Sunday marked my third game of the season and I was keen to help the team get back to winning ways after they suffered a controversial defeat the week before. The side we were playing, Acton Crusaders, had enjoyed a mixed start to the season but I was confidence we’d be able to beat them.
Unfortunately, we were on the back foot for much of the first half and I was called into action much more than in any of my previous two games. I had to make 2 or 3 strong saves in the first half, although one was as a direct result of a poor goal kick on my part, but still.
My kicking is causing me some concern at the moment. Ground kicks are fine (although could be better), but for some reason I seem to have lost the accuracy of my drop kicks, which used to be one of my strong points. I’ve lost some confidence in them as a result and prefer to drop the ball and kick from the floor when possible, but it’s something that I will look to improve.
Unfortunately, we did go behind in the game. A ball down their left wing somehow found its way to the corner of my area and was squared across to be knocked in at the back post. We had 2 or 3 chances to clear it, but there wasn’t anything I could do about that one.
We levelled things up before half time and grabbed two more in the first minute of the second half, which I think led to a bit of complacency. They began to apply the pressure again and got another goal back from a corner. The ball was floated in deep and, to be fair, I should’ve come for it, but chose to stay on my line. I was annoyed because I pulled out a really good save from the close range header to tip it onto the bar, but with me on the floor, Acton followed in for an easy header from a yard out.
We did go on to win the game, but they did grab another goal late in the game. A hoofed clearance down the middle evaded both our central defenders and I was arguably a bit slow at coming out. By the time I got the edge of my box to try and close down the striker, he was already in control of the ball and tucked it into the corner.
But we did win the game 5-3, the same scoreline as the opening game of the season. In 3 games I have conceded 6 goals, which I’m not overly happy with, but I don’t think there was much I could do about many of them and I will take the clean sheet against Wells Hall away as a positive as I miss the next few games.
Our next game is on Friday night at AFC Sudbury, but I am away from Friday to Sunday so will miss that. I will also miss the next Sundays after that meaning my next game (if I get back in the team!) won’t be until the 30th October. Hopefully we can continue our push for the title during this time and I come back to a winning team.
I’m really enjoying playing again and this performance was definitely my best so far this season, having been forced into a number of really good saves. I feel that I’m getting better with every game and can’t wait for the next one!