The game started with George in goal and Cameron was place in central defence. After the activities of last week all were relieved to see a properly marked pitch, respect rope, a good youth referee that we have met before and a very well-organised set-up. Nice work Milford!
Organise,. was not how the Vipers started. It seemed that either jet lag from the reasonable journey or 17 pints in the Tich the night previous were in evidence. The Vipers were very sluggish right from the start and a neatly passing Milford team took advantage shortly. Four minutes in and they were 1-0 up as a corner was whipped in and an unsighted George had no chance.
Loxwood endeavored but no passes were making connection and the ball was in the air far too much. Swipes at high balls had Milford pressing on the boys as they put themselves in unnecessarily pressure situations. The work was industrious, Cody tracked really well and at left back has become very assured and knows how to hold that position. His deft touch is a delight to watch.
George was challenged in goal on a number of occasions but is a safe pair of hands – its takes something decent to beat him. The pressure was telling – Harry Smith was running at their defence and Jody worked hard to cause trouble up front. However, after 14 minutes the Vipers were caught cold and a quick break resulted in a 1-on-1 for their #6 who coolly converted to make it 2-0 Milford.
The game continued in the same vein. The ball in the air and possession being lost far too easily. Milford were constantly winners on the first and second ball. To be honest, the Vipers did well to hold this at 2-0 in the first half. Raff is more assured week by week and the talent of Cody is clear. Their tough tackling and refusal to give up a lost cause was keeping the black and blue stripes out.
Chances were thin on the ground at the other end. Jody was working hard but Charlie was almost pedestrian as he tried to take extra touches and not release that Kane-esque thunder that we know that he has in his in locker. “Shoot on sight” was a common cry from the crowd but it was forthcoming. The 1st half ended 0-2 and other than the odd speculative long range shot we had not troubled Milford.
Oscar was in the thick of it but Milford continued their pressure. They should have got a third was it not for a Ronny Rosenthal type miss – to be seen to be believed – You have to have a look on YouTube to see the original!
Cam in midfield made a difference. A real connection between defence and attack and able to switch the ball. Sam W was working hard up front and their competent keeper pushed him wide on a 1-on-1 opportunity. The Loxwood work rate increased and the boys had found their feet, finally giving Milford something to think about.
However, Milford were resolute. Their #31 in particular in central defence being a rock. Milford gave Loxwood a lesson, a long shot from the right hit the cross bar with Harry J mis-footed and the #6 followed in but Harry J tipped it over – “shoot on sight” in evidence.
It was #6 that created the third goal. Working well to ensure Harry J had to parry his shot, it fell open though and #21 followed in to make it 3-0.
The last 10 minutes bought about the best in the Vipers. A couple of rightful offside decisions against the boys (a couple of drills needed) but Loxwood were now winning the midfield. A touch too many from Charlie letting him down a couple of times – when he learns to knock it into space, we will be a different team.
An entertaining piece of defending came from Cam as he used his full body (read backside) to bowl over a Milford attacker. Jody went close to the left-hand post with a whipped attempt.
A couple of neat passes and Jody is through. He strikes at goal and a deflection from Cody diverts it into the Milford net – 3-1. Too little, too late but a deserved goal.
All in all it was a fair result. The Vipers came up against a very well-organised team who knew how to manage a game. A lot to learn from that. The boys did do well and if they had started brighter would have given themselves a good chance.
Coach Paul said after the game “Well played all today. Battled hard and we played some nice football at times. We stood off and let them play but we deserved the goal that eventually came. Well done to Cody for his player of the day and his best performance of the season so far.”
We are all looking forward to the Christmas Party at Kirdford etc next week and looking forward to seeing the fancy dress outfits from all the parents J
Interview from Raff……