Looking back at Saturday’s game brings mixed emotions for me, although we were happy with a point, it was an opportunity to take all three and we passed it up.
During the week before the game we were shaping up really strongly, however within 48 hours of kick off that changed, club captain Steve Cook picked up a calf injury and Adam Harwood had to return to Belfast at the last minute, add in Ewan Buggins, Ryan Taylor, Pat Smith, Adam Brown and Darren Cooper all missing, we had a fairly depleted squad, particularly at the back, forcing us into a number of changes and adjustments.
The starting line-up included two central midfielders in the full back positions which was a bit of dent in the pre-match preparations but we were still confident that we could put in a performance to get us the points.
We started the game superbly well and within the first 10 minutes we scored twice with two slick finishes from top scorer Jamie McCabe, that was short lived, two defensive errors lead to us conceding two sloppy goals in a 5 minute period. The goals were sloppy from a defensive point view, we did not get close enough to Holden or McManus but in fairness they finished them well. I felt that although we created some good chances in the first 45 minutes, Jeanfield were causing us more problems.
At half time we made some defensive adjustments to combat Jeanfields offensive threat and stressed the importance of getting the ball down and in to wide areas to play to our strengths, in fairness to the boys we did that for the majority of the second half. The second half petered out a wee bit with both teams cancelling each other out, I didn’t feel that either team created a clear cut chance to score the winner. In the 72th minute the game changed when a last ditch challenge by Ryan Roche resulted in a straight red card, this meant that for the last 20 minutes of the game we were playing three centre midfielders at the back. These are moments in games that can make or break you, for us it galvanised us and we defended superbly as a team.
On a roasting hot day, with a make shift defence against a decent Jeanfield side I was happy with the point we took.
On the positive side, this week we have 3 of the 4 defenders that missed Jeanfield, back in the fold and we’ll need them as we entertain Kelty Hearts. This week training has all been focused towards the game plan and getting to full time still undefeated at Laing Park.
As always thank you for your continued support.