MPL – Round one v FC Twenty 11
On Saturday we got our MPL 2019 campaign underway playing against FC T wenty 11 at Avonhead park. There was a slight cloud of uncertainty about how we were going to go for a number of reasons. Our pre-season has been very patchy and due to injuries and players unavailable we were unable to out the same lineup out two games in a row. The drastic amount of player movement this off season has seen us lose 10 out of 18 players from last years squad. So it meant 6 players today were making their Coastal debut.
Quiet at first…
We started the game a little placid and within 5 minutes FC probably should have gone 1-0 if it wasn’t for Matt Thomas rushing out to make a fantastic save. After that wake up call I felt as if we started to get into a rhythm. Once FC got a bit more tired we found ourselves being able to play out with more ease and did some real damage. Even when not getting the 50/50 calls of a dog back pass or 2x goals disallowed goals we still found ourselves up 2-0 at halftime with two well taken goals by Macca.
In the 2nd half we wanted the boys to continue to do what they were doing but better. I felt the 2nd half we were the ones looking more tired and for 15 minutes FC put us under some pressure. It was really pleasing to see us absorb that pressure and not concede. FC did well to stay in the game but after 70 minutes we got our much wanted 3rd goal.
After missing another couple of really good chances we felt we will be settling for a 3-0 win but there was more drama to come. In the 90th minute our new water carrier Reese Cox got a 2nd yellow for delaying play. Videos show he gave it to an FC CB that was running towards him to take the kick. Maybe one of the softest red cards I have seen in my time but something we just need to accept and get on with things. Clearly our fans, staff and players were angry about this and minutes later we scored a 4th goal with Hemi getting his 2nd tap. 2 goals on debut for a kid that has been sticking it out for the reserve team the last 3 years. Well done Hemi!!
Job Done … next
Our next game is up in Nelson Suburbs which is one of or the most difficult fixture of the season. We go up there with our captain Macca in doubt to play and without the suspended Reese. But if we can produce the kind of performance we did today then I’m confident we can get the points and stay at the top of the MPL table. Man of the match was Brett Clifford and Matt Thomas also played superb in goal.