Giacomo Rossini (of William Tell fame), when asked about his contemporary Richard Wagner (of Wedding March fame) is quoted as saying;
“Mr Wagner’s music has beautiful moments but bad quarters of an hour!”
This could easily apply to the 2nd XI this season, and today’s match in Brighton against the confusingly named Lancing Prep School was no different. The team arrived in their characteristically enthusiastic style and soon made their way out to the pitch for the pre-match routine of shooting and shouting. A new experimental formation of 4-2-3-1 saw Oli C and Simon playing as sweepers to try and provide more balls to the midfield, and this seemed to work well, at times! Lancing were a fielding a 15 man squad packed with strong tall boys and goalie Gianluca was kept busy right from the first minute, but he proved up to the task, producing a series of great saves in the first 15 minutes. We were on the back foot throughout the half but some very solid defending from Luke, Oli H, Oli C and Ryan as well as a now well-oiled offside trap kept us in the game. Never being a team to shy away from physical confrontation, there were some fairly exotic challenges flying in but as ever, we gave as good as we got. The occasional bright moment led to us nearly testing their goalie but not quite. Another moment of beauty came when 3 or 4 passes led to a promising attack that just fell away. Sadly Lancing scored twice before the break, a task made easier when sweeper Simon had to come off to deal with his asthma, leaving a gap that the opposition capitalised on.
For me, the most brilliant moment of genius was a piece of defending by Oli H. Their 6 foot striker was bearing down on a shot from about 20 yards and Oli, sensing the danger, dived in to make the tackle. As the striker struck the ball, Oli also reached it. How the ball did not burst remains a mystery, but it went safely out for a goal kick!
Our heads stayed up, and with the downhill slope and the wind behind we were hopeful of scoring a goal in the second half. Chris and Max both showed their skill level with some beautiful turns (moments) and careful passes, but they- and the rest of the team- also made their share of weak passes and mistakes (quarters of an hour) that let Lancing in to score 2 more fairly soft goals and wrap up the game 4-0.
More disappointment for the 2nd XI to deal with, but if we believe we can win, surely it will happen! Positive Mental Attitude boys, PMA!