Albury Eagles vs Loxwood Blacks (Garth O'Mara)
Sebby went in goal and Albury came out strong. However right from the start the Loxwood boys demonstrated some lovely one touch passing that sweeping the ball across the pitch and creating enough pressure to create the first corner. Some good pressing by Cameron created uncertainty within the opposition and dispossessed the Eagles player to be knocked through to Oscar who skillfully poked the ball past the keeper – 1-0! Albury had a good chance and the ball flashed past our goal however Sebby was soon proving himself as more than adequate and it appears that the Blacks have found themselves a new keeper! Harry Smith had a decent chance at the other end with a header and Harry J did an admirable job sweeping everything up in defence – it was like Row Z Rusedski had returned! The boys continued to hold tight for the 1-0 result.
Game 2 – Albury Eagles 0 Loxwood Blacks 3
Momentum continued into the second game as Loxwood ascerted themselves. We have seen this before though and the chances have not been converted. That wasn’t to be the story today! William set the tone with some hard tackling in the middle of the field from the off. It wasn’t long before Charlie worked some magic on the right wing and crossed for Harry Smith to flash the ball home for 1-0. William defended well and then broke from midfield in what is becoming his trademark, the Eagles defender rapelled him valiantly but William kept going to score the second of this quarter – 2-0! Harry J was never threatened in goal and Sebby was a brick wall in front of him defence – showing a real talent for defending. Sam remained his reliable self and pushed the ball to Cameron in midfield who played a lovely pass to Harry with the outside of his foot. Harry Smith held the ball up and pushed it back to Cameron who slotted it home for 3-0!
Game 3 – Albury Eagles 0 Loxwood Blacks 0
In a stunning move by coach Paul a change of tactics to protect the lead was deployed. Augero (Cameron) and Kane (Charlie) were moved into defence to become Kompany and Vertonghen! With Sebby placed in goal Paul was obviously following in the footsteps of his mentor Jose Mourinhno in a ploy to “park the bus”. It worked! Albury played well and had most of the pressure in the passage of play. They had a few corners and Sebby was brave diving for the ball. At the other end Harry J’s touch was just a little heavy. He did force a save from the keeper that was pushed onto the post. The game ended with Charlie sliding into the back of the goal in an attempt to keep the ball out – demonstrating the sort of determination that the boys were showing this particular morning.
Game 4 – Albury Eagles 1 Loxwood Blacks 2
The great passing play continued. Early in this quarter Cameron once again he really can pick a pass and slotted a through ball that flat footed everyone except for Charlie Kane who ran straight onto it and buried it into the bottom corner for 1-0. For the second once again Cameron and Charlie worked together – a shot by Cameron, a header by Charlie pushed back out for Cameron to slot home for 2-0. Albury however weren’t done and continued to press, they had useful players – the number 40 in particular catching the eye. They got their just deserved in the end. With Loxwood Blacks playing an attacking high line they got caught and Harry J could do nothing as the Wagles advanced and passed around him to allow the ball to be slotted into the open net for 2-1. The game remained at this scoreline. Notables included a good further save by Harry J, a route 1 hoof from Sebby setting Charlie up for a half volley and William placing a good cross for Cam to just miss.
All in all this was an excellent performance by every single player on the field. I personally have never seen them the boys play so cohesively, and it was that day when it all just came together in all departments. Sebby was called out in particular as the man of the morning for his excellent, no-nonsense performances in goal and defence. Well done everyone!
Match interviews from Harry J and Sebby below…..
Loxwood Whites vs Albury Falcons (Simon Gwilliam)
Q2. As with their season opener, Loxwood returned to the pitch in the second quarter re-energised. Great chances were created for Ben, Jody, Luc and Marco, but the goal they were looking for eluded them. A brilliant run from winger Luc while some concerted efforts in defence from Kelsey and Angus and a great performance between the posts from Chris, were followed by a great solo effort from Jody to gift Loxwood the lead at the close of the quarter. 2-1
Q3. Albury came out in the second half with a long spell of clever attacking play, with one effort driven agonisingly onto the post. The Falcons' fortunes took a turn for the worse, though, when Jody buried a cracking shot into the corner of the Albury goal to put loxwood two up and earn himself the match ball with a well earned hat trick. Undeterred, Albury came forward and immediately pulled one back with a lucky deflection to wrong-foot Marco who had taken over goal keeping duties from Chris. Some great ball control from Kelsey and Luc then released Jody down the wing in a stunning move. Jody then whipped the ball in to Ben and Chris waiting in the box. However Albury had the better of the ensuing scramble thanks to some brave keeping and Albury escaped again. Marco showed some great confidence in goal but was unable to repel the Albury equalizer. A final push from the Falcons deflecting the ball down onto the goal line almost put them into the lead, but the goal line tech said no. 3-3
Q4. With albury having fought back from 3-1 down, a crucial team talk was needed for caretaker coach, Andy. The Loxwood boys, newly fired up, created some great chances after Marco showed good strength in goal shortly after the restart. Albury then went ahead following some good link-up play. More chances followed, a great move from Ben and Luc giving Jody a great chance on goal. Loxwood continued to step up through the gears and equalised with a stunning team goal involving almost every loxwood player, finished with great run from Ben and a confident shot from Jody. As the clock ran down, it looked set to finish as a draw, a fair result for two well matched teams. Albury were here to spoil the Loxwood party, though, and finally pulled into the lead with another great move just minutes from the end. Loxwood came forward again and again in the dying minutes. As the clock turned red, a long throw from Ben allowed one final chance from Jody, but it was expertly stopped by the Falcons' keeper. Agonisingly, the game ended in defeat for the whites, despite their most convincing performance in some time.
Loxwood Whites 4-5 Albury Falcons
Our player of the match went to Jody 'four goals' Smith, for a repeat performance and confidence on goal. Well done to Jody and well played to all.