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Match : 1st XI v Ballymena
Date : 2008-11-01
Venue : H
Score : 0-2
By Kriss Leslie
First of all, apologies for the late match report!!!
Saturday’s game against Ballymena left everybody gutted. We were looking to record our first win of the season so far, and for the whole of the match basically we looked as if we were going to, rather convincingly, do just that.
For the duration of the game East had all the chances. Ballymena were limited to very few chances, none of which were really clear cut either. East, on the other hand, had enough chances to win the game by a comfortable margin. Jamesy Greer having a reverse go over the bar and a few other chances on goal, Alan Russell having a reverse saved at the near post, Kriss Leslie having a shot go just wide, and Ronnie having an effort saved by the Ballymena keeper. Not only did East have enough chances from open play, but also many from short corners.
As the game went on, one began to feel that East were letting the three points slip away from them, and that they would have to settle for a single point. But what happened was worse.
With four minutes remaining on the clock, players and spectators began to accept that the match would end in a draw. However, Ballymena won a short corner, and stole the lead, after East let themselves down yet again by conceeding a soft goal.
Gutted, East tried to pick themselves up again and really pushed for a goal which would earn them a draw, perhaps the least East deserved. Though, as East pushed Ballymena hit on the counter attack, and eventually won another short corner. They scored another soft goal. And as a result guaranteed the three points
The match on Saturday was almost a severe case of deja vu for the men in green. Only two weeks before, at Paisley, points were lost against Parkview when, again, East were worthy of at least a point.
Saturday night wasn’t the best. I, as im sure the rest of you were too, wondered what on earth we are doing wrong. But on reflection over the weekend, the reality is that we aren’t doing a lot wrong. We played great hockey, faught for 70 minutes as a team, and created many chances. The only thing we didn’t do was finish those chances.
This time last year, we wouldn’t have been expecting to win such games. Even in the games that were close and competitive, we didn’t make chances and play hockey the way we have been at times recently. We are getting there slowly and it will come eventually as we have always said. We are putting ourselves into great positions to win games easily, now all we have to do is take our chances. If we get one win we will probably go on a good run, as we just need to get that feeling of what it is like to win.
Overall, however gut-wrenching Saturday may have been, let’s not worry about it too much. It would’ve been more disappointing if we didn’t look like scoring or winning at all. Sometimes it’s just the way hockey and sport in general can go. But trust me, it (us finding some form) is coming and it will be along very soon. And when it does come along, how sweet it will be...