I – What happened next?
We’ve spent the past few days analyzing the past 6 games and trying to determine the successes and the negatives, the defensive coach, Seb Button, has spent a long time strategically working plans for each defensive player but not all of them seem to be paying to much attention. The opening game was a huge success, but the players need to understand that this is a very tough, very strong league & we won’t win every game, but we will throw everything we can at our opponents to try.
Welling – Home
A boring 0-0 result in a game that never had much to show. We did nothing with the ball & when we did, we panicked in the final third. Credit to Welling, they shut us out in the last 20 minutes when we were really piling on pressure, but to no avail. Welling had the best chances with 3 or 4 shots from around the edge of the area, testing our keeper at times but nothing that was really threatening our goal.
Wealdstone – Away
Another frustrating performance in a game that we were absolutely dominating. We were very threatening pushing forward but slack when we were coming back. It was a tough ask, the pitch was awful and it was pissing it down with rain but we did what we could. We had several chances that we should’ve put in the back of the net but once again our strikers just failed to capitalize. A huge game next week and it’s a must win, I expect a big performance.
Hampton & Richmond – Away
After the disappointment of the last 2 matches & after a week and a half of solid work on our defensive to attacking transitioning, it really paid off. We put in a simply perfect performance. We lined up on our typical 4-2-3-1 which saw us play with two inside forwards which at this level is incredibly unusual. We had Set upfront on his own which is what he prefers, he wants to be the main man and score our goals.
Set got us off to a fantastic start, on the 13th minute a ball was played through the middle of the pitch, splitting the Hampton & Richmond’s defense, leaving Set with an easy task of putting the ball past the onrushing keeper. Sorli got our second, a sublime freekick from all of 25 yards, right into the top left corner, something Ronaldo would’ve been proud of.
We were sitting comfortably with a 2-0 lead going into half time, but I really didn’t want our lads thinking the game was won when we all knew that the game was still in reach for Hampton. The second half kicked off and within 5 minutes, we’d seen 4 yellow cards. The players were starting to get frustrated, but they knew that they had the game won IF we played how we had been.
75 minutes had been played….. Set takes the ball past 2 defenders, the right back comes across to cover and absolutely clatters Set, the ref gives a penalty without hesitation and gives the right back his marching orders. Set steps up, points to the side that he’s going to be placing it….. the keeper dives the other way. 3-0, game won.
Dartford – Home
Well, Set has certainly carried on his scoring form. A perfect hat-trick today & I couldn’t be happier for the bloke. Momentum has changed in our favor, we’ve got a confidence that we lacked. We’ve trained hard to get things like this right and it’s slowly starting to pay off. We’ve learnt to attack right from the off & from the minute the first whistle blew, we applied an incredible amount of effort & determination to win the ball at every chance. Challenges were flying in, players we’re being pushed and shoved, but it made the game alot more entertaining.
In truth, the scoreline flatters us a little, we did have 61% possession but Dartford missed 2 penalties, 2 open goals and a freekick that rattled off the crossbar. Things are FINALLY starting to fall into place for us, we plan on keeping this good run going and making the most out of each and every game. Another 3 points in the bag!
Oxford City – Home
We were heavy favorites for this clash, that didn’t worry Oxford though. In truth, they really didn’t deserve to lose. They were much, much better than us but we were just lucky. The 2-1 win was a strange one, all goals were own goals, literally all 3. I don’t know what else I can really say about this game, it was a weird one.
Hemel Hempstead – Away
Hemel were heard saying ‘We scored 3 but still lost? HOW?!’ well……
We were the better side, fact. Hemel did deserve to score, but 3? Luck, pure luck. Our defensive unit just seemed to fall apart, they genuinely struggled to keep up with the run of play. They looked jaded and very, very unsure of the abilities they hold. It was nice to see one of our fringe players score, Benty scored twice! 2 nice little finishes, one was a dink over the keeper, the second was a simple tap in. Nothing too fancy or technical for someone who usually has 2 left feet.
Shagger got himself another 2 goals which is nice to see, the lads really started to find his feet & you can finally tell he feels comfortable in his role. When he joined, I don’t think he fully expected to be one of our starting players, but his attitude & his work in training left me with little option, hes been a jem. Set scored his 8th of the season…. Not bad, eh?
The league table
It’s safe to say we’ve had an exceptional start to the league. We’re still currently undefeated and we’re playing some exceptional football. The squad have came together exceptionally well & are performing like champions, my issue is overconfidence. What happens if they play too well and get incredibly cocky? That’s the kind of thing I want to avoid.
The Team Meeting
“Right lads, we’ve been in fantastic form but I don’t want you to get too excited. We have a long & tough season ahead. We’ve got Havant & Waterlooville next game who sit in third place, it’s going to be a real contest so you can be sure to expect a tough game.”
“The boss is right. We’ve been playing well but we can’t expect to win every game. That showed against Oxford, we really struggled to get hold of the game & they gave it everything.”
The final word
It’s no hidden fact that we’ve hit the ground running. We’ve showed true intent as a football team, however we still lack confidence when on the back foot. We’ve conceded to many goals from positions that we should have covered. We have the best team in the league with the best players but our weakness lies at the back.
In terms of attacking, we’ve been incredibly dominant. Several of our attacking options have been potent infront of goal. Set has been in sensational form since joining the team & it’s been fantastic to see.