Barker Boys 's Match Report
Another warm and sunny Sunday. The Boys prepared for their game with a friendly against Saturday Strikers after the earlier match was called off by ACE Academy due to player unavailability.
The coach put out the same starting lineup with Valentin between the posts, defenders Valens and Wei Jian, midfielders Felix, Marc and Aiman with Damien leading the front. The same tactics was planned, spread play and use the width of the pitch.
The Boys quickly got into their stride, with Felix attacking down the right and Marc doing likewise on the left wing. This time we were not able to get a quick goal to settle down. Our opponents proved equal to the task of defending and were quick to close down our players and fight for every loose ball. Nevertheless, several chances were still created, but a combination of good goalkeeping and stout defending prevented us from getting an early goal. The posts were hit a couple of times and we have several attempts on goal with the ball rolling agonizing wide of the goal.
Eventually, mid-way through the first half, the Boys finally secured the break-through. Another attack was started down the right by Felix. The ball crossed in from the right dropped invitingly for Damien, who made no mistake this time to finish off the move with a shot to right off the keeper.
The lead did not last long however. A few minutes later, our opponents managed to fashion an equalizer. An attack from DPS was not adequately dealt with.There was a bit of confusion and uncertain defending by the Boys. A shot by a DPS player struck the foot of a defender, and looped over Valentin's head into the far past of the goal. There was not much Valentin could have done to prevent the goal.
Despite this, the Boys did not give up and continued to press for a second goal to restore the lead. However chances were few and far in-between.
The second half was almost identical to the first half. The Boys continued to attack down the wings but continued to come up against a green forest of DPS defenders which blocked and matched our commitment with hard work and determination of their own.
Feeling the heat from the afternoon sun, the coach decided to substitute several players for fresh legs. Joseph, Issac, Ryan, Mikhail and Dan were all given the opportunity to stretch their legs and play their part in the team. Unlike last time however, the players were kept mainly to their usual positions in the team and not rotated as previously.
There were several more chances to add to the scoreline but a combination of missed chances, good defending and goal keeping kept the second half scoreless. Perhaps this was just another " one of those days" when the ball refused to go in regardless of what happened. Credit must also go to DPS for their stoutt and determined defensive work.
Right at the end, opponents almost managed to fashion a goal of their own. Uncertain defending almost contributed to a goal by DPS, but fortunately Valentin was able to get down quickly to smoother the ball and defuse the situation.
Ultimately, a draw appears to be a fair result for both teams.
Man of the match award goes to Felix. His non-stop running and dribbling skills opened up opportunities for the Boys to take shots on goal.
There was better teamwork amongst the players too, with the defenders working well with the midfielders to support them with well placed passes and interceptions. Probably more communication amongst the players would help to diffuse dangerous situations. Players also need to take full advantage of any shot opportunites to convert them into goals.
This is probably one of the more difficult opponents which the Boys have played to date. This match was good preparation for boys when they begin to compete in the Inter-schools nationals next year where the pace and intensity of the competition will be high.
Overall, a good weekend result for the Boys. One more point obtained, and with just one/two games to go, the team is well positioned to finish the League in a good position.