One of those games yesterday where it always felt just out of reach, losing 5-4 away to Cardiff Uni B. With Cardiff having beaten our 2s 2-1 earlier in the season, we anticipated a hard game and playing a uni team at 4.30pm you never knew what to expect. Well, they were certainly all students and the way they played in the first 10 minutes, transferring the ball at pace and probing spaces it looked like a long afternoon ahead. This was reinforced when we conceded a short following a seemingly innocuous challenge from Doey – more on him later – and a drag flicker stepped up to convert with ease. (Note to self – don’t concede any more shorts.) We then started to compete and dominate possession, missing several chances. As so often happens, the next time Cardiff got out of their half they scored again with some smart short passing in the D. More pressure from us and we actually managed to score from a short, although Hobbes had planned to find a deflection in off one of our sticks rather than one of their feet. The second half continued in much the same way, our pressure and Cardiff counter-attacks. Cardiff’s second cheap short corner came when we didn’t retreat 5 metres in the 23 and they scored with a neat deflection. More chances came and went for us and another short saw us go 4-1 behind. Time to gamble, defender off, third striker on and we pulled a goal back almost immediately through Alex on the far post. Our balloon was punctured though when Cardiff were awarded a P-flick and scored to go 5-2 up. With minutes to go we went right back at them and scored our best goal of the game when Hobbes found Nathan on the baseline who pulled the ball back to top-D for Hobbes to shoot and Alex score from the rebound. A P-flick converted by Hobbes just before the final whistle gave some respectability to the score-line but left us ruing our chances. We had them on the rack and they knew it, constantly asking the umpire how long was left. Man-of-the-Match for strong running upfront and intelligent leads was Curtis (run close by James).
Back to Doey. We don’t normally do D-o-t-D but sometimes the case is just overwhelming. After self-navigating to the pitch, Doey’s co-pilot, Curtis, informed him that Google still said they were 15 minutes away – wrong pitch! Then at the end of match, the team had to conduct a finger-tip search of the pitch and dug-out to look for Doey’s car keys. Not there, locked in the boot. No-one gets left behind, though, and a trip back to Bristol for the spare keys and another round trip to Cardiff resolved the situation! (Note to self – always keep keys in pocket.)