Back To Winning Ways
By Gary Tustin
After last week’s loss to Thaxted SASS U17s bounce back to beat Godmanchester with a performance that improved throughout the game.
A crisp day with the frost having just receded from the pitch was the scene at the start of the home game against Godmanchester.
Godmanchester’s performances of late have improved and their new 3-5-2 formation may have been a factor in this.
The early exchanges were mostly SASS feeding James down the right who exploited the lack of a recognised full back and the space that was offering him. This all changed when a recurrence of a thigh injury caused James (please see a doctor!) to go off after five minutes.
Seeing James leave seemed to buoy the away team and deflate the home side and Godmanchester began to come into the game.
Godmanchester are strong from set pieces and after a period of sustained pressure they took the lead from a corner. A good finish from the opposition but terrible defending allowed this and work needs to be done to improve the team in this area (note to self).
SASS were not playing well but were still creating chances. Jake had a couple of shots go wide and Ollie B missed from close range when well set up from a very inviting ball into the box.
Just when we thought the equaliser would not come it arrived and in odd circumstances. A Godmanchester clearance went long to Jonnie who returned the compliment. Godmanchester’s attempt to clear was anticipated by Ollie B who deftly flicked the ball for George to round the keeper and score.
The equaliser came on the stroke of half time and 1-1 was about right for a keenly contested first half which was entertaining fare for the watching masses.
The second half initially saw more of what was on offer in the first half. Two contrasting styles, Godmanchester are direct whereas SASS are more intricate, making for a great contest.
SASS were not playing well but were carving out opportunities. Louie could not quite get to a delightful cross ball, a Godmanchester defender almost put the ball into his own net when cutting out a cross.
Godmanchester were thriving on the unnecessary free kicks SASS were offering them. This was their major offensive threat and a few of them were very dangerous indeed.
SASS took the lead from a quality football move. Daniel made a tackle wide on the left and immediately passed the ball to Sam P. Sam worked the ball to Jake who slid the ball between two defenders to George whose reverse ball found Louie. Louie controlled the ball and finished before the keeper had time to recover.
The ball went from left to right and back again at pace with guile and craft. This is what the team are about and the performance after they scored was much improved. SASS seemed to remember who they were and how they play.
Sam P had an inspired final fifteen minutes, firstly taking the ball, working some space and fiercely driving in a cross-shot that a Godmanchester defender deflected into his own net. The defender had to play it as two SASS players were waiting for the tap in.
Sam P then scored himself but at the time the referee had not given it and football chaos that ensued was reminiscent of pinball until George finally put the ball into the net. Upon investigation with neutral third parties the goal was awarded to Sam who deserved it. Could we get 90 minutes like this next week?
A good win and signs over the latter part of the game that SASS are beginning to rediscover their form. Early in this game too many players were focussing on themselves which is not clever in a team sport. However the last twenty minutes were good and SASS did enough to merit victory.
Godmanchester and SASS both agree that any man of the match award should go to the Godmanchester keeper who was amazing all game, commanding in his area, he produced a string of fine saves and cannot be faulted for any of the SASS goals.
SASS have a cup game against Comberton Crusaders next which will allow SASS to show if they are back to their best. Let’s hope so.