FXU FC VS Falmouth Athletico | 25/02/18 | Draecena Centre
Yes you guessed correctly by the title, today we had a friendly. After saying in my last post that a friendly is unlikely due to the pitches being out of action, it turns out I was mistaken. The weathers turned cold, but no rain has allowed for the pitches to dry out and to be playable after 5 weeks without a game.
Today’s opponents were Falmouth Athletico who we’ve played twice this season, 1 win, 1 loss. As I tucked into my Mcdonalds breakfast at 9:15 that morning, I anticipated a close game. After recent struggles with playing the 3-5-2 formation we changed tactics and went for a 4-4-2, with myself starting at right midfield. In the opening stages it was scrappy, a game dominated by long balls, its Sunday League remember. The pitch wasn’t great. Bobbles everywhere meant that even the simplest of passes became a struggle. But you can’t really blame the pitch, its the same for both teams. I had a good start pressing their left back and had a couple of half chances which I couldn’t convert.
Team Sheet: Dan Hollings Harry Baker Harry Jacobs (Jabba) Harry Poole Cameron Bowman Melchior Du Cluzeau Charlie Pugh Jack Holman Tom Harris Isaac Aldridge (C) Jack Bongard Subs Scooter Tardelli-Reid Marcus Knevett Mike Hinkin Matt Solomons
But then we made the breakthrough. It had been coming. Our midfielder Mel glided through two tackles then slotted a ball through the middle in behind the defence. I made the run in off my wing getting in between their full back and centre half, who had little idea of my movements. My first touch if anything made the chance harder to convert it took my a little wide, but still inside the area. The keeper came rushing off his line, and with my weaker left foot I firmly drove the ball past the goalie and off the inside of the far right post.
1-0. My second goal of the season. Both with my left foot. Both against Falmouth Athletico.
However, our lead was lost due to a defensive mix up within minutes. The opposition striker latching onto a loose ball and slotted it past the goalkeeper to make it 1-1. That’s football, you can be the better side playing the better football and 1 incident can change the game. There was more scrappy play and the half finished at 1-1 with us feeling a little hard done by but certainly positive going in to the second half.
As its a friendly unlimited roll on roll off substitutions are allowed. We made 3 changes at half time, I came off for a break and started my new temporary role. Linesman. It was at this moment I noticed that the flag actually has a button on it so that when you see a decision that needs to be made you press the button and it sends a signal to the ref to look over at you. Very clever. And very high tech for a cold morning in Falmouth. Almost un Sunday League like, it could be argued.
We started the second half well creating a lot of chances piling on the pressure on our opponents, we came close on a number of occasions and it was only a matter of time before we were to hit the back of the net again. A corner swung in and hit midfielder Charlie in the “crown jewels” and found its way across the goal line to make it 2-1 to us.
But holding onto leads is something we do struggle with it must be said, and within minutes the score was level once more this time for a penalty. I’ll be honest i couldn’t quite see what it was for but the referee made the decision so you have to stick with his word. The player stepped up, sent the keeper the wrong way. And thats 2-2.
20 minutes to go and I’ve got my call and am ready to come on. Its 2-2 the next goal would decide the game and it was up to one of the 22 players on the pitch to find it. Then despite our pressure the opposition made it 3-2 with what was to be fair a screamer from the edge of the box. At times like that you’ve just got to say well done because it was a superb strike. This prompted a change in formation, switching from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3. I was up front and missed a golden opportunity late on as the ball was flicked on to me at the back post. Not thinking the ball was coming my way I’d almost switched off and wasn’t prepared for it as I stuck out a leg and saw my effort go over from about six yards. Raheem Sterling would be proud.
We huffed and puffed but couldn’t quite find that third goal but it was a positive game despite the result. Having not played in 5 weeks compared to a team thats played a lot this year, we certainly held our own and on another day I’d be writing this blog saying we came out the winners, but this time it wasn’t to be. After all it was only a friendly.
FT FXU FC 2 3 Falmouth Athletico Goals: Tom Harris (ME) Charlie Pugh Man of the Match: Melchior Du Cluzeau D**k of the Day: Harry Poole - Defensive error that led to a goal.