A day trip for the Knights to the Perth foothills saw us take on the league’s bottom placed team but after recent inconsistent form, no one arrived taking anything for granted.
Jethro took his turn in goal (who’s volunteering next week?) and Mark & Dan returned back to the fold. In training we had worked on reducing the rush and panic and trying to retain more possession and control of the ball.
In truth, we started off more as we had left off from the last 2 games. A lot rushing around with passes being despatched before opposing players had committed themselves. What we were really looking for was for someone to put their foot on the ball and slow things down a bit and take a control of the game. We slowly started putting in some decent through passes but didn’t account for an over-zealous 17 year old linesman who was the son of the ref. Every through ball was met by a flash of raised flourescent orange from the side-line and Dad (sorry; the ref) followed with a play halting “Peep” despite the fact that the man called off-side was no where need the ball/play. A trend that was unfortunately set to continue for the rest of the day. No surprise then that the deadlock was broken by a set piece but there was a mild surprise that a finely headed goal from Dan was sourced back to the able assistance of Dave Westy (had the Golden Boot rivalry been forgotten?). Encouraged we continued in the same vein and bombarded their goal. Headers flew inches wide, shots skimmed bars and their goalie danced like a puppet on a string getting in the way of everything we had to offer. It was with some surprise then that as we came off for half-time it was only 1-0.
The half-time talk was about everyone staying in their positions and being patient. Forrestfield were getting visibly tired and the chances were sure to come.
The 2nd half started off accompanied by the shrill peeps of the referee’s whistle as the linesman continued to frustrate. Marky Mark slotted back in to right midfield and linked up well with Rob & Matt H as they threatened down the right. Whilst Matty G started off each attack down the left with Moha then feeding Dave to run on to goal. Dunny just stood his ground and growled menacingly at anyone that dared invade his space! The goalie continued having the game of his life and when he did fall short of the mark the bar or post stepped in to help. The woodwork was dented 4 times in all and then a familiar sight appeared. Good teamwork got the ball to Westy. He slipped past his defender with consumate ease and spiralled down on goal. It didn’t rip the net open but his placed shot clipped the far post and this time it went the right side of it. You ‘COULD’ hear the sigh of relief from our team and that of defeat from theirs. Suddenly the Knights shoulders relaxed and people ran with the ball in to the growing spaces left by Forrestfield’s retreating midfield. Mark, Rob & Matt H initiated wave after wave of attack down the right side and as the screams of “Banzai” reined out, Matt H must have thought he was back at Kelmscott Roos as chance after chance was thwarted by Cat Weasle in their Goal (or was it the Doc from Back to the Future – who could tell for sure). Then another attack down the right saw Mark in the tightest of angles and as everyone lined up for the cross he took things in to his own hand and whacked the ball between goalie and post 3 – 0…it was Samba time. The ball was stroked around the pitch to the sound of Ole as The Knights suddenly became the team of old. You could see the disciplined straight lines of 4-2-3-1 clearly across the length of the pitch and it brought a tear to the eye of the team’s injured and ageing manager on the touchline as he reached inside his sheepskin coat for the matches and a Romeo & Juliet cigar. Calm, confident play saw shots from everywhere and then the goal the crowd had been waiting for. Another blur of fading blue sockings breaking through the line saw Matt H beat the blessed off-side trap and burst in to open ground and as the bets were hastingly made at pitchside (2/1 Post, 3/1 bar, 6/5 Goalie’s legs) Matt shrugged off the past to thump the ball gloriously past his nemesis. There was still time left for the ever reliable Dave to rush on to goal and put one through the goalies legs for his 2nd & our 5th of the day. With time dwindling away he got a late chance to grab his 3rd Man of the Match award of the season with a hat-rick but the chance was more than 5 inches out this week and it went begging ( 🙂 ) The whistle went and the final score of 5-0 put the smile back on everyone’s faces. A totally dominant display and on another the scoreline really could have gone in to doube-figures…The Knights were BACK!
Man of the Match award this week was again a tough decision. Jethro’s clean sheet needs to be applauded. Dan’s well taken goal after a long lay-off helped settle the nerves. Mark’s solid performance and goal on any other day would’ve been enough to grab the gong. and Westy’s brace fell short of the hat-trick that would have forced my hand but as the question was asked reference was made that the defencive fortress at the back really helped liberate our midfield to go forward and lay siege on them all day in the way that we did. I’m reliably told that in all the games they have played together they have only let one goal in. He quietly starts a lot of our attacks down the left and has been known to even ignore the threat of a nose-bleed and venture up to the other end of the pitch to have a shot….he is of course…Hannah Griffith’s brand new Dad and Dunny’s partner in crime – Matty G. One of our team’s quieter achievers who is making his position his own. Well done mate, great game and great first half of the season (ps: can I NOW have my iphone & sunglasses that I left in your car last night?!!)
The season’s ‘half-time’ report to follow tomorrow night. And just in case some of you have not had a chance to glance at the table – Cockburn lost yesterday! (Revs up the engine just a little doesn’t it! 🙂