CherryBrook Athletic 2 Brandlesholme Warriors 1 (Deon)
Brangy travelled to Wigan to take on league leaders CherryBrook, a clash between bottom and top. Once all the squad had finally arrived after various travel problems, the starting line up selected was:
Luca - James; Ben; Joe S - Morgan; Deon; Jack E - Joe C; Callum; Subs: Jack V, Jack B, Daniel
2 Minutes â€“ a bright start for Brangy saw Callum with a half chance that was easily gathered by the CherryBrook keeper;
4 Minutes â€“ from two corners in as many minutes Luca did well to punch clear under pressure;
15 Minutes â€“ after an even game with both sides working hard, and with Brangy playing into a strong wind first half, the deadlock was finally broken under controversial circumstances; what wasnâ€™t controversial was the fact that Luca spilled a shot that he should have held, however the rebound appeared to fall to a CherryBrook forward clearly in an offside position, however no whistle was blown and the ball was bundled in at Lucaâ€™s near post; hard luck on Brangy who for the first quarter were easily matching their high flying opponents; 0-1
17 Minutes â€“ Good work down the left wing by Callum set up Joe C for a left foot shot but it was hit straight at the CherryBrook keeper;
20 Minutes â€“ Deon made room for himself and hit a speculative drive from 20 yards which sailed wide of the goal;
Half Time CherryBrook 1 Brangy 0
A good half from Brangy, against a strong wind and the league leaders, it was hard to tell these teams were opposite ends of the table. The defence in particular was very strong with a solid half from Ben covering at the heart of defence and Luca punching well when called upon. The start of the second half saw the wind in Brangyâ€™s favour and the game very evenly balanced.
The starting line-up was: Luca â€“ Daniel; Ben; Joe S â€“ Jack E; Deon; Morgan - Joe C; Callum Subs: Jack B; James; Jack V
34 Minutes â€“ a close escape for Brangy as a fine shot from the CherryBrook forward crashed against Lucaâ€™s left hand post and away to safety;
40 Minutes â€“ after some sustained pressure and possession from Brangy a long through ball over the top of the Brangy defence saw the CherryBrook forward bear down on goal in a chase for the ball; Luca rushed from his line to get there first but was a yard too slow and brought down the on-rushing forward, no question it was a penalty, duly tucked away despite Luca diving the right way; harsh on Brangy who had been having slightly the better of the second half; 0-2
45 Minutes â€“ not for the first time in the game, Deon won possession in midfield and pushed forward before unleashing a shot that was only a couple of feet wide of CherryBrookâ€™s left hand post;
50 Minutes â€“ having continued to work hard, Brangy deservedly got back into the game with ten minutes left on the clock; a fine ball in from the left by Callum found Jack V, whoâ€™s attempted shot was blocked on the edge of the area and cleared out to the half way line where it was won by Daniel, who returned a cross come shot back into the CherryBrook penalty area where the keeper looked like he would comfortably gather it just in front of his goal line, however he spilled the ball and Deon, admirably following up, bundled the ball in from no more than a yard out; 1-2
51 Minutes â€“ Lucaâ€™s goal kicks had been causing the CherryBrook defence all sorts of problems all match, and even more so with the benefit of a strong wind; on this occasion the ball went over everyoneâ€™s heads and into the path of Callum, in on goal unchallenged, to the right of the penalty area, and with a golden opportunity to level the game; his first touch was good but when a right footed shot was required he attempted to hit it with his left, the outside of the boot could have been the only way to attempt this, however he hit it with the inside of his foot and the ball sailed harmlessly wide; a glorious chance wasted from a player so often adept at finding the net in such situations;
55 Minutes â€“ Ben hit a thunderous shot from all of thirty yards out which was goalward bound but blocked by a defenderâ€™s back;
No further chances were created and Brangy just missed out on snatching a draw.
Final Score â€“ CherryBrook Athletic 2 Brangy 1
A good performance from Brangy against the league leaders, who may be top but were made to look very ordinary by a hard working Brangy team. However 50/50 balls are still being admired from a distance rather than being battled for, and aerial challenges are at times just non existent.
Some players are needlessly panicking when they get the ball and simply blasting it upfield or trying to pass it as soon as they receive it rather than stay on the ball and look around for the best passing option, or advancing with the ball going forward. The old adage of â€˜pass and moveâ€™ is as true today as it ever was but too many players are not doing this.
Some of the team need to just get plain â€˜stuck inâ€™ more than they currently are, not in an illegal way, but just with a desire to win the ball for both themselves and their team mates.
That said, this was a much better all round performance than in the last two games, and itâ€™s now time for Brangy to end their eight game losing streak.
Man of the Match â€“ Joe S (nine different players have now won this, with only Luca winning it twice, make of that what you will)
Next game - nothing listed currently by league for 19 March, Sat 26 Mar, v BISC Juniors (A);
Luca 6 â€“ made some decent punched clearances, and again fine kicking out of hands, but culpable for both CherryBrook goals;
Daniel 6 â€“ not brought on until the second half, played a part in the goal and one of the few players showing some much needed aggression, played like an â€˜old schoolâ€™ player in that only one of the ball and the player got past him today, but rarely both, not to everyoneâ€™s taste (I personally liked it) but stifled CherryBrook attacks;
Morgan 6 â€“ enterprising opening fifteen minutes in right midfield getting up and down well, but then became slightly anonymous for the remainder of the match before being subbed midway through the second half;
Joe C 6 â€“ cannot be faulted for effort but never really troubled the CherryBrook defence, couple of half chances which he failed to get a proper connection on;
JOE S 8 â€“ surprisingly we have had to wait until March for Joe S to win his first MOM award, but much deserved today for a full hour of graft, determined tackling, heading and covering at the back, only real fault was his tendency to blast the ball upfield (and back to the opposition) when a more considered pass could have been made;
Callum 6 â€“ some neat play and first time control at times through the game, tackling better today, but missed a golden opportunity to snatch Brangy a late point;
James 6 â€“ had a good first half at right back, using his strength well, not used in the second half;
Deon 7 â€“ another solid display in midfield, had the confidence to shoot from distance and followed up well to grab his goal, but could up his work rate another gear still;
Ben 6 â€“ after a decent first half marshalling the defence, his confidence and positioning appeared to fade during the second half for some reason and he found himself marking space at times rather than CherryBrook shirts; needs to keep as part of a three man straight line at the back rather than dropping ten yards behind the full backs;
Jack E 7 â€“ if every player in the squad had as much energy, guts and fight in the tackle, Brangy would be comfortably mid-table; only real disappointment is that he isnâ€™t getting into goalscoring positions as much as we know he can;
Jack V 6 â€“ came on as second half sub and despite a couple of nice link ups with Deon and Callum, had a relatively quiet game;
Jack B 6 â€“ after last weekâ€™s somewhat disappointing showing, Jack B came on in the second half and showed good spirit and work ethic, trying to create in the final third where he could, wasnâ€™t afraid to stick his boot in, nothing wrong with that;
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