Scorers: Wilf R , James 4
Team: Olly, Tom, James, Henry, Wilf R, Arch, William W, William H.
Training started with a pass and move exercise to continue our understanding of options, and how movement and communication give the player better options on the field. The boys found this challenging as we changed the zones from last weeks boxes to wider bands. Despite the difficulty, the benefits became evident in the today's game.
After our training session came a rematch against Albury Eagles, who comprehensively thrashed us 11-3 in the away fixture back in December.
The game took time to settle, as energy levels were high and both teams chased the ball on a heavy pitch, the ball was not moving particularly well and the players found the ball stuck under their feet and decent clearances were proving difficult to execute. But we had to adapt to this situation and work harder on the challenging surface.
Loxwood went ahead in the first quarter through Wilf R, as long as Wilf gets a little space and time and the ball is on his right foot, he is going to score. Wilf came from deep in the first half and took off from where he left off last week, enjoying the space of the field which suits his game.
Albury equalised in the second quarter (which was deserved) their tempo and midfield effort were excellent. Loxwood rode our luck in the second quarter when our defence went to sleep on 3 occasions leaving Olly badly exposed in goal. We were very lucky not to be down at the interval. Our defensive positioning problems were down to poor focus and missing Henry and Olly in defence.
Our first half performance was not as good as it had been in recent weeks, so we had to resolve some issues and move players around. Tom came back in as a solid keeper, Arch joined in to bolster the defence to good effect and William brought energy and running to midfield.
Our passing game came together in the third quarter, the boys looking up, finding space on the field and getting the ball to better positioned team mates with intelligence and understanding. Playing downhill on the sticky surface helped us and our legs looked fresh. Our midfield was now working well, particularly combined with the defence and we could rely on our athleticism on the break to cause Albury danger. Henry, Archie, Olly and James complimented this effort and provided a wall that Albury couldn’t break down when they tried to break through.
We worked hard from goal kicks and chased Albury down as a pack. An important psychological tactic to exert pressure on our opponents. Albury started to give the ball away needlessly from their goal kicks, to our advantage. Whereas we didn’t waste possession from our goal kicks. At half time we addressed the issue of all our players calling for the ball, from our keeper and causing him unnecessary confusion. In the second half the problem was stamped out, demonstrating that the boys are listening to the coaching.
Henry stretched the Albury defence with his movement and getting the ball played down the touchlines into space. Albury found his physicality difficult to contain, as he used his strength to shield the ball and maintain possession. The goals started to come with Loxwood scoring three times in the third quarter, all well taken by James, each was a result of pleasing teamwork and collaborative effort. This was James' best game of the season so far. He was the metronome in midfield and played with a blend of competitiveness, skill and a phenomenal work rate that rubbed off on his team mates.
In the fourth quarter, Albury came back into the game, after an excellent save from Tom, Albury scored from the rebound. We were not going to witness an Albury revival at 4-2, Loxwood played shrewdly and in a spell when Albury had 4 successive corners we calmly cleared the danger each time. The boys chose to play safe and hold the lead, even if that meant conceding throw ins and corners. In the final ten minutes our levels dropped with tired legs and we let the Eagles come at us. Against the run of play, Albury conceded a free kick through some shirt pulling, and it brought us the final goal of the game; a cracking 25 yard free kick from James who floated a wonderful ball with power and precision into the back of the net ! making it 5-2, and avenging the defeat we experienced a few weeks prior in Chilworth.
Another good win and learning experience, our team are clearly enjoying this season and are working hard for their results. Well done
- Passing and trying to do the simple intelligent thing
- Physicality and using strength
- Hard work
- Clearing danger and remaining calm
- Listening to coaching
To work on
- Maintaining focus and concentration
- Responsibility in maintaining your position
- Not all calling for the ball at once, from goal kicks
This week we welcomed William R, who is new to football and experienced his first competitive match today. Welcome William we are pleased to have you at Loxwood.
Thank you to Rachel, Tracey for setting up this week and marking up the field, also to Richard hot chocolate at the end and Rachel again for the snacks.