Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Filler, filler nights!

 If you have read my previous post you will have noticed I had started a 6-a-side football team.
The team is called 'Associated Squirrels,' and is mainly made up of co-workers, with a little help from a few friends and members of the Sunday League team I'm in (Sporting Bearwood). Generally we play every Tuesday; as such we have a game tonight, and there will be no possibility of any meaningful updates. So in place of a proper update I give you a match report from our second game (the game before tonight game). Enjoy!

Associated Squirrels Match Report - October 16 2012

Associated Squirrels Vs Bartley Boys 8:20pm Kick Off.

   This was to be the second outing for the Squirrels. Although they had been defeated by Inter Me Lambretta B the previous week, the team were feeling positive. However, a few last minute drop outs as well as some of the team being absent, left the team severely under strength. The captain however was determined to play this game. Subsequently a few players were drafted in to make up for the absentees (My Thanks to Ant and Sanjay for filling in), in addition Edward Ross joined the team for the night (After having already played a game that very night). With the gaps filled the game was on. They were to play Bartley Boys; a team yet to play a competitive match in the League.
   The first half began. Unfortunately, the squirrels were slow off the mark. The almost completely different set up from last week took its toll on their organisation and movement, and it came as no surprise when the Bartley boys went one, and then two up. The squirrels had little to no opportunities, while the Bartley boys had ripped apart the Squirrels defence, but they had been wasteful in front of goal; shooting high, wide and not very handsome on numerous occasions and for all their creative play the Bartley boys couldn't increase their lead, as the Squirrels started to gel and settle into the game with some good defensive play from Ant and Harry in defence.
   At halftime the team got together and went over the flaws in their play, and how best to exploit the opposition. It would seem that this period of reflection galvanised the team, as in the second half they were a different team. As the half kicked off the Squirrels immediately took the initiative with some good passing and movement. Jamal was replaced by Edward to add some creativity in midfield. The fresh legs seemed to be the straw that broke the Camel's back; a cheeky lofted ball from Ed to Luke put the forward through as he smashed it into the top corner. The next Squirrels goal was the result of some quality build up play; Sanjay, Harry and Edward passing it from side to side, before playing Luke through. who calmly slotted it home.
   The momentum seemed to be with the Squirrels, but they were not the only ones hungry for the win. The Bartley boys pushed forward at every opportunity and asking questions of the Squirrels defence. Eventually a powerful shot from distance curled in the air leaving the keeper stranded putting the Bartley Boys in the lead once again.
  The squirrels answered in kind. Edward dropped into defence with Ste, while Harry pushed forward to add to the attacking power. Ed gave way for Jamal, while Sanjay dropped to defence. It was this growing attacking intent that pinned the Bartley Boys back in their half.  It was in this period of domination that Luke got his, and the squirrels, third goal. A lovely rolled ball out from the Keeper found Luke's feet, despite the battling defender at his back. A deft turn left the challenger on the floor and Luke through on goal. The Bartley Boys hesitated claiming Luke had hauled their man to the floor; Luke however did no such thing and smashed the ball home to level the score. The Bartley boys rued not playing to the whistle as the Squirrels celebrated.
  The were to be more twists and turns however. A poor Clarence from Harry out of the squirrels defence gave the opposition the opportunity to shoot, netting the Bartley boys fourth. It was a soft goal to give away. The same was true for the next Bartley Boys goal. A lofted ball played from the back to the forward could have been dealt with better, but at this point Ed was on his last legs and the pace of the ball beat him, the resultant shot was a powerful one at the near post, which found its way into the back of the net, when the keeper should have had it covered.
The Game ended, Associated Squirrels 3 - 5 Bartley Boys.
  The Squirrels will feel disappointed by the loss. The two mistakes at the end would seem to have cost them the game; however, a team always makes mistakes. In reality the two goals conceded at the beginning, while the squirrels were still getting into their stride, were the far more telling. If these goal could have been avoided it would have been a comfortable win for the Squirrels. Alas, with the team roster fluctuating greatly the Squirrels are struggling to gel.
However, the next outing against Pascendale on the 30th should see an almost full team roster, and therefore will be a fairer test of the team. Pascendale are top of the league however, and it could be a very challenging fixture.
Team Sheet + M.V.P.

Luke (MVP - 3 goals),
Edward (Drafted in),
Sanjay (Drafted in),
Ant (Drafted in).

16. The Village Idiots Vs. Associated Squirrels

  Hello. S'been far too long as usual, but that should all be changing soon. I am making myself commit to some projects to get myself back into blogging. -DH-

  One of these projects will be the (almost forgotten) clan: The Village Idiots.
My brother was talking to me about some idea of playing a game over twitter; you basically let popular opinion decide the next course of action. Kind of like a choose your own adventure. I'm pretty sure we're going ahead with that idea.
I've added the links to all the clan stuff in the 'Recommended' section if you fancy checking it out (top right of the page).

   More importantly it gave me an idea; what if I blogged about a play through of a game/ some games, but wrote about it from the first person? Like a captain's log. Lots of potential.

 I should probably explain my great absence. Not like there is anything fantastical about it. I just haven't been interested in writing anything for a while. Between work, other commitments and generally feeling like shit I just haven't been able to bring myself to write about anything worthwhile.

  There are no new developments on the political front; The Conservatives are still being reckless and short-sighted in power, and labour (whom are the only logical alternative) are not providing enough for voters to invest in terms of policy commitments.   

  I recently started up a six-a-side football team with a few co-workers and a couple of friends. We've played a couple of games, and lost everyone! It's the taking part that counts right?

Anyways that's all for now. In the meantime, here is the match report from our first game, which was a while back. Enjoy and PEACE!

Associated Squirrels Match report - October 9 2012.

Associated Squirrels Vs Inter Me Lambretta 8:20pm Kick off.

   The first outing of any team in a new league is always likely to be a difficult one, and for Associated Squirrels; a team that had never played together before,  it was always going to be an uphill battle, especially against an experienced side.
  As the first half kicked off these were the telling factors. The Squirrels looked lively going forward, but disjointed. For all their attacking intent there was a clear contrast in quality in the final third, and communication at the back between the two sides. This was clear for all to see when Inter broke free and struck their first blow on the counter attack making them a goal to the good in the first 10 minutes.
   The second goal was the result of quality build up play from Inter; a period on controlled build up play and clinical passes resulted in a 3 on 2 situation at the back and a fizzing final shot that left the keeper for dead. This goal started the fight back for the Squirrels, with some good holding play from Luke and Marc, unfortunately the shots went wide. Harry managed to fire in a driven pass across the box to Jamal, only to find the shot bounce out of play after some excellent defensive work from the Inter defender.
  This brief period of quality was cut short however by an Inter penalty. A defensive error lead to Reece scrambling to retrieve a wayward ball, and he moved just outside his area. The resulting spot kick tucked away in the bottom right hand corner of the goal bringing the deficit to three.
  After a brief team discussion the second half started. The best way to describe it would be to use the old cliche 'a game of two halves.'
   The communication and build up play was of a much higher quality from the squirrels; Dave, Ste; an 11th hour inclusion to the side all providing much better service for Marc and Luke to fasten on to. Marc had a few shots blaze just wide, though the best chances fell to Luke; the first the result a brilliant ball played though the two defenders gave him opportunity to shoot. The shot; taken with the outside of his right boot, curled past the keeper and dashed across the goal, only to find the post and go wide.
  The second standout chance was the result of some clever build up play from Ste; playing the ball through to Marc who then chipped the ball on to Luke. As Luke turned to run forward, the Inter defender got all of the man and none of the ball, but despite this, Luke kept on his feet and was through on goal. Unfortunately the referee called the play back, much to the dismay of the Squirrels.
  It was then that the final nail was put into the coffin. After squandering some good chances and being denied on several occasions by Reece, an Inter forward shrugged off the Squirrels defence to play in his team mate. With just the keeper to beat Inter forward calmly switched feet and slotted it past Reece into the bottom right hand corner. The keeper might feel unlucky, but the finish was excellent.
   Despite being beaten , the squirrels can take heart from their performance. Their marked improvement in the second half showed that there was quality to be had in the team, all that missing was the synchronisation a team gains from playing together, as well as a lack of numbers.

The game ended, Associated Squirrels 0 - 4 Inter Me Lambretta.

Team Sheet + Most Valuable Player.

Ste - MVP (Drafted in to make up for numbers).