Kanwal vs Barnstoneworth B North Match Report

Due to our washed out Round 17 game being rescheduled to 27 August, Round 18 game saw us travel to play Kanwal in our penultimate home and away game of the season as minor premiers and with the brief being to make sure we used our final two games to build momentum for the finals series and get some more minutes into our returning players’ legs.

With our opponents needing a win to have any chance of making the finals spots and our previous encounters having been very close affairs, we were expecting another tough game and so it proved, with Kanwal starting very brightly and applying a fair bit of pressure from the first whistle. After weathering the initial onslaught and despite not playing as well as we know we can, we were able to begin to force our opponents onto the back foot but it still took a little bit of good fortune for us to capitalise when Lee’s cross was misjudged in the blustery conditions leading to their ‘keeper dropping the ball into his own net. Five minutes later we were awarded what looked like a soft penalty but karma again reared its ugly head, when Tom disappointingly screwed the spot kick wide of the goal. Not disheartened by that, we continued to create chances and it was no real surprise when Frank finished off some good lead up play to slot our second goal and send us into the break two up.

Despite being two goals to the good, our half time talk was about being better when in possession of the ball and using it smartly, something which had been lacking in the first 40 minutes. If we really want to go all the way this season, we must work on maintaining our shape and use our structures to earn the right to attack as too much ‘free range’ football will more often than not work in our opponents’ favour.

Despite all the talk at half time about controlling the game, Kanwal came out fizzing in the second half, which given that they had no option but to go for it, was no real surprise in all honesty but it was still disappointing that the referee awarded them something of an ‘evener-upper’ penalty five minutes after the restart, which Kanwal duly converted. With their tails up and us not sure how to deal with a team seemingly hell bent on all-out attack, we were forced onto the back foot somewhat and could easily have conceded an equaliser but for a joint clearance off the line by Geoff and Eric. Having held firm against repeated attacks and with Kanwal pushing higher and higher up the pitch, the spaces behind them eventually started to appear and two counter attacking goals in quick succession from Jorge and then Frank were enough to see us run out comfortable 4-1 winners in the end.

This was a good test for us going into the finals at the beginning of September, as will our final game against East Gosford and if we win that game, we will not have to face them in the major semi, which adds a nice incentive to the contest.

As a mark of his importance to our attacking threat, Jorge was voted man of the match in only his second game back from injury and we have high hopes for his restored partnership with Frank during the finals, yes, the Forge is well and truly back! There were two Scrotum medal winners this week with Tom (I gave him the eyes!) Reilly picking up one for his penalty miss and Shane (that’s how Dougie told me to do it) Little getting the second for a beautiful airswing on the 18-yard line.

Final Score: Kanwal 1 – 4 Barnstoneworth

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