Squad: Kinley, Nathan, Michael, Declan, Bubba, Alex, Charlie C, Tom, Charlie D, Will, Rowan, Hamish, Ethan
Goals : Nathan (2), Tom, Alex, Charlie D, OG
This was supposed to be a free week, but the magpies took the opportunity to continue their excellent form in a friendly game against Albury Saxons. With it being Halloween, certainly Albury will feel relieved they won't have the nightmare of playing the whites again as they notched up a well-deserved 6-0 win.
This looked on paper to be a big test for the whites with some big players missing but the strength of the squad really shone through with a dominant performance for the full 70 minutes. It was a big opportunity for many of the squad to show their potential and in really testing conditions with the squally rain and gusting wind, they certainly all cane through this test with flying colours.
The match started with a good midfield battle, but it soon became obvious that the magpies were in control with Tom and Charlie D showing some lovely passing moves and Rowan looking dangerous up front from the through ball. After fifteen minutes the breakthrough came after a defender deflected a dangerous corner from Alex into his own net. The pressure then started to build and it was no surprise when Tom made it 2-0 with a lovely finish in the corner. This was then shortly followed with a strike from Charlie D on the edge of the box which was deflected off a defender and sent the keeper the wrong way, and the first half rout continued when Alex made it 4-0, following good work from Tom and Will, with a trademark left foot strike.
Onto the second half and the Magpies moved things around with lots of players trying new positions with Kinley and Charlie C tried out in midfield roles and Bubba have a go up-front. Once the whites got used to the new shape this began to yield some opportunities with Bubba and Ethan looking dangerous on the right and Hamish putting in some great work on the left side.
Meanwhile Albury began to push forward desperate to get on the scoresheet but the solid Loxwood defensive wall held firm with Declan and Alex outstanding in stopping any opposition attacks. The opportunity was taken to change the team shape again with a 3-pronged attack of Nathan, Will and Michael deployed for the final 15 minutes.
This nearly immediately bore fruit as a cross-cum-shot from Ethan was met by Nathan but the ball agonisingly went along the goal-line to picked up by the opposition keeper, (who to be fair had an excellent game given the extensive pressure he was being put under). Was Ethan's shot going in anyway?? We will never know ....
The whites were finding more and more space into the final minutes and it was no surprise when Nathan blasted the ball in top of net from a good cross from Bubba, and then grabbed his second after a fine strike from Ethan crashed against the bar and he was the first to respond for an easy tap in.
So 6-0 it ended. Yet another clean sheet and one which keeps this season's unbeaten run going. Most importantly following the news later of the impending lockdown it was great for the boys to get in that final run-out as it looks like it will be the last for a while.
There were lots of great performances to choose from this week but the coaches' Man of the Match this week goes to Declan for his confident and disciplined performance. He has certainly come on leaps and bounds since joining Loxwood this year and his commitment, positional awareness and intelligent distribution has been a large factor in the strong defensive displays this season. Well Done Declan!!