RESERVES TEAM – Thanks to Luke Dorizas for the write up
To start with, on Saturday night I ran into one of the guys from Harbord and he came up and said how much respect they had for us for pushing them all game – he said last year they only conceded 2 goals all year and said how hard they had to work to get back into the game, one of the toughest they had played. Important for us to remember!
First half started well, we created lots of chances through Aidan, Pasc and Deano up front, however just couldn’t put it away! Aidan had a cracking shot with an amazing save to stop him. We were using our pace in attack well but couldn’t capitalise. In defence we also held strong and some last line tackles kept Harbord out. Halftime we went in 0-0
Second half we continued fighting, and Jellis provided the spark we needed. He was unlucky with his first shot stopped by another amazing save, until his next chip went in spectacularly! Not long after, Pasc was then there to clean up for his first of the year too. 2-0 is a lead you need to be careful with as it only takes one goal for them to get back into the game, as we went on to see. In the end it was our match fitness that let us down. In defence too, we commited too often letting them skip through and open us up, making us do so much more work
We played a good side who in the end played a bit smarter and had that bit more hunger to finish. A great test first up though, for which we will be stronger for now going into rest of season. Shout to Javy too who had a blinder in goals, prob saved 2 or 3 more as well.
From the opening whistle to the final kick, we dominated possession and most of the play throughout the match. Harbord were a depleted side too, considering most of their players had backed-up from the Reserves Game. The sat deep in the First Half and soaked up all the pressure we had to throw at them. We had several shots on goal during the first half, however, their keeper was equal to every shot made, and the half ended goaless.
In the second half, we continued to drive forward and after 6 minutes, Brad Moody launched a cross-field ball into the box from a free kick. Isaac won a beautifully timed header and noded it back in from of the goal mouth. The Gaffa took a first time right-foot half volley and slammed the ball into the top left of the goal. Reinvigorated, we were able to continue our attacking threat. However, the Harbord GK proved to be Johnny on the spot every single time. With 5 minutes of play left, Harbord’s midfield placed a through ball which their strikers latched onto and snuck in behind our two CBs. Isaac was able to reach him in time, however, a misplaced tackle led to a foul outside of the box. Despite loading up the box, the Harbord player struck an inch-perfect shot and hit the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
The final whistle left us frustrated and feeling like we had snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. A very disappointing result considering the quality of play and number of chances.
LESSONS FROM ROUND 1
There were a lot of great points to take away from Saturday’s games:
We created a large number of chances in both games, and were able to neutralise most of Harbord’s efforts before getting near the goal.
The effort that everyone put in was fantastic, with a great work rate from our midfielders, some creative play from our Strikers and brilliant last ditch tackles from our defenders
The areas we need to be mindful of:
Match fitness was exceptionally poor in both grades. We need to get the entire squad to training and see everyone put in 100%. I’d also encourage each of you to get one or two more runs a week with a focus on sprinting, short fast runs with recoveries in between.
Despite having a lot of chances created, we failed to finish many of the opportunities; this is something that we’ll work on in training.
Let’s have a good training session this week and get ready to bounce back against Manly Vale next Saturday!