Lightning v. Oxshott Royals Blues
4 - 1
First challenge at Bushy today: Stop the goalposts being put away before we kick off. No goalposts no match.
Second challenge: Dragging the team away from an entertaining practice match on the adjacent pitch.
So, goalposts check, players check, opposition check, referee check, match ball check - looks like we’re ready to play.
We decided on a slight change in system today. Previously, 2-3-1, now 3-1-2, so new disciplines required from the boys. Lightning started brightly, and we were unfortunate not to score from well worked play from both sides of the pitch. Joseph, in particular was unfortunate with his efforts. Tioba and Riley looked lively, and Louis playing an unfamiliar central defender role was commanding. Behind him, George looked comfortable and dealt with all the oppositions shots which were increasingly long range. Matthew, Cosmo and Daniel came on for Joseph, Tioba and Riley and we continued to dominate without success. The game turned slightly in favour of the opposition, who were a very good side, playing some nice passing and putting us under more pressure as the half drew to a close. Players were starting to lose their shape a little in the new system, but we held it together.
With James’ recent arm injury we decided to keep George in goal and allow James further recovery time, and so he replaced Luke as the right sided defender. The second half began with renewed energy from Lightning and some promising attacks involving Matthew, Ben and Cosmo. Cosmo was the first to strike. A well taken goal for a deserved lead. More substitutions, Tioba and Riley coming back on with Cosmo dropping back to central defender as Louis took a well deserved break. What dividends a substitution can make with Tioba scoring almost with his first involvement and Riley adding a worldy of a third a few minutes later. A little nervousness set in and Oxshott pulled a goal back, and could have scored a second if not for a quite brilliant save from George pushing the ball over the bar.
Lightning regrouped and found a little composure. One last substitution, Ben back on, and again the alchemy of substitutions got a result with Ben scoring shortly before the final whistle.
Lightning’s first victory, and well deserved. The whole team played really well. A Saturday to saviour. Here’s to many more.
Goals – Cosmo, Tioba, Riley and Ben