Two tough games against a polished Wakehurst team. Both of Wakehurst’s teams were well organised defensively and countered at pace. Credit where it’s due - in their first year in AL1s in 2019, they struggled with the quality and pace of the division, and this was reflected in their results. They have clearly done a lot of hard work to develop the team, and style of play, which has resulted in quality football. Interestingly, the Reserves team were a lot stronger than their Firsts team with respect to style of play, and quality of individual players.
Also, big shout out to the officials this week. Both referees and linesmen were clear and consistent with their decisions, and did a great job in leading the matches. Makes a substantial difference to the quality and joy in the game.
We go again next week against Beacon Hill.
With a long history of comeback wins, teeth knockouts and one ugly orange kit, we were excited to face Wakehurst this past Saturday. The sun was shining and the pitches perfect at the BTH fortress at Wyatt. Unfortunately, the grounds were closed with the horrendous rain and we were moved to the dirt patch that is Warriewood oval. A bit of pre-game hype music was on the cards with Logic spitting tunes to get the boys excited.
Just before the whistle blew to start off the game, I swear to god I saw Jason Sorbara smile and I knew we were going to take the win. The Raiders started well with through balls along the wings working well, putting schoolboy Isaiah and smiling Jason through a number of times with chances following thick and fast. New corner and throw in routines meant that we had a number of early chances and put the pressure on from the get-go. About 20 minutes in Isaiah put in a lovely through ball to Conor who toe-poked it passed the keeper on the right hand-side to make it 1-0. The midfield did well at handling the pressure with Jono and Dave subduing their pace on the wings easily in the first half.
After a stock standard half-time team talk, Rob tried to make us shout Raiders after the hands-in so we would lose the game but thankfully everyone knew to ignore this and shout AL2’s instead. Coming into the second half though, the Wakehurst boys definitely stepped up in their confidence. Their midfield began taking us on and creating a number of chances, but thankfully Jordy “Green Peace Operative” Daly was in goals and his strong hands meant we were never in danger of a lucky goal against the run of play. However, as they pushed more and more, this gave us many more opportunities on the counter attack with Dave, Sammy and Isaiah having a number of opportunities in the half. Javed as usual was making dozens of big runs through their entire team and giving us up front a ton of chances we were missing left right and centre. Conor also had a chance late on but decided to send the ball up to Mars rather than in the netting.
Thankfully our experience pulled through and in the closing 10 minutes, a Javed corner was headed back into the box which allowed Dave to smack the ball in, making it 2-0 and taking all three points.
This win clears us in third place and keeps us in touching distance of the top 2. We have also kept two clean-sheet wins on the trot, without our self-proclaimed best player Isaak, a fact which should make our defence and Jordy proud.
Thanks to Conor the Astronaut for the write-up
Still buzzing from the big win over Pittwater the week before, the Ressies boys arrived at our temporary “home” at Warriewood with a big upset on the cards. Facing the table-topping and undefeated Wakehurst side, we knew it was theirs to lose, and took that attitude into the warm-up.
The initial stages of the game were all the mighty raiders, with the links between attack and midfield starting to take some nice shape, and Ryan and Glyn chasing after some lovely attacking balls and getting a few shots away. Special mention to Johno who, in true Jason Sorbara style, thought that he had to beat 6 blokes before getting a shot away, only to have said shot blocked, denying what would have been a truly spectacular goal. Against the run of play Wakehurst scored their opening goal from a deflection, which left Gabe stranded. Unfortunately, that opened the floodgates and the second goal came from what we all thought was a fluke volley which skewed into the top corner. It turns out that this wasn’t a fluke, as another Wakehurst player repeat this same goal later in the game. We conceded another before half time and being 4-0 down at the half, struggled to recover.
The second half started with Wakehurst taking control and we conceded two more goals. We changed our formation to contain the attack down the width of the pitch, and whilst this contained their players and didn’t give them any further opportunities, but it was too little too late. We did note, however, that they had multiple players start in both games. Interesting tactic against a lowly placed side. The game ended 6-0 on what was a very tough Saturday only made better by the lads completely rattling #22 in the second game.
Thanks to Glyn the Humanitarian for the write-up
ROUND 8 RESULTS