This was a truly entertaining match from the first minute to the last. We won the toss but despite electing to play with the slope in the first half, Matthew and Dan soon found themselves very busy in defence. Toby was fearless in goal and produced a number of brave saves to deny the Cumnor House boys including diving at their feet as they were in the act of shooting. We played a system of rolling substitutes with everyone taking a turn on the touch line.
Felix soon joined the fray and did well to intervene in a number of Cumnor attacks. Nathan and Dylan also did a lot of running and tackling in midfield, but Arun had little opportunity to attack the Cumnor goal in this early period. The half-time score was 0-0 and during the break we talked about the need for more aggression in the tackle and greater focus on moving forwards when in possession.
The boys listened well and despite having to contend with the slope in the second half I thought they were re-energised and played with real spirit after the break. Matthew tackled hard, Nathan ran and ran in both defence and attack and Felix became more and more confident in the tackle. Dylan battled for possession in midfield and took the ball forward strongly on many occasions along with Arun who covered the entire pitch with real enthusiasm and commitment. Felix took a turn in goal and when Toby joined the midfield, he showed a real ability not only to dispossess the opposition but also an ability to bring the ball forwards strongly out of defence.
Towards the end of the match our defence was stretched a little too far and a well hit shot from one of the Cumnor forwards found the corner of the net. There was still time for several goal scoring chances due to breaks from Dylan, Arun and Toby in particular but the boys were thwarted again and again either by good goalkeeping or the bounce of the ball.
I was really impressed with their commitment and there were many candidates for man-of-the-match, but I think it has to go to Arun for the mileage he covered and the number of tackles made. Well done all.