When you turn up with a bare 11 players and then 3 say they’re feeling ill and two are carrying knocks and you’re playing a team from a higher division it doesn’t bode well and in the first 5 minutes as Laurel Park (LP) ran rings round us I was fearing the worse. But as the half went on and the score remained level the Blues grew into the game and some lightning fast breaks from Tom and Curtis ended with the ball flashing across the Laurel Park goal and this seemed to give the team confidence. New signing Brad slotted into midfield and looked at home combining well with Josh. Archie and Morgan worked hard up front chasing and harrying the LP defence. LP played some nice passing football causing problems down our left but the Blues kept their shape well restricting LP to very few clear chances. Anything that did make it through was very well dealt with by Will in goal.
Just before half time a momentary drop in concentration allowed LP a shot from the middle of the area to make it 1-0 but the boys remained firm for the rest of the half.
Without subs and with the boys having to do a lot of ball chasing a lot of energy had been expended and LP began the second half looking to apply more pressure and kill the game. The Blues were struggling to hold the ball up the field and with a gap growing between the tiring midfield and attack LP started to create chances and a desperate dive at the feet of a player through on goal resulted in a penalty, but the kick went wide and it remained at 1-0. A couple of minutes later an LP player wriggled free on the edge of the area and looked to curl the ball into the top corner but somehow Will flew across and tipped it wide. With legs tiring, more and more free kicks were being conceded near to our area, but with 20 minutes remaining we moved Tom to left wing and Curtis to left in an attempt to get an equaliser and surprisingly it was the Blues who now looked the more likely to score with a couple of dangerous corners and a couple of scrambled clearances from the LP box. In the last minute we had a free kick on the edge of the area so everyone was in the box but it went wide and LP held out for the win.
A really entertaining game played in good spirit, in the end the boys were disappointed not to take anything from the game but the signs look good for the rest of the season if we can get everyone fit and have a full squad to call on.
Another great team effort with Man of the Match going to Archie for his non-stop running up front.