After last week’s unfortunate disappointment of not making it into the cup, we entered the plate competition with high hopes. With our first match a repeat of last week (against Benteke Fried Chicken again) it seemed we had a great opportunity to start strong unlike last term. However, problems arose almost instantly when defensive general Hall and the feisty Jewson declared themselves unavailable. This was the start of a rebellion it seemed as more players declared themselves “unavailable”. New goal scoring superstar Mihir was with futsal, big Seb enjoyed Arsenal struggle against Burnley (on Sunday!) and Chapple was in parts unknown, which meant there was a distinct lack of a keeper.
This meant that on Friday there were only 10 available players, but thanks to the exemplary standard set by your very own president and a few ringers, we managed to get a team out. With injured 5 a side hero Aneesh now acting as manger and captain Roche in goal (desperate times) we hoped for the best. However, it became clear that we lacked the discipline and organisation of last week and it was a scrappy affair. After one ball from the oppositions midfield managed to ruin our defence, a last ditch attempt to stop the striker resulted in a penalty, which was coolly converted. We hadn’t learnt from our setback and still everyone lacked that competitive edge required. Again they nearly broke through, but for a decisive foul 20 yards out. From the free kick our wall hadn’t learnt from last week and failed to jump once again, leading to a deflection that wrong footed the replacement keeper gifting Benteke a 2 goal lead.
Finally, this shocked the team awake and we managed to play much better football. Beni’s corners were lethal in their delivery and Marcus was unfortunate not to have capitalised on one of them. Rhys also manged to make good progress, linking well with Bexson, and was very unlucky not to score. For all our pressure Benteke still posed a threat and one through ball required the sweeping skills of Roche to be on top form with him reaching the centre circle. Fortunately, they couldn’t capitalise on his mistake.
At half time everyone seemed down and Ryan produced a wonderful half time team talk that produced miracles in the second half. We started much brighter and deserved to score. Unfortunately, we couldn’t and it descended into a scrappy affair. After a dreadful back pass from Lewis and an awful clearance from Roach left their striker with an open goal. Yet he didn’t thanks to an epic goal line clearance from Marcus. As the game neared the end we adopted the approach of having less and less people at the back. Yet even with our non-existent defence there were no more goals in the game and it ended as a disappointing 2-0 loss.
Thanks must go to all who helped out and with no game next week, I hope for a more successful return to Tarkett next time.