The morning started wet overhead and wet underfoot and it would have been easy for the children to not "show up", particularly against an Albury team who were ready for a game of football. Our team started brightly and confidently and showed organisation, commitment and teamwork from the off. This was really pleasing to see and one of the things we've talked about before. The goals came early for Loxwood, and Albury - who were far better than this scoreline suggested - were unlucky not to score when they squandered several chances when they should have hit the target. Full credit to Albury who never let their heads drop and battled to the end.
It was so pleasing to see some of the things we have talked about and practised coming to fruition in this match - passing, movement in space, confidence and commitment in the tackle, quick throw-ins etc. There are some minor quibbles and things we can continue to work on (complacency and concentration for four quarters, moving away from the ball) but that's for another day. Right now we should take a moment to pause and congratulate our children for an immense performance and a great result. And that result? Oh yes, 11 goals without reply! Beyond the number of goals, what was good about this scoreline? Goals every quarter, goals from multiple players and a clean sheet.
Here's my assessment of each player in today's squad:
Henry - fantastic in goal when needed in Q1 and excellent positioning and effort right across the pitch. Great performance
Elliott - best performance in a Loxwood shirt. I said this a couple of weeks ago and I have to say it again. Getting better and better each week
Kyle - where has this Kyle been!?! AMAZING performance and good to see confidence growing. Two well taken goals too! Build on this please
Eddie - tireless running up and down the flanks. Good to see him taking his chances in front of goal too, particularly the slide at the back post - great commitment!
Jason - composed, professional performance in the middle of the park. Such a mature individual who plays for his team. Well deserved his goals
Kacper - great running, passing and shooting. We expect Kacper to score, but we should never take it for granted. Another very good performance
Matthew - fantastic leadership, particularly when playing from the back. Need to work out his best position to get the best from him
Gus - great to have him at full strength, courageous and full of running. Needs a bit more discipline in holding position
Dexter - Great performance when he was on the pitch and believing in himself. More of this please!
Joel - another "best performance" performance from the birthday boy. Growing with every game and should be proud of his contribution
I'm so pleased with the way this group played today. The scoreline is nice, but it's not the important part; as individuals and as a team they have worked on the things we've discussed in training and before matches and they put in to practice when it matters. I couldn't be happier with how they are progressing and I'm excited about how they will continue to grow in the second half of the season.
Well done Magpies, you were GREAT today!