This was always going to be a tough game given we drew 0-0 at the IAPS Qualifiers but we found ourselves 3-0 up at half time which probably took us by surprise. Our first goal came from Glen receiving the ball on the edge of the D from a short corner and he passed it across to Cody who was free to play a fierce shot back towards goal which deflected off a defender’s stick into the goal. Charles, came off the bench to set up the second and then was free to slot home after Glen made a great run down the right.
In the second half, we went from three in defence to just two in order to give our midfield more support. However, Belhaven pressed us early on and our midfield didn’t work back hard enough in defence. This left Albie quite exposed and despite being quite heroic, Belhaven got it back to 3-2 following a well-worked goal and a penalty flick for a shot hitting our defender’s body on the line. Cody scored a terrific individual goal to give us daylight but even though we passed it around nicely between Ollie and Harry at the back, we stopped passing it properly further up the field and lost possession too easily. Albie was on hand to make a number of saves and bail out his sleepy defence out and Ollie made an unbelievable stop on the line after Albie made a charge out of his goal. Luca and Charlie tracked back well in midfield in the final 10 and we managed to hold on but our disappointing defence, combined with Belhaven’s ‘never say die’ attitude and determination in the second half, meant this really was an exciting game.
A very good lesson for the boys about marking tightly and tracking back when we lose the ball. It was very pleasing that Albie, who has been somewhat a spectator in many of our matches this season, to feel more involved in the game and for making a huge impact for us defensively and for that he was awarded Man of the Match. Special mention to Cody for his goals and his determination to get back up and dust himself off when he was on the receiving end of some tough challenges today.