Beaten but not Bowed
By Gary Tustin
Not every day that you lose to one of your rivals but get six points to go further clear in the league.
SASS U17 were beaten 4-1 at home by Thaxted but were awarded two walkover victories by the FA from cancelled games in December.
The game against Thaxted was always going to be a stiff test and with the loss to injury of the captain Ted early on the job became harder.
Individual errors cost the team but every player gave all they had so the team should have pride in the performance.
SASS went behind when they stopped playing because they thought there might have been a foul. Thaxted played to the whistle, which did not come and led one nil.
SASS were being overrun after the goal and the score remained unaltered because of a great display by keeper Aidan. Shot stopping, commanding his area, sweeper keeper all being required to keep the visitors at bay.
Somehow SASS equalised. A corner to SASS was cleared by Thaxted and a fifty-fifty challenge saw the ball go free. Ollie F somehow got to the ball before the keeper and chipped the onrushing goalie from a difficult angle. Sublime skill.
The sides were equal for only a few minutes before Thaxted regained the lead on the stroke of half time. A corner was nodded in but there seemed to be many questions about the goal. Did the referee not see several fouls that occurred? Why was Greg marking somebody significantly taller than him? All irrelevant as Thaxted led.
After the break the game was much more even with SASS looking likely to get level. A header from a free kick found the side netting, their keeper saved well from both James and Ollie F.
Then SASS lost the ball in midfield and Thaxted broke down the left and the squared ball across the area was finished well to effectively kill the game. Brilliant counter-attack by the visitors but criminal ball retention by the home team.
Just as SASS were licking their wounds a harsh free kick floated into the area was headed home.
SASS did well to keep the score to only four as they finished with ten men due to an injury crisis. They kept trying which is all that could be asked of them.
Thaxted deserved to win and some of SASS’s more influential players need to rediscover their mojo as this was a game they could have won but in the end came up short due to some players being off-form and individual errors that proved costly.
Aidan was superb, not at fault for any of the goals and kept SASS in it. Really impressive display.
The season is now at the business end and the mark of any good team after a defeat is how they respond. SASS are a good team and have never given anything but their best and that is all that can be asked of them between now and the end of the season.
Sure they will.