Match Report : September 11th 2011 v Lancon away.
After a week of heavy rain thankfully the Lancon pitch was in great condition despite the homage to two-tone! (A very bad joke for the adults there! I used to love The Jam !)
Euxton lined up with Tom in goal, Jake (captain) and Alex in defence, Josh, Will and Stuart in midfield and Alistair up front. Adam and Dan T started as substitutes.
Martin and I asked the boys to start quickly from the kick-off and to try and take the game to Lancon. From previous encounters they have showed themselves to be strong and resolute and this would be another difficult game. In addition, we reminded all the boys to offer positive encouragement to each other during matches and to try and help their teammates at all times. Finally, we told them to remain calm in possession and to make their passes count.
The game began and both sides tackled and harried really well and hence the match became a bit of a stalemate. The Euxton midfield was strong and determined and Josh and Stuart stood up to the Lancon number 7 well (this would be one of the key battles of the match) Will bustled and hustled as he always does and fired in a couple of crosses which the Lancon defence cleared. In defence, Tom, Jake and Alex held their positions expertly and kept the Lancon attack at bay. Interestingly, they played with two players up front which kept the boys occupied throughout. Alistair combined really cleverly with Stuart and began to find space down the left and Euxton forced a couple of corners which were defended well. Then after another great pass by Stuart, Alistair beat his marker and shot straight at the Lancon goalkeeper who managed to parry the ball over his head, the ball bounced down on the line and as the crowd held their breath (i do try and keep up the excitement!) Will arrived to force it into the net.1.0 to Euxton. Excellent follow-up play well done to Will!
Lancon tried really hard to equalise and twice fired past the Euxton goal but Jake and Alex held firm and their communication with Tom (apart from one nervy moment!) is improving. All the boys attacked the ball better than last week and the shape of the team looked good. Just before the break with Stuart running riot down the left (in one of his best games for the Blacks), Euxton were awarded a freekick just outside the box after a foul on the little dynamo! Alistair struck the ball really well only to see the Lancon keeper tip over for a corner. Half Time 1.0
We told the boys that the team had played well and they were winning lots of personal battles all over the pitch. We again asked them to try and remain calm when in possession as sometimes one or two have a tendency to reach the ball first (which is great) and then smash it anywhere (which is not great!) Adam came on for Alex and Dan T for Will.
The game restarted and Lancon pushed Euxton back and immediately Adam and Jake anticipated and intercepted superbly. Tom remained very calm and although he struggled today with some of his kicks (which in the first half could have been the long grass!) he now watches the game and keeps his concentration and sometimes plays the sweeper role well. Dan T, who always takes up excellent positions and seems to find space naturally tackled really well and was unlucky with a couple of first-time passes. Josh and the Lancon number 7 followed each other all over the pitch and this proved the pivotal battle of the match. The Lancon 7 really tried to drive his team forward but Josh (with help from all his midfield teammates) would not allow him time on the ball and ultimately this would prove vital. Alistair, as always, proved a constant menace to the Lancon defence and sprayed the ball wide on a number of occasions to create dangerous opportunities for Stuart and Dan T, who both just failed to hit the target. Stuart ran himself into the ground (what a strange expression that is, but apt today!) and beat his man to almost every tackle and made countless intelligent passes. He was also very unlucky not to score and one effort curled just past the post. Eventually we had to bring him off as his face was getting redder and redder! Alex came on to provide some much needed strength and resilience on the left. Euxton were unable to score the second goal and the game was very even towards the end (with one heart-stopping moment when Tom let the ball squirm out of his grasp, only to grab it before it rolled into the goal!) The match ended 1.0 to Euxton.
This had been a fine hard-working performance against a strong and well-drilled Lancon team. They are a great team and a credit to their coaches. The midfield battle will live long in the memory. We congratulated the boys on another good win but reminded them that some of them need to improve their composure on the ball. We can work on this in training!!
No man of the match this season as explained previously (I really want all the boys to think, play and act as a team with no player considered more important or praised too much) – all the lads know what we think of them (we think they’re great!!) Special mention for Adam and Dan T who always show great character and attitude and really play their part as key members of the Euxton Squad. Even if they start as substitutes sometimes, they are always ready to come on and play their hearts out – this is so important for the team.
See you at training tomorrow and then a week on Thursday at Holy Cross!!
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