It was a hard fought victory for Fish Island FC this weekend. The Scales defeated their young opponents 1-2 to maintain their unbeaten streak and move up the league to fourth place with two games in hand.
We lined up 451 with a game plan to make the pitch as wide as possible when in possesion of the ball. The instructions were for the wingers to stick to the touch line and then cut into the box as play unfolds.
Our first big chance came within minutes of kick off. Jordan played a through ball to put Nathan in for a 1 v 1 with the DFZ goalkeeper. Nathan drove the ball low and the onrushing keeper was able to make the save. The next 20 minutes saw us dominate possesion with our attacking players troubling the young DFZ backline. It was in this period when the opening goal was scored. Harry whipped in a freekick from the left wing for Pierre to meet with towering header from 12 yards out. 0-1! The goal briefly troubled our young opposition as it looked like their heads had dropped and were vulnerable to conceding a second goal soon after. However this spell did not last long as an equaliser against the run of play was conceded. A ball over the top bounced inside our box putting their striker into footrace with Alex who rushed off his line only to have the ball poked past him into the net. 1-1. The goal re-focused the home side who played out the first half with renewed confidence.
1-1 at half time.
The half message was that the winner of the match will be the team that can keep their nerve the best. The first half demonstrated that both teams thrive off confidence and if we took the lead again then our opponents would once more lose their momentum.
The second half saw DFZ look the more energetic side and were able to press higher up the pitch than in the first half. Both teams made changes to bring on fresh legs with all of the points to play for. When Alex was forced to make a couple of unorthodox saves it was clear how badly we needed a goal to ease the pressure on our backline. The goal which turned out to be the winner did exactly that. A FIFC counter attack on the left broke down but was switched over to the right wing where Jack was on hand to cross the ball back in the box. Nile met the ball but was unable to make a proper connection. The ball then deflected off of a DFZ defender into the path of Halcyon who slotted home cooly. 1-2! The home team’s bench were irate as they claimed that the ball had gone out of play prior to Jack’s cross. The referee dismissed the claims and awarded the goal on the grounds that he did not see the ball roll out of play.
After the controversial goal both teams had to remain focused as there was still at least 20 minutes left to play and the game was still in the balance. Unlike in the first half when their heads dropped DFZ looked fired up when play resumed. They brought on fresh legs and instructed their wing backs to gamble more by joining in the attacks quicker. We reacted by making changes in the wide positions with the instruction not to over commit which created a cagey final period of attack vs counter attack.
1-2 at full time.
After the final whistle both teams exchanged handshakes and Fish Island celebrated a valuable three points gained. The home side continued to challenge the referee on his decisions however after last weekend’s result I think we were due some luck.
Halcyon for Nathan
Craig for Andrew
Sonny for Jack
Stidge for Jozef
Mark for Nile