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Managers Report - Sat 18/09/21 - Old Salvatorian 1-8 Parkfield

Updated: Sep 24, 2021

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The opening fixture of the new season 2021/22 presented the usual first game problems : new players, hot day, unavailability, long walk to the pitch, home team ref, fitness concerns, no keeper ( and no keepers jersey) and the initial threat that we couldn’t use the changing rooms! The squad overcame these hurdles and began the game in a lively manner , taking the game to the opposition from the start.
With many new faces in the starting line-up, the concern was whether we would perform as a combined unit. The initial worries were soon dispelled as it became apparent that Parkfield were In the mood to play football.
Shifting the ball quickly to available red shirts was requested by the manager and was executed efficiently in the opening quarter of the game. Up against what was probably the shortest team in the league, the fear was that we would resort to ‘long ball ‘ tactics and hitting high passes to prosper from our height advantage. Thankfully we kept our nerves and produced a display of passing football which included numerous moves of 12-15 passes on the decent Salvatorian pitch. This would have been more challenging had the fixture been in January/February!
The Reds central midfield pairing of Parkfield legend Mike Davidson, making his first appearance for 6 years, and young Sam Drake, immediately struck up an understanding and were integral to most of the slick passing moves on display. The latter demonstrating an exquisite range of passes culminating in a wonderful strike from 25 yards which flew into the top corner and left Salvos keeper flapping. This must be a (very) early contender for goal of the season, 15 minutes into the opening fixture!
Parkfield’s athleticism caused the aging Salvos outfit major problems and resulted in many free kicks from slow, lunging challenges. The tireless Diogo Melo gratefully accepted one such kick and placed a sublimely hit free kick from the edge of the box into the far righthand side of the goal, frustrating the Salvos keeper whose afternoon of retrieving the ball from the back of ‘ the Onion’ had just begun. Not long after, the players seemed to be queuing up to get on the scoresheet, Pablo even barging his teammate Jay Channell out of the way to get his name on the scoresheet. At halftime the reds were 4-0 up (Pablo 2, Diogo, Sam)
The concern was obviously that we would ‘take our foot off the pedal and begin ‘showboating’ in the second half. To the experienced Salvo’s credit, they didn’t give up the fight and actually had a decent start to the second half but posed little threat to our goal. Forward Jay Channell, who had an industrious first half with little reward, came back onto the pitch on 60 minutes and decided to make his mark on the game scoring the fastest hat-trick we’re ever likely to see, in 5 minutes, with some quality finishes. The scoring concluded with Jake Weber being rewarded with a classy lobbed goal after a number of frustrating near misses. It was better than his save (he was our keeper for the first half) with his face from a goal bound effort which he was trying, unsuccessfully, to catch.
Unfortunately for Salvos the game ended with a serious injury to one of their players, Leo, who may have dislocated a shoulder. But to their credit they continued to the end and were rewarded with a gift of a consolation goal. This was the only blemish on what was a very good opening day for Parkfield.

Paul Ripley - Manager




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