Result : LOSS 0-4 vs Old Loughts
Match Report : Joergen Jaehnig
Man of the Match : Leo Garner
The centre stage was set for the big event at Trent Park on Sunday – the first League Match of the season between the mighty Southgate U18 Boys and old foe and local rival Old Loughts. The Trent Park stadium speakers were booming the tunes during warm up and the home and away crowds were filling up the balcony. Little did we we know at that time that this would become a match of COULD haves, WOULD haves, SHOULD haves.
From the push back both teams produced a master class of tactical discipline and patience making entries to the final 23 and even more so circle entries a rare occurrence. Whilst the crowds did not get to see many chances, from a coaching point of view it was fascinating to see how well the boys in red stuck to the game plan – Jose Mourinho would have been proud.
One of the few circle entries resulted in a 1v1 situation between the oppo goalie and midfield maestro Vivek on the baseline. The keeper, seemingly irritated and frustrated with Vivek’s outrageous trickery, decided to end this display of raw skill by crudely pushing him over. The p-flick was duly awarded – unfortunately the goalie did make up for his mishap by producing a stunning dive to deny the home team. What WOULD have happened if we’d gone up 1-0 …
Instead Old Loughts used one of their few advances into the Southgate circle and with a well taken goal took the lead which turned out to be the only divider between two even teams at halftime.
For the second half both teams seemingly decided to drop their gloves and move the press further into the opposition half giving more space to attack in the opening spaces – finally the crowds on the sell-out balcony would get to see more goal scoring opportunities on both ends. Not one but two such (open goal) opportunities – or should we call them absolute sitters … – presented themselves to the home team but were missed. We COULD, maybe even SHOULD have gotten another penalty flick on that occasion, definitely though we SHOULD have scored. Old Loughts took the opportunity to catch us on the break and their clinical hockey resulted in a second goal to the old rivals. If we WOULD have scored it WOULD have been 1-1 instead of 0-2.
Chasing a two goal deficit, the boys showed brilliant spirits in the remaining 15 mins of the match winning penalty corners and creating more chances, however it wasn’t meant to be. Two more counterattacks by the opposition resulted in as many goals, details of which the author of this report doesn’t remember.
All in all, the score line of this match did not reflect the actual 70 mins on the pitch and doesn’t do the boys justice in their efforts to overcome local rivals Old Loughts. It was a tactically disciplined performance whereby the opposition was the more clinical team. COULD have, WOULD have, SHOULD have …