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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 3rd XI v Portrush 3rds
Date : 2001-11-17
Venue : H
Score : 1-2
Scorers : Johnson
By 3rd XI Captain
We seem fated to have more than enough players on Friday and still manage to be short on Saturday half an hour before the match.
I would thank the ones who did get in touch early enough for it to count. Be that as it may we finally managed to put 11 people on the pitch for the start.
The first 10 minutes were a little fraught but things settled down and E Antrim was undoubtedly the more cohesive side. The Right wing was where it was all happening and there were some good one twos between Neil and Duff. In fact we were so good I had distinct impression that we could win the match!! After a number of skirmishes in the Portrush Circle the effort was rewarded after 30 minutes when a classic cross form the right wing gave Neil a chance that not even he could miss.
Portrush were not to be disheartened and came back with some stirring forays down the centre and across their right. A serious lapse in the execution of the E Antrim game plan, i.e. we stopped bothering to mark the opposition (what's new do I her you ask), resulted in an equaliser.
The team talk at half time reflected the mood of optimism still prevailing in the team. Back to the game plan, one to one marking, pass to our own players and get the ball down the right. The more senior players in the side elaborated on these general themes at some length.
The second half began with some nerve-racking attacks by Portrush but the line held and Peter Torrens swept clean on most occasions. Wonder of wonders we were awarded a penalty when a cracking shot was deflected out of the goal by an overhead swipe by the Portrush defence. I wall say nothing more about this other than; as you will have discerned from the score line, no advantage was taken of this golden opportunity.
Portrush, having been let off the hook, came back with a sustained period of attack and with our marking once again falling down their centre forward was given a free run into the circle where a mesmerised keeper forgot to take him on. The result would not make the £50 question on "who wants to be a millionaire".
Beek was distinctly suffering at the back and was relocated onto the left wing for the final quarter. Unfortunately we were not able to capitalise on the attack further and at the final whistle we were still lagging by a goal.
Once again I can say with confidence that the team played to the best of their ability and the result reflects only a lack of experience in the midfield and a couple of lapses in concentration. An enjoyable match on the whole.
My thanks to Skeltie and Leon for umpiring.