The Mikes travelled to Eckington Recreation Ground for a League game against Eckington United and playing a team that had played together for several years and with Adam & Charlie not available and after a long journey with minimal changing facilities, it was going to be a hard game for the Mikes.
The game started with the Mikes pushing forward but Eckington’s defenders were well drilled and kept a good line restricting the space that the Mikes had to operate in and with too many players trying to carry the ball too far and failing to attack the loose balls the Eckington keeper was having a very easy half. The Mikes were winning throw in and corners but could not find the space to threaten the Eckington goal but the Eckington side were growing into the game and starting to move the ball well and shift the Mikes midfield and defence across the pitch and Casey had to come to his defences rescue on three occasions by coming out to block or smoother the attacks, but after 27 minutes from a dubious offside decision the keeper launched a long ball over the top and none of the Mikes defenders reacted allowing the Eckington No.14 to collect and fire home to make it 1-0. The Eckington players were now winning every 50/50 ball and were looking the better team as they moved the ball quickly and accurately to allow their players much more time on the ball, but they could not create any clear chances and the score remained 1-0 at half time.
The second half started with the Eckington side being in control and causing the Mikes problem after problem and after only 1 minute of the half gone a low cross towards the front post was miss-kicked leaving Casey with no chance but it smacked back off the post and was smuggled past the post for a corner, but the Mikes never really learned their lesson and after 48 minutes the ball was bouncing around the edge of the eighteen yard area with none of the defenders doing the simple thing and clearing the ball allowing the Eckington No.14 to control and fire high into the far top corner leaving Casey with no chance to make it 2-0. The Mikes kept trying but too many time they held onto the ball too long and were overwhelmed by the Eckington pressing game giving the ball away far too easily and at time trying to control in tight spots when attacking the ball and punching it into the opposition half was the easier option. It was not until the 85th minute of the game that the Mikes threatened the Eckington goal and a good passing move was played into Christopher who turned his defender and played Harry in on goal but the Eckington keeper made himself big and managed to get his foot to the shot diverting it for a corner.
The Mikes had a bad day at the office and never really got going but players must learn in this league that you have to pass the ball better and holding onto the ball only brings pressure onto yourself as most teams play a high pressing game and will not allow you time on the ball, and at time just punching the ball forward with you head or first time is sometimes better that trying to get the ball down and losing procession in dangerous areas.
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