MPL – Round Eleven v Nomads
Foggy Tullet Park
On a foggy Saturday we traveled out to Tullet Park, to play against a desperate Nomads team in the Mainland Premier League.
Having lost here last year I know it can be a tough place to come away with the three points. Due to the dynamics over the last couple of weeks, I had some concerns on how we would approach this game mentally. Nomads, having lost to Western, are now needing to play their hearts out for a South Island League spot. We have just thrown everything at the last two games against Tech and not come out with anything, apart from some decent performances. I felt our boys were deflated and went into this game too lightly.
From kick off you could see Nomads were keen and had confidence to play through our press, a lot easier then anyone else has this season. As a result they had a lot of cross coming in from our left, but I felt it wasn’t the end of the world as Zac and Hogan were dealing with it well. Going forward we were very flat. Macca was putting his body about but we struggled to get JJ and Haris in the game early enough.
Half time Deadlock
0-0 at half time and both teams had some sniffs at goal. Our best chance came from a cross that their defender somehow put over his own goal from a yard out. Seven corners to their two I felt we were certainly in the game, but didn’t have the control as we would have liked, and there were a lot of average performances out there.
We really tried to kick some life into our boys and have them realise we likely wouldn’t win playing like this. In the second half I felt Ash made a difference. We started making better runs and it looked like we were going to score. Haris was now getting to the byline, Ash was making some good runs and could have scored a 1 v 1.
Meanwhile, Nomads were still playing well and the game looked to be headed for a draw- until we lost our discipline. After some frustration, Ash got sin binned and a minute later Sean got red carded. With nine men on the pitch, Nomads got a big lift and they did well to take advantage. We had some tired legs come the 86th minute after defending with nine and Nomads managed to score through their mobility.
In the final ten minutes of the game we went back to ten men and I started to see some desire and fight. Macca’s acrobatic volley he usually scores, either side of the keeper by an inch would have been enough. Haris volley also straight at the keeper. JJ, forcing a full stretch save from an on fire Max. I think we deserved a draw in the end but in the last seconds of the game, Nomads scored through an own goal 2-0
A very, very disappointing result for us. It’s frustrating how when playing against big teams we hardly need to motivate the boys, but against teams below us on the table we can tend to go into games too lightly. It’s a performance we are not accepting and I’m confident we can go into the next game against Bays absolutely firing, and not taking anything for granted.
Man of the match for us was Connor, who was one of just a couple of players who went into the game in the right head space. He shut Mika down well I thought.
We need to win the next game if we want to have a good chance at qualifying for the South Island league so I’m calling on a BIG LIFT from everybody to ensure the club is where it should be. We play Bays at English Park 2:45pm.
See you there