POSTED: January 19 2020 11:37:11. By Phil Hesketh - Bad, bad day at the office

Typhoon 1-3 Barrhill Hearts

I am more bothered about the performance than the result but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like to win, and this was a game we knew we had a really good chance with. We beat them last time and are actually bigger and stronger than them. Before the game we talked about dominating the opposition, putting them under pressure and playing our football. Milonga and Ryan O have started putting this into practice and it makes such a difference.
We started in bright sunshine on a beautifully crisp morning and for once the boys seemed to have listened to us. For 10 minutes we dominated without making too many chances and then with a click of a switch we just stopped. I don’t know if it had something to do with the first round of substitutes but it shouldn’t. We don’t have a star up front without whom we can’t do anything, everybody is good enough to bring something to the table. All I know is we stopped, sometimes literally. If players lost the ball, they accepted it and walked back. There were no runs to make themselves available for a pass and the unwillingness shown by some to take a touch was astonishing. I do not include Peter or the defence in this, they all battled manfully and without their efforts this could have been truly embarrassing. We went a goal down but got a corner, Milonga outmuscled his opponent for the ball, who lost his head and brought him down. Well played Milonga. Jamie converted and Pete and I hoped that would wake them up but we still had time to go behind before the break.
Pete gave them the rocket they deserved at half time for a truly pathetic display. We’re having to do this almost every match and it’s really disappointing. Several boys really looked like they didn’t want to be there. If they do want to play then I expect them to put some effort in. Will gets really exasperated with himself when his touch or crosses don’t come off, and technically he’s not our best player, but he gets back up and has another go, which is all we can can ask for. It’ll get better with practice. Hiding doesn’t do anyone any good. We demanded much more effort and asked the boys to take a touch and look up. To be fair there was a big improvement in the second half, though we were far from great. The first half had passed Freddie by but now he was using the ball very well. Sam came out with fire in his eyes but overall we just didn’t make things happen upfront. We shot from too far out when we should have passed and passed when we should have shot. We conceded a third to make it a really bad day at the office.
I’d like to finish on a few positives. Peter’s kicking and distribution was really good and the defence are really starting to play as a unit. Milonga is a powerhouse alongside Sonny who reads the game so well. Ryan O has added some real bite at right back and Daniel is playing out of his skin on the other side. He pipped Ryan O for the man of the match award for his commitment and his burgeoning understanding of the role he’s been asked to play. Not only is he defending well, he’s getting forward to support his winger.

We’ll draw a line under this one but if someone can’t be bothered to put the effort in from now on then they’ll find themselves warming the bench. No more warnings. I expect the second half’s commitment from here on in.

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