A glorious day greeted us back at the home of football, Castlefield Reserve. We were up against the strong East Brighton outfit who, thus far, were the only team to have knocked us off. In our last outing against them they were a bit bigger and stronger than us and we had half of the boys returning from a tiring school camp.
We had a couple of 50 gamers for this match. James H and Charlton T. Both important to the team for very different skills. Charlton for his size and attack on the contest and James for his speed and ability to run and find space. They were our captains for the day.
It was a poor start from our boys. East Brighton were better at the run and spread to space and we weren’t awake enough to counter the attacks. We had been jumped 3-5 to 0-1. At quarter time I made a decision to let the boys know what the quarter looked like from the bench and it wasn’t pretty. It was time to be focussed and to their credit, the boys all bought in to the message. We were by no means a spent force after 1 quarter. Clearances were going to help us out. Ryan P, Harry G and Jake S were providing that. The intensity in the 2nd term was terrific. Ollie S and Harry B were lifting all over the park. Ollie E and Mitch R were taking control of their backline. Ben H was having his best game of the year and kicked our solitary goal on the half time siren. We ended with 1-5 to 0-0 to be right back in it.
We had contributors everywhere. Matt B and Mikey P were once again holding them out on their forward movements. Ben W, James H and Zac M were finding paddocks of space. It was a great team effort to keep the ball forward most of the 3rd term. Max L, Wes S and Sandro were responsible for keeping it in there. Keegan M and Charlton were taking turns in being the big bad bustling targets. Oscar M was looking to sneak forward as they were playing a man behind the ball. Unfortunately it was more points being kicked. Huddy J, Giddy Z and Harry W were sending it forward on multiple occasions. 0-6 on the second half, was not going to get us over the line unfortunately. We should have won by a few goals.
I hope the 1st quarter is the last time we play like that for the rest of the year. We have 3 games leading into the finals which should hopefully see us sharpen our game. East Brighton will most likely see us again in the finals. We know we can more than match it with them. SMD @ Albert Park are our next opponent.
Go Hampton Rovers – best mates.