Monday, 14 November 2011

Down by the River

So Saturday took us down to the banks of the River Dee estuary and the not quite picture postcard setting of the mud flats all around there. I only mention this due to the number of biting insects that settled down for a right good feast on my legs meaning I cannot easily forget it right now. It was a good game, a close game to be fair. A battle. A battle we won fortunately but for the first time this season we barely had the opportunity to risk showing that arrogance I spoke of last time, too much was at stake. In fairness the pitch didn't help our cause. It was one of these bizarre new hybrid astro pitches which is 50% water based, 50% sand based and 100% frustrating. On as dry a November day as you're going to get the pitch played like what it was, a massive piece of rough plastic in the middle of a field. So our passing suffered a bit, the ball pace was slower and the direction a little wayward, I personally found it very difficult to push the ball on the surface (no change there then, says the shanter crew). We found a way to rise above though and we're pretty happy to take a 1-0 win away from a decent team and a nice bunch of people.

Some of the lads have spoken about us winning with our hockey. Now that may sound like the most obvious statement ever but allow me to elaborate. We aspire to be a team that shows its class through technical ability, tactical aptitude and importantly, through team working. We want our ability to be the difference, we want the opposition to know that, and we want them to be as happy as they can be to lose to a better and more deserving team. This happened to us two seasons ago against the ever-promoted Lymm side, we gave them our all but they were better and we accepted it. What we do not want is to be the team which everyone despises because of our gamesmanship, our whinging, and our dirty play. For sure we want to play hard and will tackle tough when we have to but there is a fine line, one we don't need to cross. We're not there that on that aspiration just yet but we're certainly packing the skills to do so and I though it was worth a mention.

We're now 8 games into the campaign and despite a grim day by the seaside are looking in good shape with 21/24 points on the board and an, as yet, unchallenged grip on top spot. I said four weeks ago that these four games would be a crucial test. We passed the test but due to the loss only come out with a B grade, as we'd be 6 points clear if we hadn't slipped up. There's now only 3 more teams to play before the all-important switch around just before Christmas and we've reached what premier league pundits have called 'kicking-on time'. The next three games are the last chance we get to surprise an opposition and in the next three games are the treat of our closest neighbours (this weekend), as well as what is looking to be our most serious challengers (2nd placed and without a loss, in 3 weeks time). That will be, no doubt, the test of the season so far, big game faces needed that week.

I know that I'm not very good at dropping in the boys names into the blog, reserving mentions for special achievements and commendations is something that I like. The very special mention this week has to go to Coach who has witnessed the birth of his second child and first daughter last week, so big congratulations from me there. I would have liked to dedicate our win to the event this weekend but I think something a little bit more emphatic than a 1-0 win will be required, perhaps we can accommodate this weekend. Also, getting a holla this week has got to be Dave who has been trying to worm his way in for some time now. I was reluctant at first, but he stole the show at the weekend with his fantastic castrated choir boy impression when calling for a pass. It's hard to do it justice here but let's just say that 'DANNY!' may become a new team catchphrase.

That's all folks I'll report back after this weekends action in the 'Derby'. It's at home at 3.30, I expect some support to be down and hope to see you there.

Oh, some old man mentioned that the 3rd team are still the only unbeaten team in the club. I know, I don't care either.

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