Hard work pays off for another double

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Hard work pays off for another double

Posted by admin on January 15, 2013

A crisp, still winter morning greeted everybody as we visited the Pheonix club to face one of the cities olded clubs, Brinsworth Whitehill.

The previous meeting earlier in the season had seen the Spartans run out to a resonably comfortable 7-2 win. So hopes were high formore of the same after the strong performance of last week. 

Mark decided to make a couple of experimental changes to try and balance the two sides a little after concerns about the relative strengths of each team. Jack MB and Betsy swapped to the other teams respectively.

Game one started quite brightly, Brinsworth playing a pressing game, trying to force the Spartans into playing the ball earlier than they would like, the Spartans trying to play the passing game we've come to appreciate. Betsy in midfield took a few minutes to warm-up (literally and figuratively), but then started to play the game he can with some good work in the middle, feeding Alfie particularly down the right. However, for the most part, the fluency of the previous week was missing, the boys tried but just could not achieve. One notable exception in the first half was Jack Bailey who produced one of the best halves of his time with the Spartans, with trickery, passing and strength all round (if only he could do that every week). The deadlock was eventually broken in the second half, with a big kick from Kian that was controlled by Kieren, who then squared across the box for Alfie to knock home. 

Kian then had to be on his toes with a good save on the edge of the box that was cleared by the defence (solid as always - Pav and Aman). The Spartans extended their lead soon after when Kieren produced some great footwork, turning this was and that, before slotting home for 2-0 (great goal). However, they say the most dangerous time for a team is just after they have scored and this proved true. Right from the kick-off, the Spartans were still not ready when Brinsworth broke down the right and fired in a powerful shot that beat the goalie for 2-1. That was it for scoring in game one, the Spartans forwards could not really get into the game and were left frustrated.

Game two was even more frustrating. Jack MB moved into the centre of midfield in his swap with Betsy, but seemed out of sorts for the whole game and not as effective as hoped. All the Spartans really worked hard, but just lacked the cutting edge, Sam working his legs off down the right, Rmarye using his strength and power a number of times down the left only to either pick the wrong pass or just shoot wide and Logan Pierce up front had left his control at home today (otherwise he would probably have had five or six goals). At the back, Josh was having his usual solid day - and actually had a full length of the pitch break and shot - and Cameron clearing up the pieces if it ever got loose. The downside was the Spartans did not really test the Brinsworth goalie at all in teh first half, a couple of near post stops were about it. Brinsworth's biggest threat came from the goal kicks - the goalie not taking them and a defender kicking them clear over the half way line to set up counter attacks. Half time 0-0.

The half-time team talk was quite loud from Mark.

More fo the same however in the second half, the passing game coming and going, players doing just that little bit too much (on both sides). Most of the threat was coming from the Spartans with a number of chances either going passed the post or being cleared in goalmouth scrambles. An injury to Jack MB caused a stir on the coaching sidelines and another to Sam meant the Spartans finished the game wit no subs. Not much for James to do in the second half (a couple of goal kicks and that was about it). But, not a dull game by any means, just not the fluency we've come to appreciate. The game finished scoreless.

FInal score 2-1 to the Spartans. We've lost a number of games this year when playing well, so to win when not playing our best is pleasing.

The result leaves the Spartans 4th in the league with 31points, tied with Dinnington.

Man of matches - Pav and Josh

League standing highlights.
Scoring - 4th: Jack MB - 17goals
Goalies - 2nd: James - 5 clean sheets


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