Start of a new season and a game with the likes that I have never seen before or ever wish to see again.
The boys looked good after a good pre-season and we we’re looking forward to starting the season with a win.
The first bad signs began before the day with 2 players having injuries and unable to play.
Then, with 2 players pulling muscles
during the warm up I knew this wasn’t meant to be.
Therefore, forced changes were
made upon us which isn’t ideal having already made the match team talk.
However, the match started well with the first 10 minutes being all St Peter with Harry Brady and Josh Stuart controlling the midfield and feeding Danny Fernandes and Luke Lister upfront.
It wasn’t long before a great through ball by Harry found Luke and his pace was far too good for both of St Breade’s centre backs and he raced through and slotted past the Island keeper with calmness. 1-0
Another injury occurred on the pitch and with no fit substitutes we were forced to play with 10 men.
Pressure took its toll and St Brelade levelled the score from a deflected shot passed Joe Harrington who stood no chance and to be honest hadn’t had much to do most of the game.
We made it through to half time and with Coaches running over to the B team match to see if any players could be borrowed the afternoon was looking very long…..
The second half started and the 10 men were holding out with both full backs Byron Kerr and Joe Macdonald working hard defending and then supporting the midfield.
St Peter then took the lead with Thomas Rowlands, who had been a bag of energy all day, curling a wonderful left foot shot post the keeper from distance.
Soon after another injury but this time a bad one with Danny Fernandes being tackled hard and landing on his back/neck which left him needing a long time to get assistance to take him to A&E (thankfully Danny is now better and back playing).
This, at the time, left us with 9 men and that for any team is hard to hold out in an 11 a side game.
We had lost a forward threat in Danny, our midfield general Harry, our ‘rock’ centre back Max Dupres, flying full back Patrick Gouge and utility player Josh Abbott.
Luke ran and ran playing centre mid, forward and right wing.
Thomas Rowlands was everywhere and Josh ‘Duracell’ Stuart was six bunny’s playing the drums in one. So much so that Josh pulled a muscle as well but the ‘brave heart’ that he is the Scottish terrier played on otherwise we would have been down to 9 players!!!!
St Brelade equalised not unsurprisingly and at 2-2 the cavalry came.
Oli Flavell came over from the B team and St Brelade sportingly gave us a substitute as they saw it was becoming a farce.
With this extra energy it gave us hope and Luke sprung alive again and with picking the ball up on the half way line he took on 2 players before cutting in field and rounding a third and then shooting with accuracy to the opposite corner of the goal leaving their keeper stood still. A great finish. 3-2.
In the heat of the afternoon the energy sapped from us not unsurprisingly and with our team depleted St Brelade started to have more of the ball and scored another equalizer. 3-3
With 5 minutes to go our boys were knackered to say the least and with
2 long shot efforts going in we were done.
Despite a 5-3 loss, that has to be one the proudest displays one of my teams have ever played. Being left with the raw bones of a team, playing most of the game with 2 men short and only losing to 2 goals at the end they had dug sooooo deep.
Such team spirit, heart and passion without a single moan or any sign of giving up. They won the match in my eyes and all the supporters watching on the side line.
With spirit like that we will have a very successful season and a team of ‘friends’.