MPL – FC Twenty Hurley Shield defence

On the 26th of May we hosted FC Twenty 11 at Cuthberts Green. Our first of two games defending the shield before we can lock that away for the season.

I think the boys were still buzzing from the free kick winner against Bays the week before. Moments like that can really lift morale and we all know how mental this game we call football really is.

First Half

It took ten minutes before we were 1-0 up when Macca scored from a set play assisted by big Dom. Classic. Nine minutes later  Macca has nodded one back for Liam H to tap in. Third goal came in the 40th minute when JJ slipped a ball to Liam H to wriggle and pull one back for a T sidefoot on the penalty spot.

Second Half

3-0 at halftime is a nice scoreline to have but we made it clear to the lads that if FC got the next goal then the game would be open again with their momentum. And that’s what happened. Early in the second half FC scored. It was a beautiful left foot volley from coach’s son Lapslie. So now, a new challenge. How will the boys react to this? Do we have enough maturity and leadership in the group to see this one out? It was in the 60th minute Macca got a poacher’s tap in after a sequence of precise Claudio free kicks. Then in the last quarter Sean Liddicoat gets his first goal of the season; getting far post for a tap in.

The final score was 5-1 and that performance was, in my opinion, our best performance overal 90 minutes at home. Which is crucial. If we want to come up with a trophy this season then we need to be strong playing at Cuthberts Green. I think FC were still decent on the day. Scoring early against them was key to beating them. Especially away from home, they are a very young team and heads tend to drop. They countered us very well and should have scored one or two.

MOM This week

Man of the match had a couple players putting their hand up. Sean Liddicoat was up and down winning 90% of challenges for 90 minutes. I think referees have been very harsh on Sean when I look back at the games. Macca playing as our 9 and getting two goals in Ash’s absence was again crucial. He’s still three goals away from golden boot. But the MoM was given to Liam H. His reaction for not starting against Bays was exactly what you want to see. Speaking of performance, his movement off the ball was simply amazing and today he didn’t give it away much at all. So so so much energy.

Goals…

After just winning 1-0 at Bays and still not creating enough opportunities to score we worked very hard in the week on improving how we switch play from one wing back to the other, to get more crosses coming into our forward players. Against Bays we put over two crosses and against FC we put over fifteen crosses and scored from four. Hopefully we can keep the goals coming because we are still looking solid at the back.

Next Week

Our next game is against Nelson away. Always one of- if not the- hardest fixtures in the league. We have had some good memories there in recent times. A win will secure a top three finish in the MPL which is the expectation. Depending on other results a win could also secure second, which would be the highest finish ever for a Coastal team. So lots to play for.

-Ekow