Two quality matches to start our AL1's campaign and a lot of positives to take out of both games.
The firsts got off to a flying start with the opening goal coming in the first few minutes.
Jeremy Green raced in to head in a great cross from Javed from an opening corner. Taken straight from the training ground, Jeremy’s precision and hunger caused all sorts of problems in the box for the Allambie boys. 10 minutes later, Allambie picked up their opening goal, penetrating the box down our right flank and driving home a low driving shot across goal. Play evened out across the patch for the remainder of the first half, with a few chances created and whilst we dominated possession for most of the half, we went into half time all square.
The second half started with a lot more intensity, and during the opening few minutes, we created a number of clear chances, only to see them parried or driven away by the Allambie keeper. After a number of chances, Conor Wilson latched onto an intercepted ball and placed a left footed finish into the bottom corner to take the lead. Going behind seemed to inspire Allambie and a few long balls eventually led to an attack down our right flank. The referee spotted a ball to hand moment in the box and awarded Allambie a penalty. 2-2 with 20 minutes to go.
Jason decided that this was his moment, and after dribbling the ball past 8 players, including 3 of his own, he found himself at the edge of the goal line and the left side of the 18 yard box. Hitting a low driving shot across goal, Jason inadvertently found Harry Vasey’s right foot who guided the ball past the keeper. The remaining 13 minutes were tense with both teams creating chances and lots of scrappy interchange. We held on to take out our first win of the season 3-2!
Straight from the kick off, we put Allambie under immense pressure for the opening 20
minutes, creating several chances. All that was missing was a composed and clinical strike to put us on the score board. After absorbing a bit of pressure from Allambie, a long ball was played out, and Ryan raced onto the ball which was landing outside the box. The Allambie Keeper raced out and caught the ball mid-air well outside the box and in doing so, also caught Ryan across the face. The referee eventually caught up to the play and awarded a free kick. No explanation why the keeper didn’t receive at least a yellow card – or more appropriately a straight red being the last defender. The free kick didn’t trouble their kamikaze keeper. Unfortunately, our lack of incisiveness became our undoing and despite controlling play and possession, we were caught out by a rapid counter attack which came from a quality switch ball and a low blasted shot from our right flank. We continued to push and created several more chances, but didn’t trouble the keeper. Allambie created two more chances identical to the first and wrapped up the first half 3-0 ahead.
We came out of the blocks firing in the second half and with renewed focus, we created several more chances. Allambie held resolute and whilst we broke past their backline a number of times, we were unable to finish the chances created. 15 minutes into the second half, an Allambie corner resulted in a thumping header which put the visitors up 4-0. After a short recovery on the bench, Ryan came back on the pitch and made an immediate impact, creating several chances and forced the keeper to make a few good saves. Off one of the corners, Dan Noble smashed home our first goal of the season with a flying header, leaping higher than everyone thought was possible to get us on the score board. 5 minutes later, Ryan made a penetrating run down Allambie’s left flank, and crossed the ball back to the centre of the goal for an oncoming Corey who put the ball straight into the back of the net. We continued to create more chances and despite coming close several times, we were unable to capitalise on our good play, they game ending 4-2.
The takeaway from Round 1 is that team structure is solid and the formations on corners are working well. We do need to focus on adapting to match situations from effectively and finishing our chances. Overall, a solid start to the season and looking forward to the next one against our old rivals, Augustines.