Saturday 10th December 2005
By Danny Saines
You win some, you lose some, and you draw some. You also go in at half time in full control with 2 goals to the good. Oh the disappointment after 90 minutes.
BUT, come on boys, I know everyone was really cheesed off - the body language said it all - it''s not the end of the world. Players were blaming players, departments were blaming departments, but at the end of the day it was eleven of you as a collective that threw it away. Oh and a dodgy penalty decision. Daragh you''re dropped. As I said in the changing room after the game though, let''s not get too despondent here. We didn''t lose and although we threw away 2 valuable points we did pick one up. And you will all be back next week to learn from a pretty dismal second half performance. First half - blinding. A bit jittery at the back for the opening 10 minutes or so, but once I had worked out who their key forwards were and placed Daragh and Greenhough man to man, we seemed to sort it.
Judgie''s groin held out, as did Jay Hardy''s ankle, Kirky and Lee looked capable down the flanks and Barry and Ray were interconnecting superbly. Barry got 2 cracking goals which put him on a hat-trick and we created numerous other chances which possibly could have been converted. Ray was unlucky not to get 2 himself in the first 45 minutes. Beaverwood''s only outlet was to feed the quick right winger or the tricky but strong centre forward. Saying that, it was dealt with, although sometimes fairly close to the wind. This, for some bizarre reason, seemed to be down to a lack of communication among the ranks or the ability to take command of the situation at hand. Through nobody''s fault, it seemed that when in our half and on the back foot, everyone was expecting someone else to deal with it. Whether it was to pick up the loose ball, make the challenge, or close down the opponent in possession. Learn from this boys and concentrate on not allowing this to happen. At times it was like a bunch of strangers playing out there. And it seems to happen now in spells every week. It is something I cannot do a lot about - it is up you guys as a squad. Strange. Especially as most you have been playing together for years.
Half time came and went and I don''t think anyone thought that we were not going to get a result. Everyone was upbeat during the half time team talk. At two nil up and even though we were playing brilliantly well when asked to deal with them coming forward I still couldn''t see us not getting the all important first goal after the break and watching them collapse. How wrong I was.
We started the beginning of the second half extremely well and the third goal was surely on the cards. We went close twice, maybe three times in the opening 5 minutes and I already knew once it came the changes which needed to be made. Which was to get Judgey off as soon as possible to rest his groin. Again we failed to capitalise and bang we gave away an easy goal. From that point we lost everything. Heads went down, key players stopped performing and everyone decided that they were going to have a stinker. We lost the ability to play football. And yes, the arguing started along with the niggly little comments to one another. How many more times do you need to be told that this attitude does not get you back in control of a game? All it does is counteract self-belief and enjoyment. It also means that if you are dishing out verbals left, right and centre, you are not fully focussed on the job which you are meant to be doing. Concentration goes out the window and everyone stops functioning as a unit. That’s what cost you the game boys. Not ability, mistakes, age or commitment, but frustration and the easy option of having a pop rather than encourage. And obviously it showed. For the rest of the second half we lost it. Completely. Regardless of the iffy penalty decision WE let Beaverwood back into it, helping them enormously with their own self belief. They only had to listen to us half way through the second half to know that the least they deserved was a draw. They raised and kept coming, we laid down and let them. Oh and sniped at ourselves for their added enjoyment.
The second half became a battle. A battle which needed not to be fought if we had continued playing the way were playing for the first 60 minutes of the match. All because we let a cheap goal in. Mark didn''t really have too much to do before our heads went down. And we were still two one up for God''s sake!! Anyway, let''s regroup and get focussed for the coming week. Oh and a few better individual performances as well please - from everyone. Apart from Ray that is, who got my man of the match for his non stop effort over the whole 90 minutes. How come it was Ray that I saw tracking their midfield players (and on one occasion their forwards) with 10 minutes to go when he was meant to be playing UP FRONT for us? Look and learn from Ray''s commitment boys and take that out with you for the whole 90 minutes this week please. Or don''t be disappointed if you are sidelined.
Finally apologies to Jason Lee. As the only substitute I can understand his frustrations of not getting on. If everything had gone according to plan, Jason should have played some part in the second half. But as we know, things went tits up and when carrying a couple of outfield injuries, a tactical substitution could well have backfired if we had gone down to 10 men once Jay had been introduced.
Hopefully this week we should have more than 12 of which Jason is included once again.
At home again this week and back onto a pitch which is bigger than a postage stamp. Let''s pick it up and hammer them in time for a Christmas brew in the clubhouse afterwards.
ps Just kidding Daragh. I need you on just to listen to the amount of verbal grief you get from everyone. Especially when the opposition are trying to make a substitute!! Highlight of my day...