Tale of Two Halves
Colts let slip a 2 goal lead
2017 and the season restarted after the Xmas break with an away game at Esher, who had previously inflicted a 1 goal defeat on the Colts.
The first half started well and gradually Colts took control in what was to prove to be one of the best halves for a while in terms of the Colts football being played. Matt, JoshK and Robbie were dominating midfield and Colts were getting forward and getting chances. The opening goal arrived on 16 mins when Charlie headed in beautifully from Bens corner kick. Colts continued to apply pressure and on the odd foray upfield for Esher, the defence looked solid and didn't really look in too much trouble.
On 33 mins, Alfie, who's making a habit of getting on the scoresheet, scored a great goal. Ted won the ball in midfield and looked to perhaps have overdone it, beating 2 or 3 Esher players before playing a perfect pass into Alfie's path on the right. Taking it in his stride, he hammered it into the top of the net past a good Esher goalie to make it 2-0.
Half time and you couldn't really see Esher getting back into the game, but football can be a great leveller. Clearly Esher were more motivated and were quicker to the ball and Colts were a little rattled. That was further enforced when the away side got a goal back. Whereas in the first half, defence cleared their lines pretty quickly, perhaps the extra attention from Esher unsettled everyone, but despite best efforts, the ball stuck in the Colts penalty area. Eventually it fell to the Esher striker who with some neat footwork made space and stroked it between about 3 Colts defenders and past Owen for 2-1.
Despite the pressure, the goal was a little sloppy and Colts didn't really need to worry too much but that clearly wasn't the vibe on the pitch as Esher rattled a few cages and the pressure was telling. The possession of the first half wasn't happening and the incessant huge kicks from the Esher goalie, literally bouncing in the Cougars penalty area was helping to wear everyone down.
So it was no surprise when Esher equalised although it was again really an opportunity gifted to Esher. Ted looks the part in the centre back position and should get his chance in midfield in due course. His self confidence was evident in the lead up to the second goal, but in reality was a little over ambitious. With the ball out to the right of the Colts penalty box, the best option was to either thump it out of play or play a ball up to the right midfield area. Opting instead to turn back inside, the defence was then swamped and couldn't clear their lines, eventually resulting in what the ref deemed to be a foul just outside the box. The ensuing free kick was duly despatched into the top left corner of the goal, leaving Owen no chance.
After a bit of a reshuffle, Colts then regained some composure and the last 20 or so minutes of the game went without troubling the score.
So a good game of football and shows how fortunes can change easily. Esher played their part and got reward for a good fightback, though on another day Colts need to stand up better to the pressure. In fact it's even more important to carry on doing what you were doing rather than panicking and conceding possession and thus control of the game. Making slightly better decisions at critical moments would probably have seen out the game, but it's all about learning and this game was one of those you look at it and consider what might have been.