Thackley Sports V Britannia FC 16.1.05
The tie eventually got underway
at the third time of asking, with a Sunday Cup quarterfinal place up for grabs. The team had two changes from the previous
week, with Mark Nurthen starting in midfield and Daniel Wilde dropping to the bench, and manager Stevo still injured being
replaced by Richard Harrison in goal. Manager Stevo decided to stick with the 3-5-2 formation, on a pitch the size of an African
Sports began like they began the
week before, all over the place with Britannia playing the better football of the opening ten minutes, the ball over the top
to their two pacy strikers was causing the Sports defence all sorts of problems. Although the sports were beginning to open
up the opposition defence it wasn’t much of a surprise, when an uncharacteristic mistake by Lee Holtom, let in the Britt
striker to finish well. 1-0
Things didn’t improve that
much, but the chances were there for the sports, they just were not being taken. Britannia defended well to keep us at bay.
Then another attack by their strikers led to a clumsy challenge my Martin Maude to give away a penalty. Fortunately the penalty
taker hit it straight down the middle and it was well saved by Harry in net.
Even though we had been let of
the hook, we only improved marginally, Mark Nurthen was sent into the back four to resort to a 4-4-2, in order to try and
cope with their attackers.
The change in formation steadied
the ship, without the team producing any brilliance. A corner was awarded to the sports 5 mins from the break, and Mark Nurthen
curled the ball over, directly into the Britannia net. 1-1
At half time, the team were given
their first irate team talk of the season; the silence of the players told its own story!!!
The second half commenced and the
sports began to put passes together, and looked a lot more comfortable, however the threat was always there. Daz Castell was
withdrawn due to an injury sustained in the first half, and replaced with Mark Robinson, who went in at centre half, with
Mark Nurthen going back into midfield. With not much happening from either team the occasional chance came and went for both
Then tactics prevailed, Mark Nurthen,
who had a dead leg, was replaced by Andy Christie, who, not normally a midfielder was sent into the centre to get his foot
on the ball, and start to control the game. No sooner had he arrived, when the best chance of the game fell to him, but his
shot was saved by the goalie.
With time running out, we needed
that one pass to sort the tie out, and it came from Andy Christie, a defence splitting ball was played through, and Paul Clarke
ran 30 yards before blasting the ball into the back of the net. 2-1
The Sports managed to see out the
last 5 minutes, and won the tie. On reflection a draw was probably a fair result, but again not playing well and still winning
was the only positive thing to take from the game.
There were too many players, playing
for themselves in this game and not the team. We produced a game of football, without passion, commitment, and desire, something
that if we play without next week will get hammered!!
For the first time ever the best
player was a sub, and for the second week running Andy Christie produced half an hour of competent play, something which others
failed to do, in the last two weeks.
With probably the biggest two games
of the season coming up, something has to change to enable us to recapture the good form we have shown previously.
What will next week bring?
MOM: Andy Christie