After a weekend to forget last time out, the U13 Mohawks welcomed STBGFC to the Bulmershe Pavilion.
"Jose understands winning and losing are twins in a way. When you win you don't gloat and when you lose you don't go bananas." - Sir Alex Ferguson on José Mourinho.
Last weeks match was certainly one to forget. A trip to Twickenham, a 9:30am kick-off, a pretty poor performance & a demoralising result to go with it. The website says Hearts of Teddlothian Tigers put 13 goals past us, 5 in the first half and 8 in the second half, meaning they almost averaged a goal every 5 minutes.
I'm not going to go into detail on why we had such a bad outing, as there could be a 100 different reasons that went towards it. So this weekend we come up against STBGFC Royals, a team which sit level on points with last weeks opponents.
A few changes to our recent shape/formation saw our wide midfielders become "wing-backs" and a diamond in midfield. I suppose you could of called it a 1-3-3-2-1-1... sounds revolutionary to me. Our altered shape also included some experimental selections, Alex C took the goalkeepers jersey, a back three of Yuvraj G, Matthew M & Nazir A, Owen B at the bottom of the diamond, Leo F & Joe A as our wing-backs, Joe C & Sam H in the centre of midfield, Jamie M at the top of the diamond, Ruwail H as a lone striker and Harry A, Dan R & Janis Z starting as our substitutes. Understand?
The team had a good warm-up and what looked a positive team huddle before kick-off and overall looked well up for the game.
"Today is the day we bounce back"
Sandhurst started the game with a bit more possession than us, but didn't look too threatening. The work-rate of the Mohawks side was plugging all the gaps in our own half and Sandhurst struggled to create chances with Alex C sweeping up comfortably.
On the ball Mohawks were passing the ball nicely. Our midfield diamond of Owen B, Joe C, Sam H & Jamie M outnumbered Sandhurst and we had a few breaks where it looked like we may create a chance.
To a number in the opening exchanges all of our players were playing very well. Sandhurst got the first real chance of the game as we were caught on the break and the STBGFC striker should have really done better.
We played the first quarter of the match at a really high intensity and there was a clear desire from the boys to put last week behind them. Harry A replaced Nazir A, which saw Joe C drop back into defence and Harry A take up a centre midfield role. Dan R replaced Jamie M & Janis Z replace Sam H.
First piece of action from Harry A was to win a big tackle and instantly assert authority in the middle.
Sandhurst had some physical players and with them in slight dominance it was only going to take one lapse in concentration to give them a big chance and unfortunately that may have been what just happened for the opening goal of the game. We failed to close down the assist as the Sandhurst player played a through ball into a gap in our defence. The ball was slotted past Alex C for 0-1.
Having worked so hard so far, the goal sent us a bit shaky. The gaps we were filling earlier on became larger and we opened up a bit.
As Sandhurst worked another attack they played a cross into the box which found another Sandhurst attacker at the back post. A extremely well controlled volley was hit back across goal and was so unlucky to hit the post. After hitting the post, Sandhurst's luck changed instantly as our attempted clearance went into our own net.
It happens at every level of the game and is one of those unfortunate things! I've found some better ones:
Click Here: 20 best own goals!
2-0 down, Mohawks went on to dominate the last 5 minutes of the half. Dan R was causing their defence all kinds of problems with Janis Z's support. Harry A had an effort off-target.
Where was this team last week? There was a genuine belief within the side that we'd been playing well and could get back into the game.
Owen B, Joe A & Joe C took a rest with Nazir A, Sam H & Jamie M returning to the action.
Mohawks started the second half fantastically. On top possession, in the Sandhurst half, with Jamie M having a few efforts from outside of the area. We were dominating as much as possible without actually getting into the STBGFC box.
This half Sandhurst were playing on the counter. Yuvraj G made a good tackle to break down one of their counter attacks and played the ball to Sam H, who beat a player and dribbled the ball into the centre of the pitch, picked out Dan R who played the ball through to Jamie M who kept composed to lob the Sandhurst keeper and put us back in the game. 1-2.
Mohawks got their tails wagging and Sandhurst started tallying up their foul count.
Owen B, Joe A & Joe C returned to the game in place of Matthew M, Yuvraj G & Ruwail H.
Dan R got in behind the STBGFC defence and was brought down by a bad foul. The foul saw him hurt his back but he was okay to continue. The resulting free-kick fell in to Janis Z who played the ball back to Sam H. Sam H from the edge of the box, was probably shooting? I'm not sure but his sliced effort (no arguing with this Sam, I saw your reaction) somehow found Harry A who beat the offside trap and then the keeper at his near post. 2-2.
The celebrations were wild and didn't the boys deserve it. A whole lot of heart, a whole lot of passion and a whole lot of believe. Great team effort to get back into the game.
Late in the game we conceded the winner from a corner and the game turned ugly. Appeals for a push on Dan R in the build up to the goal were ignored and Woodley lost their heads. 2-3.
Decisions go against teams in football every week in every league and we've got to show the referee more respect in the future. The job of the players here is to try and play football and get back in the game. The job of the referee is to make the calls he can see, rightly or wrongly. It's stating the obvious, and I've said it before.
I'm not sure the SAF quote on Mourinho is a totally accurate on him, but the principle of it is correct. When you win you don't gloat and when you lose you don't go bananas, and we went bananas!
Overall, I can't stop comparing this weekend to the previous. We were a complete different team. In fact we cared so much we got upset, when last week we didn't seem to care at all. I'll take the team that gets upset over the team that lets itself get rolled over everyday of the week. Everyone wants to win, and we're not going to go anywhere if we don't want to but we need to control our emotions better. As far as I'm concerned the team bounced back this week.
Man of the Match: Harry A - The first time Harry A has played in midfield for the Mohawks and judging by his performance it won't be the last. Deserved his goal for his efforts. Well done Harry A!
Other mentions: Joe A - Had a great game despite illness, Leo F - Flawless, Alex C - Hadn't played in goal for a while but had a very good and composed game.
Thank you to Nigel and Richard for sharing the line duties.
Also a thank you to Harry M (Matthew's brother) for running the line last week - He looked the most professional part of our side that day.