For what has been a couple months in the waiting, the Sirius Year 11 football team got back to their league fixtures and marked it off with a 1-0 victory over Winifred Holtby.
It was a game which started with some disappointing news with 3 of the players in the squad unable to play, dentist appointments and ‘forgetting kit’ being the culprits. However, the ticker-man team adapted to the changes to play a new formation of 3-2-3-2 against what had been a free scoring Winifred team this season. It was a slow start to the game with lack of match practice and the wind playing their part in this. Neither team looked in control of the game with long-ball tactic coming into play- which does not even please a Sunderland and Sam Allardyce fan! As the game slowly wore on, the ball kept finding its way to the strike partnership of Charlie Morriss and Alfie Pougher without much reward. Chances were squandered with players taking too long to put shots away against the untested Winifred goalie. Winifred strikers had a few opportunities themselves trying to exploit the lack of full backs in the Sirius team but the pace and organisation of the back 3 proved to too strong to break down. Jak Langley, Adam Kelsey and Callum Baker proving that quality in the back is better than quantity, with the on form Stephen Pougher being an unstoppable cat in the goal.
Finally around 25minutes into the game the dead lock was broken. An excellent example of how to play out from defence and not go long-ball proving to be key in the build-up. The goal came from a Winifred attack which was broken down well by Baker and Kelsey towards the left hand side. The ball worked its way up field down the left flank with great off the ball movement and passing from Dom Litwinski, Jamie Gould and Jordan Hance. Morriss then picked up the ball outside of the 18 yard box and from about 20 yards out slotted the ball into the bottom left corner leaving the keeper with no chance. However, it did appear that he was aiming for the top corner… Eventually the half time whistle blew at 1-0 following another dull period of the game where chances were wasted by both teams.
Following a Phil Brown-esk half time team talk the players went out in the second half looking to win their first game this season following a draw and defeat. Again the half started with neither team in control resulting in 3 changes of Josh Kirkby, Shahyar Hosseini and Dylan Freeman (making his debut) replacing Martin Jude, Harry Knight and Jordan Hance. The changes brought some new found energy to the game with both Dylan and Josh providing more width and direct running on the ball down the wings. The best chance for Sirius came towards the end of the game with a free kick delivered in from the left finding Kirkby on the back post, who’s header skimmed the top of the crossbar. However, some of the best chances came to Winifred’s numbers 7 and 14, both with links to Scunthorpe and Grimsby academies. However full credit must go to the Sirius defence, especially Langley and Pougher! Jak is known in the team as G-Nev after his idol and it was seen why today. He was solid across the back line with incredible last-ditch tackles and putting his body on the line to clear the ball. Stephen in goal had probably his best game for Sirius with some excellent saves throughout, but the highlight of his game came when a loose ball was picked up in the Sirius area with the striker with loads of space and time to smash the ball into the net, only to be saved miraculously by Stephen in the bottom corner.
Another key moment was the sending off of the threatening no.14 for Winifred for dismissal, Jamie Gould proving to be too much of a nuisance for him. The game finally came to an end following a couple of last ditch Winifred Corners at 1-0. 2 games remain in the league and although the 3 points were vital, it will almost seem like an opportunity lost to pull some goals back on rival Malet Lambert. Let’s see how it goes…
Please congratulate the following players on their win, attitude and work rate in the game:
Stephen Pougher, Jak ‘G-Nev’ Langley, Adam Kelsey, Callum Baker, Harry Knight, Jamie Gould, Dom Litwinski, Jordan Hance, Martin Jude, Alfie Pougher, Charlie Morriss, Josh Kirkby, Dylan Freeman and Shahyar Hosseini.
Also a special thanks to Martin Smith for his support.
Jonathan White and Lewis Jarvis.