The D’s this week took on fellow slow starters Immanuel. Both teams only had one win from the first 4 rounds so there was plenty to play for here.
Rumour had it that Jan was to start on the bench against his old club, but just prior to kick-off he made Bres an offer he couldn’t refuse & was duly reinstated to his role as central midfield enforcer & also promoted to captain for the day.
With a plethora of players available for selection the coaches decided to dish out some punishment to a couple of guys for various reasons during the week, but we still had a full list to choose from.
That being said, the merry-go-round continued in player selection, with only 5 players from last week’s squad donning the shirts again this week. How Bres even manages to remember all the players I have no idea.
The line-up was Glyn in goals, Eddie & Darren out wide at the back, Rob & Saf in central defence, Nick & Carlos on the flanks, with Bobby, Jan & Saber filling up the midfield and Wez up front.
Prior to kick-off Jan told us we needed to pressure Immanuel high, as their control & calmness can be a weakness. And it was great to see that right from the kick-off we got on top, passed the ball around well & really pressed their midfield & defence, who duly coughed the ball up on a number of occasions.
Our first 2 goals were almost carbon copies of on another, as we won corners, the ball was delivered to the penalty spot & the header was nicely executed – the first goal went to Saber & the 2nd to Rob, although he did need a second stab at it as the keeper made a good save. We then scored a 3rd as well, after a nice piece of play ended with Saber again, whose shot took a deflection to go in.
At the other end we controlled most of the plays, but Glyn made a terrific save to a well struck shot & also had to charge out & punch clear from a long ball through. He also somehow managed to take out the Immanuel striker with a punch to clear the ball!
Half time at 3 nil the boys were pretty happy. We’d completely controlled the ball & our midfield had dominated. The only low point was Nick ‘Sangas’ Kalfas limping off before half time in his first game back for over a year.
At the break Hamad replaced Nick & James came on for Carlos (who appeared to be suffering from a 24 hour flu… poor fella…). Steve’s plan was for us to get on top again early & really see if we could improve our goal difference.
Unfortunately, the 2nd half turned into a bit of a battle. We never gained control in the same way as we had in the first half & as we tired, Immanuel’s effort improved. Kurt came on for me & then Ali replaced Saber in an attempt to freshen us up, but it didn’t really help.
With 15 minutes to go, Immanuel got a goal that they probably deserved, although the goal itself was a little fortuitous, as a long throw was headed in, with a little deflection along the way. Almost immediately they scored another, this time from long range (and again a deflection assisted). But thankfully the boys held firm for the last 10 minutes to sneak home with the 3-2 win.
What it showed is perhaps we’re not the fittest team going around & i wont be surprised if we do a little more running in the next few training sessions. Best players for us were Saber, Wez and Glyn who had a fine game in goals.