Whilst most will be loving this Indian Summer, if you’ve got 10 players playing a full team plus many subs it’s the last thing you want to see.
With the loss of Jay to injury last week, losing play maker Fergus yesterday was not the best news and playing on the big CSA pitch instead of our smaller home pitch was not ideal, but the boys were up for it and we had a plan. We set up playing two banks of 4 with one up and trying to squeeze the game to reduce the amount of running the boys would have to do.
Archie was like a little terrier biting at the Westwood defenders' ankles, never giving them any time to settle. Curtis began the game at a ferocious pace, driving forwards whenever possible and not giving the Westwood forwards anything to work with. Likewise Miller, Ben and Christian were like a wall behind Neil, Tom, Josh and Morgan. Westwood were restricted to a few long shots which either went wide or were well dealt with by Will.
Game management was key in the heat and the boys focused on keeping the ball as much as possible and pushing the game into the opposition half and keeping it there. 0-0 at half time and the boys faces matched their red shirts.
Second half and it was getting even hotter, I was sweating just stood on the side-line but somehow the boys kept their concentration and denied Westwood any clear openings. In fact we were starting to carve out our own chances, a couple of great runs and crosses from Tom had the Westwood defenders scrambling and one rocket from Curtis came really close to the far post. Corners and long shots were still the only danger and Will brilliantly tipped one shot past the corner of post and bar whilst back pedaling. A quick drinks break and then 20 minutes to go, still 0-0, legs were really starting to burn but the boys refused to let this game go and somehow dredged up reserves of energy to make it to the final whistle.
This game was just as satisfying as some of our big wins last season, the boys stuck perfectly to the plan and worked so hard as a team covering each other.
Although a great team performance Man of the Match was Curtis who inspired the team with his performance in defense and attack.