Josh_MU: Hey thanks! I have checked your blog and I really like how you work with photos – this is something I should definitely incorporate in my writing! As soon as I find the time I will read your ManU story and leave a comment!
TodayAtTomorrow: Thank you for the reply and your suggestions! How about this … from now on I will put the basic match facts into a spoiler and keep the text where it is. Those who are not interested in the detailed match reports will be able to quickly check the spoiler and those who enjoy reading my reports will not know the result until they read the whole thing. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn't it?
Lowelife23: Hey thanks for your reply. Indeed DIY is more challenging but at the same time it's also very satisfying when it actually works. I always feel kinda like Tom Hanks in Cast Away: “Yeaaahhh, look what I created! I have made fire … I … have made fire!” hahaha. Good luck with Gloucester City!
04st September 2012
Match report #6
Oxford City - Boston Utd
Hello guys! I am more than happy to welcome you at Court Place Farm, where we will take on Boston United. While the weather does not really spoil us today – breezy, 15*C – 335 spectators decided to spend their Tuesday evening rooting for their favorite team – that's 10% more than last week, when we really dominated Worcester and scored 3 goals against them. Today we are not aiming any lower – we are the superior team, we enjoy home advantage and have the momentum on our side – anything but 3 points will be a serious disappointment. This is exactly what I explained to the team – fans who come to the stadium on a rainy day deserve to see wins and it is our job to deliver. After all the club prosperity also heavily relies on our success, because winning is the only marketing strategy in this business!
Once again I have decided to mix up the formation a little bit and drafted the following eleven to start the game:
Midfield and up does not really need too much explanation. Lonsdale and McNish are perhaps my youngest pair of CM's but they are very ambitious and work together just fine. Declan Benjamin might not be my first choice for right WM but his determination and work rate make him a very visible player when he gets to play, so I never regret sending him out … except for when his long passes and attempts on goal hit our supporters in the front row instead of the goal. Jamie Cook does not really have that problem – he still has not scored this season but takes pride in the highest percentage of completed passes, so I will support him in finding his mojo. The defensive 4 is standard and so, without further ado, let's jump right into the action!
I guess my team got the message from the pep talk because they immediately took control of the action. After just 3 minutes we intercepted a poor long pass by Boston Utd on our half and it took us only 6 seconds and two passes for Benjamin to have and attempt on goal from about 25 meters. His shot went wide but once again we made a nice transition from defensive to attacking football, with one touch action and very good overview.
In the 7th minute Benjamin had another chance to score – this time it must have been surprising even to him. After a throw in he got the ball back and went for a long pass into the box. Once again his aim was off but instead of going out of bounds the ball curved towards the far post. The Boston goalkeeper Haystead only just managed to tip it over the bar. The corner did not cause any immediate threat but seconds later resulted in the strangest attack I have seen so far. After the ball went back to Cook on the left flank he passed it to Steven Basham who was charging at the near post with no defenders between him and the goal but instead of taking his chance he … passed it back to Cook?! I don't know what happened there but it does not resemble the Basham I know, so I assume this was a complete black out and won't happen again.
The next attempt resulted from a slow paced attack in the 14th minute. After pushing it around without much plan Lonsdale got himself together and went for a run towards the right corner where he pumped it into the box, aiming for Steve Basham. Unfortunately that did not work because the goalie saw the danger and deflected it out of bounds for another corner. Boston managed to head it out of the box but that is exactly where my DM usually wait for sloppy clearances and boy did Quinn hammer it at goal … but again past the right post. So far this has been our best situation and the miss made me really angry because chances don't come much better …
Just 4 minutes later we had another good chance that started on our part of the pitch. After a throw-in Harris went for the long pass to Basham, who saw Lonsdale in the middle and no defender next to him, so he made the direct header into space. Lonsdale ran towards the right corner, passed it to Benjamin and after passing by his defender got the ball back just 15 meters from the goal. Unfortunately his shot was rather poor and Haystead managed to punch it out of the danger zone. Once again, good pace, good set-up … very disappointing finishing.
After two more attempts in the 23rd and 27th I started thinking that I did not like where this was going. We had a good amount of chances – including two big ones – but our finishing has been awfully poor, exactly like in the last game. If you don't use the edge you created, you open the door for a lucky punch.
Here we go again … 36th minute, throw-in for Boston Utd. Mayo takes a long run-up and throws it into our box, where B. Devyne is already waiting for it. Luckily C. McNish sees what's happening, overtakes the attacker and, in order to reach the ball, goes for a slide. Out of the blue Devyne falls … and Boston get a penalty! How is this even possible – how do you tackle somebody who stands behind you!? I have analyzed the situation through an through and still can not find a reason for this ruling here but I guess that is not my job. I will however address this in the post-match press conference. Unbelievable … After the yellow card for C. McNish, Newsham executed the penalty and put his side 0-1 ahead. It's not easy to be up against 12 players …
After that the game went into stand-by mode and it looked like my team wanted to hide away in the dressing rooms, except for they forgot one thing – I was waiting for them. I don't exactly remember what I said but I did not mince words, that's for sure. It just can not be, that we have 10 attempts and don't go ahead … not even when the goal is presented to us on a silver platter …
I don't know if it was my yelling at the team or if they were shell-shocked after the penalty but in the second half we remained in complete shut-down … It is amazing but the extended highlights don't show one single situation … I have tried substitutions but all that did not help and yeah … that's exactly how the game ended … like there never was a second half.
This was definitely our worst game so far. We really gave away the penalty and did not even challenge Boston in the second half. I was deeply disappointed with how we just gave it up … this is unacceptable. While I don't understand the lack of spirit I will admit that my decision-making was probably not at it's best here. In the future I will make sure to send out a more experienced starting eleven, plan my substitutions ahead and maybe try to control my feelings a little bit more because putting pressure on 18-20 year old players is very borderline and ranting at the press conference will eventually result in a fine – this time the FA decided to issue a warning. Lesson learned