 to Actonians.
More of the same followed in the second half as Norsemen were overrun as energy, enthusiasm and application started to fail. This occurred roughly the same time as every Actonian shot found the inch perfect corners of the Norsemen net giving most weekly goalkeepers no chance let alone Hagan on one good leg.
Norsemen did get one back when Grant was first to react to a Thenesh Naathen shot that came back off the post, heading into the top left corner. Lee Dawson also came close when putting a late free kick onto the crossbar. Scant consolation for the 90 minutes that had gone before.
All in all, 10 players who were let down badly by others. Injuries leading to withdrawals, personal matters, likewise, you can deal with losing players to those. But for players not to show up, not to answer phones and not to be in touch at all before letting their team/club mates down, it is an embarrassment to them and the club. An embarrassment that unfortunately fell at the feet of those who turned up Saturday.
2s Match Reports
SAL Intermediate Division 2