That was a tough start to the season. Not a great result, but certainly not reflective of the performance. There are a lot of positives to take away, especially considering that Brookies team is ex-AL1s from last season.
Brookvale was awarded a penalty (which was a poor decision) in the 30th minute. Unfortunately, we’re going to have decisions go against us throughout the season and despite holding firm in defense, we went down 1-0. The key issues we had in the first half were around first touch, playing the ball out of the back and keeping possession during transition.
There was a dramatic improvement in the second half and we started with a lot more intensity and control. We created several chances and were far better with respect to positional play and movement off the ball. The opening chance in the second half was a quick ball into the box from the Gaffa to Howie to create a run-in. Howie was taken out and won a well earned penalty. Damon stepped up and thumped the ball into the back of the net. 1-1!
Connor Hale, who had played exceptionally well in CB up to that point took a knock to the knee which took him out for the rest of the match. That seemed to be a pivotal change that disrupted our backline and with the lack of match fitness a contributing factor, Brookie took full advantage by putting two well-struck shots and one lucky finish past Gabe to wrap up the game 4-1.
We will continue to focus on improving our first touch, pass and go, as well as off ball movement. It will come lads. We need to continue working hard!