COLTS OPEN LEAGUE CAMPAIGN WITH A BORE DRAW
ALL SQUARE AT MELBOURNE
With all the pre season done the first game of our 2017/18 League season finally arrived. One of the attractions in joining the Chelmsford Invitation League was the locality of the matches . After spending our time travelling to Dagenham and Thurrock too often in recent years it was wonderful to play our first league match away against Chelmer Inn where we had to travel a whole two hundred yards across Melbourne Park .
With two away still on their holidays and one player dropping out when it came to him having to part with some money, (Squeak), it was a slightly reduced squad that made the journey.
From the offset it was obvious the Colts would be giving away quite a few inches in height so concentration at set pieces would be paramount. A small shuffle in the starting line up allowed a few to show off what they could do in their 'chosen' favoured positions and with management now officially retired from referee assistant duties it was down the the substitutes to show their support to the squad by helping out.
The game started with the Colts trying to maintain the short passing game but being competitively closed down by a well organised Chelmer Inn . Both teams attempting to play the right way but both cancelling each other out in what turned into a midfield battle to create chances .
Chelmer Inn had a clear game plan to get the ball to their tall forward then push forward hard to support him but the Colt defence was well organised and remained resolute showing the strength and character which showed why they only conceded one goal in pre season.
Up front the Colts were finding thing equally difficult too often finding themselves being played positionally into corridors of the pitch where they would do least damage by the experienced Chelmer Inn defence .
Chances were few and far between , The Colts looking dangerous when they managed to get forward under control of the ball but just failing in the final third to take their chances , It was in fact Chelmer Inn who came closest to scoring when a misjudged free kick was allowed to bounce through and hit the post , far to close for comfort.
Half time came with the scores all equal and neither team looking really likely to break the deadlock. The team talk was about maintaining possession and movement once passes had been made instead of standing back to admire it or going to sleep.
With an ongoing injury in goals emergency measures were taken and yet another reshuffle in personnel required .
The second half kicked off but unfortunately was another case of both teams cancelling each other out in the key areas of the pitch which resulted in chances becoming minimal . As time dragged on it did look like both teams were settling for a draw , The Colts coming closest to breaking the deadlock hitting the crossbar and having a well taken free kick clawed away from the top corner by a very good save.
Chelmer Inn had their chances but failed to make any of them pay never really testing the Colts stand in keeper .
Eventually the ref put everyone out of their misery and drew the game to a close . A good , physical encounter and another small step on our learning curve .
We will play a lot better teams this season , and a lot worse . But either way we can help ourselves by supporting the player on the ball , remaining alive to the game once we have contributed and playing for the full ninety minutes .
On a positive note , another clean sheet and we didn't look out of place once again physically.
Negatives , we remain a squad if we are on or off the pitch , supporting each other. We all want to play every minute of every game but that obviously cant happen .
Next week is our first home game against Latchingdon.