After the glitz and goals of some early season fixtures, Shinfield have found the last two fixtures an altogether different experience. Yesterday’s defeat against Ascot was a somewhat bleak affair befitting the grey skies above and yet when mulling it over with a cup of coffee this morning, there were positives to draw from the game including the comedy moment of the season so far with a supporter slipping over when racing to retrieve the match ball and our “lino” struggling after his late night out ……
Will gathered the team prior to kick off to practice passing the ball quickly as accuracy and speed would be a good strategy to combat an extremely big, strong and well organised opposition. Hopes were high that Shinfield could get an early foothold in the match alas it was Ascot who took the lead with a goal that seemed to squirm into the bottom left hand corner.
A time for brave hearts to answer the call and get back into the game. Shinfield increased the pressure on the Ascot midfield with Sam using his athleticism and Will using his explosive pace through the middle. But in chasing the equaliser, Shinfield were open to the counter attack with their high back line and with one exquisite pass through, an Ascot striker raced clear and finished coolly to increase their lead.
Half time came and with a few tactical tweaks, Shinfield faced the second half with a small mountain to climb. However with Liam dropping back, he started to have more influence in the game. He began to push out of defence, using his power and control to drive into the Ascot half. This encouraged his team mates to up their efforts and all across the park, players began to win their individual battles.
However with the muddy pitch this was never going to be a display of slick pass and move football. It was more of a battle of attrition with strong tackles, misplaced passes and the ball getting stuck under feet. Ascot always looked dangerous but I feel Shinfield had the better of the second half and despite a series of corners late on, they were unable to get the ball across the Ascot line.
All in all, a tough game, good luck to Ascot for the remainder of the season and I’m sure they will be challenging for honours as the season unfolds. However for Shinfield they can seek solace from their improved second half performance where they maintained their shape and kept up the fight until the final whistle.
With not so much to “ooh” and “ahh” over this week, let’s hope that the lads are saving the fireworks for November….
Score Shinfield 0 – Ascot 2
Report – Helen