New East Manchester v VMFC2
Sunday 12 October 2014
Village Manchester slipped to an agonising defeat as they lost 1-0 to New East Manchester at Wright Robinson.
A determined and resolute defensive performance was finally breached with 15 minutes to go as a deflected own goal earned the win for Village's opposition.
Manager McPherson made a couple of changes to the team as a number of new and returning players featured in the squad. Crosby remained in goal with the returning Orrock - who was making his first competitive appearance for the club after an injury - joining McPherson, Kidd and Cookson in defence. Cole, Baker and Jones were joined by new boy James in midfield with Golds helping Benn up front. Fish and Bridges were joined on the bench by captain Holmes who made a dash back from a family wedding to play in the game.
New East Manchester were the team that started the best as their quick movement and strong play caused Village some problems. Village were just a little bit slower on and off the ball and the opposition were able to retain possession of the ball quite well.
Despite this possession they were mostly restricted to half chances as the defence either blocked or cleared any forays into the box and James and Baker were breaking things up as best they could in midfield.
When Village did have the ball, possession was gifted away too easily as hopeful balls were launched up to Golds and Benn who had little chance to strike at the heart of the New East Manchester defence.
Holmes and Fish were brought on for Jones and a battered Cookson to try and affect the game.
As the half wore on, Crosby began to get more and more busy but his shouts, handling and shot stopping were spot on as he dealt with everything thrown at him.
Half time arrived with the game still scoreless.
Half time: New East Manchester 0-0 Village Manchester
The half time team talk saw McPherson stress the importance of communication. Village were far too quiet in the first half with the only real shouts coming from Crosby, Kidd, Baker and Golds. He also asked for the players to up the intensity as the opposition were just being that little bit quicker and stronger.
The second half saw the formation change from a 4-4-2 to a 4-1-4-1 as Baker dropped back to defensive midfield to try and stem the attacks which were more and more frequently coming through the middle.
The formation change did work and New East Manchester were forced to try and go down the wings. They did have a lot of possession but when balls came into the box the highly impressive Orrock was in the right place to repel the ball and Crosby was quick off his line to gobble everything else up.
Village did start to get the ball down more and started to put together some decent moves without testing the opposition too much.
The game was starting to head into the closing stages as New East Manchester finally made the breakthrough - and it was a very fortunate breakthrough too. A New East Manchester winger beat his marker down their right and he made his way into the box along the by-line. He knocked a hopeful but fiercely hit cross into the six yard box and the ball ricocheted off McPherson's side and past a helpless Crosby. 1-0
It was a cruel way for the opposition to take the lead as the defence had defended admirably with everything else that was thrown at them - but the goal seemed to galvanise Village and they started to play and attack with a lot more purpose and vigour.
The ball was being played on the floor a lot more and some neat passing and interplay down the right between Cookson and Golds showed how dangerous Village could be. Holmes had a couple of shots that were well fielded by the keeper and Cole, and latterly Jones, were having more joy down the left.
With Village going in search of an equaliser, Cookson was pushed up to right wing and it was from one of his crosses that Village had their best chance of the game. His deep cross found Golds at the far post and the attacker connected well with the ball as he hit it on the volley – but the shot was directly at the keeper.
Village again went agonisingly close in the final few minutes as Holmes’ carefully placed shot sneaked just wide of the right hand post.
The whistle blew with Village dejected that they couldn’t grab an equaliser that looked like it might be on its way.
Looking at the game as a whole, New East Manchester probably deserved their victory but Village can take great heart of their performance in the final 15 minutes of the game and look to build upon that. If they can put in the same kind of performance for a full 90 minutes then the first league victory will be very close.
Full time: New East Manchester 1-0 Village Manchester
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