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Match : 1st XI v PSNI (Sussux Regiment Cup)
Date : 2008-03-01
Venue : H
Score : 1-7
Scorers : Alan Burgess
By Kriss Leslie
This was a re-scheduled cup fixture that had been cancelled last week. It was to be the fourth time that the green machine have met the Senior 2 title challengers this season, and as always it proved to be an extremely tough encounter.
East actually started the game very brightly, limiting PSNIís chances and mounting the odd attack. We were unlucky not to take the lead at one stage when Alan Russell had a fantastic deflected effort put just over the bar. East also had a few short corners which we failed to take advantage of.
However, after Eastís good start, PSNI began control the game and unfortunatley two goals were conceeded in quick succession. This didnít affect Eastís spirit though, as everyone continued to put in 110%.
East managed to launch a number of counter attacks towards the end of the second half as we searched for a goal to get us back into the game, Leon having a good effort saved, and a few more short-corners being won. Also, as the hailstones fell from the sky, Alan Russell had a shot excellently saved by the opposition keeper. But once again we failed to take our chances, and shortly afterwards PSNI scored two goals just before half-time.
At half-time everybody realised that we were actually playing some nice hockey at times, and that we were unlucky not to have scored a few goals. Though we also picked up on the fact that we need to be tighter on our men, and that we canít afford to "ball-watch", things which have been troubling us lately.
East began the second half slightly on the back foot, and once again launced a number of counter attacks. Another short corner was won and this time it was converted from an Alan Burgess strike. But as we continued to search for more goals, we left ourselves exposed at the back and towards the end of the game we conceeded three goals within ten minutes. However, in true East fashion, we faught on regardless of what the score was, knowing that the scoreline couldíve been so much different if we had have taken our chances.
Everyone was pleased with Saturdayís performance. Even though the scoreline didnít fully do our performance justice, each person continued to give thier all, and at times we played some excellent, fast and attacking hockey. Hopefully, we will learn that we have to take our chances when they come, as our inability to do so is what caused the scoreline to look unfavourably on our performance. Also, Chris Blaney who was playing only his second match as a goalkeeper did himself proud, and if he continues to train hard, he will become a very good player for the club.
Something which I personally feel sums up our performance on Saturday are the words of a PSNI player to his team-mates as he walked of the pitch. He said something along the lines of; "We had to work hard for that lads, it was a much more competitive game than the last time we played them".
Our next game is Omagh at home on the 29th March. The Omagh fixture is a MUST WIN GAME, and one which we are definitely more than capable of winning providing we put in a clinical performance.