Round 4 – Whites vs Pembroke @ Home
The Whites this week returned to division 4 football, after the distraction of our cup defeat to the Blues A’s last week.
Brez had close to a full squad to choose from, with only Ollie, Phillip and Jan not available. This meant that we welcomed Eddy, Bez, Matt & Wez back to the squad, which also saw Nick ‘Sangas’ Kalfas make a long awaited return to the starting line-up.
Our opponents this week were Pembroke, who were yet to record a win, but with whom we’ve often struggled over the years, as their squads are usually stacked with young, fit, fast energetic players.
Not surprisingly, the coach asked us to play our natural game, short passing from the back, find feet, get it to the wingers & deliver low crosses, and for much of the first half we did just that. We had a number of chances but mostly we hit them wide or high of the target. Bez, Bobby, Eddy & Jonny all had shots, but we couldn’t make them count.
Pembroke though weren’t without their chances either as Glyn was forced into a couple of good saves.
Overall though, we looked a bit flat & at half time the coach told us so. He also asked the boys to move the ball more & dribble less, as Pembroke were breaking down many of our plays when the boys tried to dribble through the midfield.
The second half begun brightly, with us testing the Pembroke defence & keeper a couple of times. We did manage a couple of corners, one which was only cleared as far as Wez outside the 18 yard box, who found the author unmarked to nod in a rare goal from close range. 1-Nil.
Soon after this, some good pressing from our forwards allowed Bez to break free, he raced to goal only for the defender to somehow get a foot in at the last minute to deny him.
From this point on, Pembroke lifted their intensity and were beating us at our own game. Tomas and Homood came on to sure things up & then Darren and Daniel to give us a spark.
Pembroke though were just more desparate than us as we struggled to break out of our own half. They also realised our game plan of playing short out of defence & began to bottle up the play.
To the boys credit though, we limited their sighters on goal & the couple of times they hit the target Glyn was there to rescue us.
The final whistle went & we knew we’d stolen the points! Brez’ comments were something along the lines of “that was a sh*tty performance, the passing was sh*tty and it was one of the sh*ttiest wins ever, but you have to win ugly sometimes”.
Hey, we’ll take the 3 points which moves us up to second on the ladder. Another big game away to Rostrevor next week. Hope to see you all out to training.