Sunday 11 November 2012
We've covered in previous weeks the difficulties that the 2nd team face this season. Every game will be a struggle as the league has jumped up in quality since our mid-table finish last year. Sunday's fixture was against Manchester Athletic, with Matt welcoming back Jeremy, Pete, Sam and Alex Bryce to his team.
Village started by far the better of the two teams and Steve Holmes burst through the defence just five minutes in but saw his shot go over the bar as the goalkeeper advanced on him. Sadly, the momentum shifted and two quick Athletic goals gave them a comfortable lead. However, VMFC pressed away and some strong passing and a cross from Alex was met by Steve who hit narrowly wide. Minutes later, the ball was worked from the back and Alexis shot from a full 35 yards over the goalkeeper to halve the deficit in spectacular style. Unfortunately, Athletic couldn't be contained through to half time as a swift interchange of passes on the edge of the box resulted in a fine goal to give them a 3-1 lead.
There was still a sniff of a chance for VMFC at the start of the second half but this was extinguished as the ball was given away at the back and the opposition took full advantage to go into a 4-1 lead. Alexis hit another spectacular volley as the ball broke from a corner to make it 4-2 but an Athletic free kick on 70 minutes finally killed off any chance of a Village comeback.
The game ended with a bit of excitement as Rob lunged into a tackle in his usual understated manner and initiated a tussle between 10 players that resulted in bookings for himself and Alexis.
In the end, it was another defeat but one that offers encouragement. Village probably created more good chances in the first half than they had in any other full game this season and mistakes were made but in the right way - trying to play football rather than just lumping the ball forward in possession. There is improvement week by week and it will put the team in a stronger position as they end the season with tournaments in Dublin and Antwerp.