With the rain subsiding we finally managed to play our first long awaited game of the season.
Although several players were slow arriving to the ground, there was nothing wrong with the way the team began on the pitch because with only 3mins on the clock the Cobras were already 2-0 up. First Tommy Heaton left a couple of Fernhill defenders in his wake as he fired home into the top corner of the net from 20 yards out, not a bad way to mark your debut. Another debutant Zac Winter sent a shot just wide of the post before Riley Hanlon & Blair Dunn linked up to lay on the second goal for Tommy Heaton.
With Fernhill still reeling Russell Vale continued to apply the pressure. From a corner a goal mouth scramble ensued, Riley Hanlon saw his shot saved but quick thinking from Blair Dunn saw his deft chip back into the danger zone headed home by Riley Hanlon, 3-0. By the time another debutant Jarod Tuckwood blasted the ball into the roof of the net to make it 4-0 to the Cobras the game was virtually over as a contest.
Time for a substitution and within 5mins of Jordan Errington and Louis Ready coming off the bench both had added to the scoreline. Due to illness Louis Ready’s debut didn’t last long but with virtually his first touch of the ball he did manage to lob the on rushing goalie, 5-0. Bailey & Christian Baade Mortimer were carving them up time after time down the right wing and one such assault led to a Baxter Bowler Prentice corner which caused havoc in the area and Jordan Errington was on hand to stab the ball home. 6-0 at the half.
No disrespect to Fernhil but the game was won by HT, so it allowed me the opportunity to experiment and try a few players in different positions. The second half began the same way as the first half, the traffic was all one way as Russell Vale continued to create chance after chance, however the Fernhill goal suddenly began to lead a charmed life. Add to that the heroics from the Fernhill goalie (who deserved to be man of the match) combined to thwart everything that Russell Vale threw at them including a fierce shot from Sean Donnelly, now free from his goalkeeping duties. After constant pressure Fernhill’s suddenly new found luck finally ran out. A fortuitous moment between the goalie, the woodwork and Jordan Errington’s head resulted with the ball in the back of the net and the final score 7-0 to Russell Vale.
From a coaching perspective it was good result and pleasing to see the new lads settle in quickly but it will still take at least half a dozen games for the team to perform at the level I expect. I noticed there were too many instances of ball watching and at times a lack of tactical discipline, so it’s back to the training ground to get it right……..there’s a long season ahead.