Northwood FC 5 v 2 Sandown FC – Division One
21 August 2019
Score 5 – 2
Last night we visited Northwood in our second game of the season in Division One and after winning our last 4 games (including pre-season) we came down with a bit of a bump.
After Saturdays impressive win over Ryde saints which was the result of some good football, we were confident that we could get a result in Cowes.
The game started at we had finished Saints, high pressing and attacking football with pace. It wasn’t long (6 minutes) until we went ahead with a far post strike from Karl Butcher. We continued pressing and After 20 minutes we looked in control.
For some reason, and I can’t put my finger on it, whilst on top in the game we stared to play a deeper game which changed our shape of play. This allowed Northwood back into the game and the pressure started mounting from them. We were defending well, but it was of our own making, we were battling in our half instead of theirs.
On a very small pitch. Which must have been only just legal size, there was no rest bite and the game was high intensity. That said we kept pace, and fitness was not the issue, playing too deep was. The pressure form Northwood paid off and at half time the score was 1 -1.
Two changes were forced on us at half time, Regan and Spraggy injured. We went to a back 3 of Iley, Thomas and Healy and Dean came on to make a top 2.
The second half started with the instruction to go back to playing football and play a high line. After 47 minutes a mistake at the back by Payner let Northwood in and the score was 2-1 This, although not affecting our effort seemed to make us go back into defensive mode and the pressure on our back three became immense. They were very effective and quick on the break and it wasn’t long before they were 4 – 1 up.
It was good to see that we didn’t stop competing, our fitness looked OK and I cannot complain about the effort, it just looked like everything we did, we did out of shape and with no real structure and balance. Northwood went down to 10 men due to a sin bin, and we pushed forward with every effort going close on several occasions, with the keeper pulling off a great save in the top corner from a deflection. But we could not take advantage of the extra man.
We continued the pressure but in doing so we were leaving ourselves vulnerable at the back. We sacrificed Lewis in midfield for Alex and pushed another player up top and with 13 minutes to go the added pressure paid off and we got a goal back 4-2 through Jake Lester after some good work by Josh Field.
The inevitable pressure and pushing players forward were always going to leave us open at the back and we knew that if they turned us over, we would be under pressure, and the inevitable happened with 5 minutes to go, Northwood scored their 5th goal.
The result was disappointing, as they were not 3 goals better. That said, they did deserve their win because they did to us what we had done to Ryde saints in Saturday, took the game to us. We have to learn from this and take the negatives and turn them into positives for Saturday’s game. The good points were we never gave up, we gifted them 3 goals and 2 came from us pressing for a result, but we have to be more organised and committed to the high press to win matches against the top side in the league. I would imagine Northwood will be around 4th / 5th place this season so it was a good early season test for us.
A mention must go to Rob Iley who had a great game at the back for us and was our most consistent player over the 90 minutes.
We move onto to Saturday and an away game to Ventnor with a 2pm KO