After a strong home win last week, Shinfield set off on their first “away day” of the season, through leafy Surrey to the most luxurious of surroundings at the ASC International School at Egham, for their fixture with Berks County Snakes.
Everyone arrived promptly and were impressed with the presence of dug outs and benches for the supporters as well as soft close lids on the toilets ! The pitch was flat, smooth and well tended so the scene was set for a quality performance……
However as with last week, Shinfield started slowly with Berks County doing all the early running. The defence was under continual pressure and there was no real surprise when the Snakes struck from a corner. Will (the manager) encouraged the boys to react positively from the touch line and this seemed to stir the Shinfield boys into action and they woke up and went on the front foot. The team upped the tempo and got their passing game going. There were chances to score but it was Will (the striker!) who managed to get the ball in the net from a corner to get Shinfield back on an even footing.
The whole team seemed to put in a tremendous effort now, always looking to support each other and offer creative options. This team work was applauded by all on the touchline and it really made the difference today. Tom received an exquisite through ball on the right and ran clear and finished well to take the score to 2-1.
However Shinfield were unable to extend their lead until the second half. Sam shot wide to send a warning to the Snakes defence and then he got his angles right and scored with a smashing shot past the diving Snakes keeper. His all action performance down the right justly earned his man of the match accolade.
Shinfield looked very strong and played most of the second half deep in the Snakes half, Tyson was tenacious in his tackling and skipped through repeatedly to put in beautiful crosses. Snakes seemed to get frustrated but Shinfield collectively kept up the pressure. The final goal was as result of a powerful, thrusting run from midfield and Luke was able to beat numerous tackles and finish coolly under very heavy pressure. Cue Will and Andre doing simultaneous jumps into the air!
As the game went on, Shinfield seemed to tire and Snakes came back into the match. The Shinfield boys dug deep and Ash, Cam and Josh worked SO well as a back line to track back and put in last ditch tackles to keep their opponents at bay. J’zsiah came out of goal for the last bit of the game and won headers and tracked breakaways to help the team ensure that their endeavours were rewarded with 3 points today.
This was a thrilling game with some really good chances for both teams but because Shinfield were able to work hard as a team, they were able to come away with the victory and red sweaty faces and tired legs too!
Scorers – Will, Tom, Sam, Luke
MOM – Sam
Report – Helen