A fantastic advert for the JPL
We were up against the side we started our JPL journey and having beaten them twice previously the question was whether we could make it three from three against Bustleholme, or at the very least remain unbeaten.
The boys were excellent during the warmup and we were looking forward to seeing that tempo transition in to the game. Nothing however could have been further from the truth, as we stared the game as poorly as we have done all season. Defensively we were sloppy, in the midfield careless in possession, second to the ball across the pitch and the hunger and desire was almost none existent. The brightest spark in the first third was a thunderbolt from Tom that rattled the post. Their opening goal came from our inability to clear our lines and we finished the first third 1-0 down. There were few bright sparks in that third, with only Liam enhancing his reputation, but to be fair to us we always looked threatening going forward.
With some relatively harsh words being exchanged at the break, the boys came out with a point to prove. Once again they raised themselves to the challenge. We were a team reborn and responded to the physical aspects of the game and, once we realised we could spring their pressing trap through simple pass and moves, we were on top. Our equaliser was a thing of beauty! Ev K spotted a simple pass with a short corner, as Liam was closed down he returned the ball to Ev k (lovely simple one-two) who whipped the ball in to the far post where Ben connected with a diving header and sent the all back to where the keeper had just come from to level the scores. We kept up with the pass and move and played some lovely stuff, with Liam and Ev K at the heart of a lot of the stuff we did well. It made it all the more frustrating when we completely switched off to allow a long throw to the back post where their excellent defender was free and unmarked to put them back in front.
The final third saw much of the same patterns, with our free flowing football coming on top ahead of their more physical approach to the game. The game ebbed and flowed but our midfield, where the were dominated in the first third, were now well and truly on top. we went searching for the equaliser and threw a bit of caution to the wind and played one at the back. Our numerical advantage going forward put us in the ascendency but meant we were susceptible to the break and both Isaac and Jack responded well to the counter attacks. After a number of corners we got our equaliser from a corner with an own goal. Despite pressing for a winner it wasn’t to be and a thrilling and absorbing encounter, one in which was a true advert for JPL football, finished with honours even.
Special mentions to Tom and Austin who both put in good shifts upfront.
Defensively strong, with great vision and, with adding communication to his game, has made the left side of defence his own. Quality from start to finish from Liam.
At the heart of a lot of our good attacks, linking well with the his teammates and never frightened to take anyone on, Evan K was a handful for their defence throughout the game.
Tasked with keeping the biggest player quiet, Ryan stuck to his defensive duties brilliantly as well as being a threat going forward.