After back to back promotions, we find ourselves playing in the Mid Sussex League Division 8 in our third season. Although there is no discernible difference in the reputations of the leagues at this level, it does signal our good progress towards becoming a more important team in the scheme of the beautiful game.
So without any further revelry, let’s see how the preseason and first half of season 3 has been going…
The first friendly here is the first time that I have arranged a friendly against a much larger team in order to see it’s effect on finances. I can actually report that it no longer makes any real money. Although we got a capacity attendance for this game and income from tickets and match day income was very good and we profited even when including the fee that we had to pay Charlton to play the match, looking in finances all this profit went out under the ‘other’ section. Which is slightly annoying as it is hardly realistic or accurate but as finances are good at the club, it’s not something to get too angry about.
The only other loss in the friendlies apart from the very acceptable 2-0 loss to Charlton Athletic was a surprise 1-0 loss to Kings Langley. A very disappointing result but as we went the whole of last season unbeaten, I wasn’t going to give the team a grilling and only mentioned calmly that much improvement was needed ahead of the competitive fixtures. And other than that, preseason went fairly well and performances were good as well as the results.
A few league matches in focus
vs. Crawley Panthers: Much more confident performances than the first match of the season, despite not managing to keep a clean sheet. Although once again possession was even due to our more risk taking, chance creating style formation, we did indeed create many more chances than the opposition. Lamce Shehaj opens the scoring with a good header from a corner, something our defenders before haven’t seemed to be able to do consistently , hopefully he can. After conceding the equalizer, summer replacement forward Jayden Antwi-Nyame gave us back the lead, scoring on his debut and last seasons consistent performer Dan Perry also opens his account for the season.
vs. AFC Bolnore (Mid Sussex Junior Cup): I forgot to replace the tired players for this match so we made hard work of the match right from the beginning. After taking the lead, I tried to preserve the players energy by reducing the tempo of the tactics but we fell to 2-1 behind. I had to switch back to normal high tempo tactics and made substitutions to make the team as fresh as possible. Our equalizer was a penalty scored by our goalkeeper, he’s not a bad penalty taker at all and the winner went in within 6 minutes of the equalizer and right at the end of normal time, completing a dramatic comeback for us to proceed in the cup.
vs. AFC Uckfield U21s (Just off the bottom of the screenshot above): Our first ever loss in a competitive match I believe. Possession was fairly even as always and we had easily enough chances and shots to win the match comfortably, 13 shots and 6 of them on target. We were lazy in front of gal on occasion but also had more bad luck in a match then we have had in a long time. And they score in the 83rd minute WITH THEIR ONLY SHOT ON TARGET to hand us our humbling first defeat.
Please do check in next time to see if we can bounce straight back from our shock first competitive defeat…