Nine Goals, Loads Of Mud & A Plummer On Call Provides!
" The State Of Our Kits Told The Story Today "
The day started the same way most Sundays do with two late withdrawals from the squad leaving us the bare minimal 11 to face a team who currently sat 2nd in the league and had beaten us twice this season already. The weather was horrendous as was the pitch. With 10 out of 12 games in our entire league being cancelled due to bad pitches it was surprising this fixture actually took place.
Seeing Chris in the changing rooms before a game eases any hangover that may be looming and even with the bare 11 ( Plus Chris ) we always think we can beat most teams and it is this attitude that sees us through most games week in week out.
Right from kick off today we started well. Straight back to Hayden, to Stocker out to Chris on the right, betas his man with a low cross into the box just inches from a Loko Boot to help it into the goal!
From the resulting goal Kick, Hayden wins the header back to Matt who goes to Stocker then Tony on the left a long pass along the area finds Hayden who's goal bound shot was further helped into the net by Lee Mustoe to give us a great start! 1-0.
Surbiton were all over the place, long balls were dealt with so easily by Neil, Scott, Danny and Stocker! the midfield kept shape and Chris and Tony on the wings were causing all sorts of trouble as they battled on. Within five minutes following a Loko corner a great cross again from Chris on the right and found the Head of an Advancing Neil that powerfully pushed the ball into the back of the net for the first time this season, for another goal. 2-0
Five minutes in and we were already two up. The pitch was really starting to cut up and mistakes were being made. Just keeping your balance was proving difficult for most, whilst others like Lee Mustoe thrived in the conditions sliding everywhere putting himself on the line, tackling and battling all over the park to keep this advantage we had built. There keeper had already made a few slips and mistakes and ultimately his last slip as he tried to throw the ball out saw him gift us a goal as Dan Rueben pounced on his spin and dropped ball routine, to calmly push the ball into the back of Surbitons Goal. 3-0.
Even playing the lesser teams in our league we have waited until the second half before we start to bang goals in so we found our self in uncharted territories. 25 minutes in as Surbiton started to get a bit more of a hold on the game, Hayden gave away a free kick 10 yards out from our area. A good free kick over the wall into the side of the net made it very difficult for James C to save. 3-1
Matt reminded us all that the next goal was absolutely critical as they started to get momentum together. Just before Half time, Dan Rueben, up top today, had the legs to run after balls cleared from out defence or after balls hit long for him and his work paid of when a long run on the right from Chris passed two defenders, gave a perfect ball along the ground into the box, passed the keeper, for him to guide the ball easily into the open goal! 4-1
We knew we had the upper hand, well the scoreline gave that away a little, however, we also knew that this team would come at us second half. They finally worked out that their left back was not up to the Job of marking Chris so changed thing around a little. Loko don't usually defend a lead, no matter how big or small and no matter how much time is remaining but we all physiologically retreated slightly in the second half. Matt and Hayden held deeper in midfielder to back up the back four who until now had been fantastic in everything they had done. Surbiton reverted to three at the back as they pushed forward for goals. I wouldn't say they entirely dominated play, but they certainly had the majority of possession as they looked to hold the ball longer and go out right to two or there better players who had the capability to produce decent crosses into our area.
These crosses started to cause Loko problems. They were pretty consistent and chances for Surbiton became plentiful. A long cross from the right found the head of an unmarked man at the back post who headed home easily. 4-2
The dilema any team has at any level of football is, if you defend entirely with your whole team behind the ball then every time you clear the ball their is no one further up the field to take it on and release the pressure from your team so they just keep coming at you, but the reverse is that if you dont all defend and the opposition press hard with numbers you are left short at the back. Surbiton started to pick off shots to compliment there cross and header strategy and James C, luckily for Loko, was at hand on nearly every occasion pulling of some great saves, one especially as he dived dramatically to his left to keep them out. It was inevitable that this pressure would eventually lead to a goal and I think we all felt it. Another long ball in from the right was headed towards goal and James managed to save with a great reaction save, unfortunately the pushed out ball fell to another Surbiton player who put the ball in the net to give them hope of a big comeback. 4-3
We all knew what we had to do for the final 10 minutes, give the ball to Chris and let him run the line and keep the ball in their half, and that's exactly what we done from kick off. Chris down the right again, managed to pull the ball across the field, off a Surbiton defender who headed away right into the path of Tony P. Our keeper was in good form today as he battled up and down the wing and the ball that found him sat up perfectly for him to strike it on a half volley goal bound. As a few of us held our breath " The Mule " slammed the ball into the back of the Surbiton net, past the Keeper from outside the box! Great way to open your Loko scoring account!! 5-3
Surely this was gonna be enough for us to get the win? Surbiton didn't think so as they all pushed forward looking for more goals. This once again came from a close range deflected shot to put them within one goal of us with only added time to play. 5-4
We managed to hold on to the slim lead to enjoy a good win following a real battle in terrible conditions
Lokomotiv 5 - 4 AFC Surbiton.
Weekly Three Questions Did we deserve to win today? Game of Two halves so not convinced, but we did :)
Did We Put It In Today? Considering we had 11 players and them 16, YES! Man Of The Match?
Thought we played thoroughly as a team today. Some good individual performances all made possible because we played for each other. Chris once again became the left backs nightmare with what has become standard for him, and Neil and Tony scoring their first goals this season, however this weeks Man Of The Match goes to Lee Mustoe. The state of his face and kit this week showed everything you needed to know about his performance without having to of watched the game, he battled and fought in the middle for every ball possible along with the goal ( although stolen from Hayden ;) makes him this weeks recipient.
As I started this report, " The State of the kit showed what we all put in this week " We did fight and scrap our way through this game, although at times in the second half we looked venerable ultimately the hardest work was already done in the first 15 minutes.
We had no subs and this itself makes every pass, challenge and chasing back harder. Our defence this year gives us great confidence. Yes we have let goals in, four today, but when you look back from midfield to see Scott, Neil, Danny and Stocker behind ya, you feel we will cope with most things, and that backed up with the big man James C between the posts!
The midfield of Lee, Matt and Hayden kept its shape well today, we went left together, and stepped back together, right together and I don't remember us losing a single header in the first half. Chris is, well Chris! Tony, a goalkeeper, ran as much as he could, won challenges and headers as well as chipping in with a great goal! Dan Reuben who plays a bit part for Loko at the moment, comes into the team and scores twice? you cant ask for much more.
Well Played Lads and a really good and important win that takes us up to 4th in the table!
On a final note, I have been doing these match reports for nearly two seasons now and have enjoyed looking back over the game and giving my honest, if not sometimes too nice, of an opinion on the game. This will unfortunately be my last report for Loko due to time restraints etc. So we are looking for someone to take over the reigns with the reporting. If interested please let me, Matt or Gary know and we can pass on details of how to post on the blog etc.
I hope you have enjoyed the reports and feel I have done you all justice in my apraisals , if not bolloxs to ya all :)
Remember: We Win Together, We Lose Together, We Drink Together, We are all Loko!
Up The Loko for 2017! Quote Of The Week " Teamwork Divides The Task, and Multiplies The Success "