Another poor first half lets the team down.
I found out afterwards that Oddfellows contained a few of the Jolly Potter lads. So Lesson 1 is don’t go by last season. Every team’s improved and the Oddfellows, known as Lord Seaham last season, are definitely a much stronger opponent this season.
Another poor first half. I elected to avoid a holding midfielder as Tim was absent, but it backfired a bit. I don’t think the formation was the key error, but players backing off and simply not being decisive. Similar to our first home game against Fulwell, we lost it well and truly in the first as within a matter of fifteen to twenty minutes, we were 3-0 down. It’s very difficult to get players to change their attitudes sometimes. If we really want to get into it, we can. Every ball’s winnable and in the first half, I think some of the players gave the opponents too much respect and simply didn’t close down. A lot of the team had a bad day. But it’s a kick up the arse which leaves us feeling “why didn’t we do that in the first?”
The second was altogether different. Just before the end of the first, Simon Mulvaney grabbed a goal back and Ed nearly fired one in, so it was 3-1 at the start of the second. Dixon was on for Ed and moments later Swinhoe and Wilson (injured) were off for two debutantes, Andy Reay and Andrew Farrer. Both came from the Whitley Bay Deaf team and both had great games. The second half was a turnaround. They went 4-1 up, but then Andy Reay clawed it back to 4-2. Great stuff, but when Dave Gourlay fired in a superb free-kick (his second attempt), we were really in it. Oddfellows were hanging on in the end. A series of corner kicks led to clearances and mass panic, but it was too late. We realised who we were playing too late and built up confidence too late.
Positives are that when we do want to play, we can get back into it. It’s a good sign that we nearly made it 4-4 and both Andy Reay and Andy Farrer had very good debuts as centre forward and centre half. Dave Gourlay was Man-of-the-match and scored a superb free-kick, just rewards for a display which saw him drive the team on. Mark Middlemiss, Tim Gillespie and David Staples are all missing next week, but we should have more than enough in terms of players. We’re actually at home against Usworth next week, despite me saying Park View for some reason.
Community North Sports Complex
League Division 1
Sassco.co.uk 3 Simon Mulvaney, Dave Gourlay, Andy Reay
Oddfellows Arms 4
Sassco.co.uk: Dave Simpson, Brian Marley, Mark Muers, James Wilson (Andy Farrer), Jason Amour, Edward Morrison (Chris Dixon), David Staples, Dave Gourlay*, Simon Mulvaney, Andy Swinhoe (Andy Reay)