Last Gasp Drama
Mistakes are costly, but team rescue a draw
Another week off was not great preparation as we are trying to get some rhythm, but we tried to get into our swing with another tricky looking away tie against an established Brislington side. Our injury list was one shorter as Elijah returned from his ankle problems and took his place up front allowing us to get Emmanuel back into the defence and Liam back into the midfield.
Our line up was Toby in goal behind Dex, Flynn, Emmanuel and Harry. Liam anchored midfield with Olly and Kyran. Joel wide left, Cody wide right and Elijah down the centre with Max and Josh on the bench. The first 10 minutes were not great with Brislington settling quicker than we did and their powerful centre forward was causing us problems. In fact when the opening goal came it was with a touch of fortune as a shot was deflected into the path of the Brislington forward who slotted the ball under the onrushing Toby. Thankfully our game picked up after that and we started to push Brislington back with Joel having a long range effort smash off the bar. One through ball saw Elijah break into the area and poke the ball beyond the keeper before being clattered. We were not getting a penalty despite a few minor Portishead protests. Another incisive ball over the top from Elijah sent Cody clear and he confidently lifted the ball over the Brislington keeper. However the long grass on the pitch held it up enough for the defender to clear it off the line stopping what was an otherwise certain goal. A corner at the end of the half gave us another chance and Liam floated a dangerous ball into the box. As the ball bounced around it hung near to Joel who reacted quickest and smashed home a volley to bring us level at half time.
Josh and Max came on for Dex and Olly, who were both given pointers on what to do when they came back on. The second half start was a disaster. From a game we looked like winning, we suddenly conceded two sloppy goals, the first from our own poor kick off and the second with really slack marking at a corner. In no time at all we were 3-1 down. We at least composed ourselves and started the task of getting back into the game. We scrapped and fought for the ball and did not allow ourselves to fall out of contention. Dex and Olly came back on with Cody and Flynn coming off. Olly especially performed his instructions to a tee, encouraged not to dwell on the ball, he slipped a perfect through ball to Elijah and he comfortably passed the ball into the bottom right corner past the Brislington keeper. We looked like coming roaring back, but once more some sloppy play in our own half saw us concede another preventable goal (three in one game!!).
So with 10 minutes to go we were 4-2 down and heading for defeat. Yet again we started to play, the midfield working well again and Liam especially at the centre of everything good that we did. We started to lay siege to the Brislington goal. Joel had a few efforts before a break down the left saw Elijah's shot blocked into the path of Olly. Running wide of the right post he angled his effort powerfully into the top right corner to half the deficit, quite the impact at the end of the game. The end came with three successive corners from Portishead, one on the left swung in by Kyran, one on the right from Liam - both close from Emmanuel. The final one from Kyran took a flick towards the back post where Harry was waiting like Harry always does and he headed the equaliser with the very last touch of the game to save a point for the team.
Cue delirious scenes as the team revelled in the comeback, but lets not forget that the mistakes put us in that position. Great fight, high drama, some good, some bad.
Man of the Match: Liam Noble - head and shoulders clear as our best player on the day, always composed, always looking to play the right way.