Manhattan Celtic 4 – 3 CPR Reds
Man of the Match Firsts: Big Donal O’Cofaigh
1st Inaugural SQUID HAT: Fast Eddie Walter -
Moment of the Match: Endo with an absolute thundering challenge in the second half. Announced himself to the team well!
First game of the season for the Reds, and despite a few players out injured (or b***tching out) we had great numbers and a strong squad.
Given the personnel available to us we started the game in a diamond formation due to our overload of CM’s in the squad. However the lack of width started causing us issues and fair play to Celtic, they worked it out wide and put in a great delivery, and their striker buried a bullet of a header to go 1-0 up.
The Reds were keeping the ball pretty well, but decided to change to 4-4-2 to help out with the issues out wide. A tactical master class for the stand in gaffer some would say, but that’s just what I overheard?
Straight away the boys looked comfortable with Big D O’Cofaigh and Christian shifting out wide and immediately we looked more dangerous down the wide and linking up with the front men. Not long later new player Dustin was released down the right channel and pulled a great ball back to the oncoming Mike Lindley. Everyone had turned and got in shape expecting a goal kick to follow, but he buried it with a sweet finish. 1-1.
CPR were well on top at this point and took the lead 10 minutes later. Celtic could not clear the ball and the ball broke to Donal on the edge of the box and he shifted it on to his left foot swinger, and smashed it in the top corner (upper 90 to some of you). Half time 2-1.
A few changes made at half time, which didn’t affect how the lads were playing and we started to dominate the game. CPR looked dangerous from a few early corners and Lindley forced a good save from their keeper. Alessandro, Deco and Emilio were dominating possession in the middle. We then shot ourselves in the foot though, and a bit of overplaying in the back and some sloppy play allowed them a very easy goal to get back level.
More subs were made, handing some more guys their debuts. A change in our back line seemed to cause some issues and Celtic found some confidence because of the goal they were given by us earlier. CPR were still looking dangerous when going forward and using the wide men well. But too much possession for Celtic allowed their lively winger to get in the game again and he cut inside well and finished well into the bottom corner. 3-2 Celtic.
The 3rd goal definitely rattled the Reds, especially given how well we were playing when we were leading. More dominance from Celtic allowed them to take a two goal lead, again men were overloading us going forward and a scrappy volley found its way in, a disappointing one to concede.
We kept pushing and managed to earn back a ‘goal’ through Hendo. With CPR going more direct Hendo muscled his way into the 6 yard box and somehow got something on it and directed it towards goal, which looked like it was blocked on the line but it was given. We will take it.
CPR definitely finished the stronger but couldn’t find the equalizer, which would have been the fair result at the very least.
With 6 new faces in the squad and a few other guys missing, the team did really well and think it bodes very well for the season given some of the football we played and how dangerous we looked.
MOM – Donal O’Cofaigh. Shout out to Alex O’Neill, our pacey new left back
Squid of the Day – Eddie Walter. Decided to bail hours before kick off. Berg recommended which I am happy to go with, and no other viable candidates from the game.
Moment of the Match – Endo with an absolute thundering challenge in the second half. Announced himself to the team well!
Final shout out to Ryan, Endo, Ross, Alessandro, Dustin, Stephan and Sal, all did well on debut and are good additions to the team.