Sunday 21st January 2007
President's Charity Cup
By Paul Tanton
Cup games against lower league opposition are always tricky. This was a big game for Connaught Blues who are a young up-coming side who no doubt will be climbing the leagues in the next couple of years. After our impressive display against Goldsmiths this was always going to be tough as we were favourites. I told the lads before the game not to take this game lightly, although Connaught were a few divisions below us they were unbeaten in the league.
In the first half we were against a strong wind blowing down the pitch we restricted Connaught to very few chances and we went close few times especially from set-pieces which I''ve been delighted with over the last couple of games. A trademark Adam Dawson free-kick gave us the lead after 35 minutes, picking his spot from about 25 yards. Despite being slightly the better side our passing, movement and communication was not as good as previous weeks.
In the second half despite having the wind with us we continued to give the ball away and we got increasingly frustrated and started moaning (this must stop). The game was so annoying to watch as we constantly gave the ball away and invited pressure on ourselves. It seemed only a matter of time before Connaught scored but good goalkeeping and defending together with poor finishing kept us in the lead. To be fair we did have our chances especially Daragh who nearly scored from the centre circle. With 10 minutes remaining we produced a good move down the left and Dawson again showed everyone how to finish. So a 2 nil win but very unconvincing, however with games at this stage of the season it’s the result that''s the important thing, playing well is an added bonus.
To progress further in the cup our passing, movement and more importantly communication needs to improve. I also feel we need to have more shots on goal. The main plus points were another week unbeaten, a clean sheet and two good strikes by Adam Dawson. Also again we had options on the bench with 4 good subs, of which 3 contributed to the win; having options on the bench will be vital in the coming weeks as we have some big games coming up.
The man of the match went to Matti Wright closely followed by Cobham, Dawson and Small. Although my vote went to Ray Perkins Snr for one of the best ball retrieval manoeuvres the club has ever seen. A week off this Sunday before what looks like another cup game against free scoring Lessa Albion.
Ps. Before the game Barry said our squad resembled Dad''s Army. Barry has agreed to arrange a night at the bingo for everyone and arrange Dial-a-Ride for away games.