Result : Southgate 0 – 2 Blue Harts
Match Report : Jon Huddleston
After the disappointment of last week’s Luton defeat, a much changed 4As took on league-leading Blueharts at Snakes Lane with a point to prove. Sadly, this game too ended in defeat but with a much more positive feeling and sense of team development. We keep mentioning our three core values of fearlessness, joy and respect and all three were evident in abundance.
The final score was 2-0, courtesy of a cruel looping deflection of a defensive stick at a short and a melee goal that just crept into the corner of the excellent Cliff Peck’s goal, but between those two goals, each coming at the end of a half, 4As battled hard and were unfortunate not to break their duck. Several decent shots and at least three one on ones were created but each time the gargantuan keeper in the Blueharts goal repelled the ball.
This week’s team had no less than four debutants in the team and with the relative lack of experience came the sobering realisation that the combined ages of the three of the defence still fell short of that of the skipper sweeping behind them. Still, as they say, age is but a number , and all three performed supremely well throughout.
David James and Sajiv Saha shared the MOTM plaudits for once again defying their youth to produce staggeringly mature displays. David played his first game as CB and dovetailed superbly with Jon Huddleston, contributing to attack and defence with aplomb. Sajiv launched wave upon wave of attacks down the right flank and added some excellent calling and marshalling to his defence – a sign of a future captain? On the left, Alex Holmes played his first game for the 4As and was excellent in shutting down a tricky right winger, linking up well with dad Simon and Fergus Comrie on the left flank. In only his second game for the 4As, Fergus looked dangerous going forward and linked really well with Raj Saha, tireless as ever as he drove the team forward in midfield. We were delighted to have another debutant Phil Holbrook disrupt and challenge the Blueharts midfield and his work rate never dropped throughout.
Up front James Rushton had a wonderful game linking the play together and threading balls through a tight defence. On several occasions he unleashed the dangerous Kyle Shah and Nayan Bhundia, who both came so close to applying the final touch. Chris Ray and Rafi Rosenfield also made their debuts in attack and were both threatening, working hard back and forth for the team.
In truth, the difference between the teams was the Blueharts’ ability to let the ball do the work while Southgate, to be fair, were possibly guilty of trying to force the play in search of an equaliser. Still, with a little more poise, allied with the wonderful battling qualities displayed, we know we will be a formidable team and there were far more positives in this defeat than negatives. We now go through a mini-break, but are fired up for the resumption in two weeks’ time at Stevenage.
Once more unto the breach…