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Sun 3rd November 2013 - League
Bullets 3 V 1 Lakeside FC
Pitch : Braemar Rd Pitch 2
Match Report

Match Report – Sunday 3rd November – Four Oaks Bullets vs Lakeside FC

BULLETS SHOW BOUNCEBACKABILITY IN THE LEAGUE

Two weeks to sit and wait for the chance to set the record straight. Bullets returned to league action with a home game against Lakeside. A home game usually brings some issues with the pitch and this week was no exception. Nets and respect barrier up, corner flags in but the quagmire at the one end was not acceptable to the referee. Fair enough, it was a real mess, so off we trekked to find a suitable pitch. Fortunately one was available and the game was on.

Bullets kicked up the hill in the first half and started brightly, breaking quickly and stretching the Lakeside defence. Charlie created the first chance, with an accurate through ball, which Henry met first time, guiding his right foot volley narrowly wide of the far post. Lakeside started to settle but the defence was showing none of the signs that caused its downfall in the last match. It was a solid unit and Luke was having a comfortable time in goal.

Bullets created several decent opportunities but could not convert them and had nothing to show for their efforts. It was against the run of play that Lakeside took the lead, when Bullets were caught out by a ball knocked back into their box. No marking, allowed the Lakeside player all the time in the world to pick his spot and put them ahead.

Pivotal moment in the match for the Bullets. Could they put the setback behind them and respond positively. The answer to that was an emphatic yes. Bullets were immediately back on the front foot. Firstly Rajan fired over, following a corner that was not fully cleared. Then Charlie had a goal bound shot deflected off a defender’s head for a corner, following good work by Jack Wa on the left. Bullets finally got their reward on nineteen minutes. Charlie whipped in a free kick, from wide on the right, it landed perfectly onto Henry’s head and he cleverly flicked the ball into the far corner for the equaliser.

Henry tried to return the compliment to Charlie. He burst down the left and cut the ball back to Charlie, to hit first time, the keeper reacted quickly to block the effort. The rebound came back invitingly for the Bullets but with three players following in, they rather got in each other’s way and the ball was cleared. Charlie then produced another dangerous free kick but no one wanted to get on the end of it. It was the same moments later when Charlie delivered a perfect corner, which was crying out to be put away but again no one wanted to make the move. Bullets ended the half with another chance but Henry’s shot was again well saved by the keeper.

Half time, a positive first half performance for the third match running. However, we did not want a repeat of the recent second half performances. There was a slight positional change with Ellis going wide on the right and Elliot B getting his first competitive action out of goal for the Bullets. It was important that Bullets started well and did not concede any early goals.

It was a different defence though this week. Sam was enjoying a strong game in the centre, well backed up by his full backs, Elliot C and Max. Behind them Dan was covering well and at his decisive best, using his possession well. In front of them, Rajan was proving an effective shield and the remainder of the midfield were working hard, defending and getting forward to provide support to Henry.

Henry was causing massive problems with his strength and strong running and he put Bullets ahead, five minutes into the second half. He seized on a throw in and burst past two defenders, firing a shot with the aid of a slight deflection, into the far corner. Could the Bullets build on this lead. They certainly had the possession and Henry was close to a hat trick, when he again showed great strength in getting the better of his markers, following Charlie’s pass, he first shot from a tight angle came back off the post and the keeper managed to block his follow up.

A slender one goal lead is never good for the watchers and it wasn’t the most flowing performance, on a heavy pitch against stubborn opposition. One slip and Lakeside could be back on level terms. However the frailties of the last performance, never materialised as the team individually and collectively battled away and never really looked like conceding any further goals. Finally the Bullets put the game to bed ten minutes from the end. Charlie had been instrumental in the midfield, continually working himself into pockets of space behind the Lakeside midfield and providing a constant flow of dangerous balls for Henry to profit from. Charlie got his rewards for his tireless efforts, when he seized on Henry’s blocked shot, to coolly fire home from just inside the box, continuing his excellent goal scoring run.

Bullets continued to press and Jack Wa, turned away from his markers, driving his shot straight at the keeper, with Charlie and Ellis looking for any rebound. Henry nearly sealed the performance with a fourth Bullet’s goal. He wriggled away from his marker, planting a right foot shot beyond the keeper’s outstretched hand, only to see it curl past the far post.

Luke had enjoyed a quiet time in goal but showed safe hands when called upon in the second half, really benefitting from the excellent performance of the four defenders who played the whole seventy minutes. This was epitomised by Sam in the last minute of the game, winning three quick challenges in a row and striding away with possession.

Bullets had their third league win of the season, remaining unbeaten in the league. It was perhaps more of a grind than it was free flowing but that was exactly what was required in the circumstances.

Sam won the parents man of the match award, with a decisive display in the heart of the defence. He put in a strong display and his determination to go the full seventy minutes with no let up was emphasised by his last minute tackling spree.

Charlie won the managers man of the match award. He was the outlet for everything Bullets did going forward, providing Henry with a constant supply of balls to terrorise the opposition defence. He added to this with some quality dead ball deliveries and capped the display with another devastating strike, when the chance arose.

The players provided the perfect response to the shield defeat and can now look forward to another shield game next week, before embarking on a couple of tough league games, against teams fighting for the second place, the Bullets currently hold.

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