Pembury Reserves 1 v 1 Capel Sports and Social
This weekend saw us in action against Capel Sports and Social, a team we have now played 3 times in 5 weeks (2 league and 1 cup game), and until yesterday, a team that we had lost to on the previous occasions - losing 5-3 and 5-1 respectively.
This week we had the luxury of having 15 players, and with a good mixture of youth and experience, we went into the game with a bit more belief and confidence.
After consultation with a couple of the senior players that played the previous week (against Capel, in which we lost 5-1), we started the game in the same formation, believing that we had to try and match our opposition down the centre of the pitch.
The game started and we battled hard, and to be fair to both sides, neither really created clear cut chances early on.
However as the half progressed, it became evident that we began to believe that we could, if we put the effort in, get something out of the game.
Approx. 25 mins in, and after a neat ball down the line from Ross, Yac wriggled free and bore down on the keeper. As the Capel centre half came across to close him down, Yac unselflishly squared the ball across to Dave to sidefoot into a empty net. 1-0 to Pembury Res.
This goal seemed to lift the team, as they saw their efforts being rewarded, and although both sides were left a little perplexed at some of the decisions they did / didn’t get, we kept Capel at bay and went into half time 1-0 up.
At half time, we stressed the need to keep both the effort and concentration up, as we knew that Capel were more than capable of upping their game and causing us cause for concern.
Capel started the second half and almost immediateley pushed one on their 3 central midfielders into a more advanced position. After a couple of minutes assessing the effect this may have, we decided to drop Nick back to, in effect, a more traditional 4-4-2 formation to ensure that we could counterattack Capel’s intentions.
Capel did up the pace, but we responded very well and met their attack head on. As a team we worked very hard and when we did manage to get on the ball we tried to play football and we did create chances.
Unfortunately, we allowed Tommy (their very lively centre forward) to pick up the ball, jink pass a couple of challenges and hit a shot which crept into the corner of the net, just out of the grasp of Jeff. 1-1.
Both sides pressed for a winner, and we decided a switch was necessary. Matt Conroy, who was superb throughout, dropped back to do a man marking job on their centre forward, meaning that Toby made his debut on the right hand side of midfield.
With virtually the last kick of the game, we had a free kick half way inside the Capel half, and the ball was floated into the Capel penalty area where Dave flicked it on into the Capel net. Despite the linesman being a Capel official, who did not flag for offside the referee disallowed the goal and the game ended 1-1
The last paragraph isn’t meant to sound bitter, as both sides were left puzzled by some of the earlier decisions as well, but it would have been great to have picked up 3 points, although this would have been harsh on our opponents.
Typically, just as we are getting a better understanding of the system, the players etc, we don’t have a game next weekend. Therefore, enjoy the week off, but come back refreshed and raring to go on the 22nd.
Lastly, can I say well done to everyone involved yesterday; hopefully this shows you that you are capable of matching the top teams in the division, and serves as a catalyst for kicking on for the remainder of the season. Matt Humphrey, Chris Clarke and Brynn Salter deserve my thanks for maturely accepting the decision to put the team first, and as a result they didn’t get their time on the pitch yesterday but there time will come.