...and a fresh game.
Yesterday saw the opening game of the season for my team in red. A strong start...not quite on the Colchester (1-7 against Norwich in Norwich) scale of openings, but still a win, and I'll go with those anyway they come.
A strong and positive start saw us two goals to the good, but scarily they came via a defender (Dailly) and a midfielder (Bailey), but two goals are two goals! Then Llera clashed heads, and had to leave the field for eleven stitches(can someone on the official site please tell the writer how to spell stiches!), and we sat back and tried to mess the ball around, and that's when the opposition scored. Semedo seemed to be going from midfield into defence, and then back...trying to cover two positions at once. The second half, again we showed well, but Wycombe had that goal and it raised their confidence...until we scored our third, again from a defender(Llera), before they came back at us again, after some loose play. Towards the end of the game Gray(substitute) had a chance, but he was already down and the stretch was a little too far to get force into the shot, and it was an easy clutch for their goalkeeper...the referee was also substituted, Mr George coming on for Mr Deadman(sound like characters from Dickens), and Rob Elliot saved our dignity in some goalmouth scrambles, having made a couple of questionable decisions during the early part of the game, but he wasn't the only one...there were nerves showing...I'm sure the players know how much depends on this season, and what this coming week could hold. There's got to be some tension around the club...and we were also carrying some injuries at the back. It's being reported Dailly has a damaged rib from before the match, and Richardson was injured at half time. So three of our back four have injuries...and we're not the strongest in that department. The midfield needs to tighten up too...and I felt sometimes Shelvey played as though he believed all the hype surrounding him, other times you could see his understanding of the game, which belies his tender years. You tell me which seventeen year old who wouldn't be affected by what's been said about him all summer.
All in all, it's a good game to have got under our belts...we showed we can play good football, but we also showed we can dig deep and pull together. It also showed some of our vulnerabilities...now we just need to take the positives and work on the negatives.
As I've said, we're not season ticket holders this year, and we watched this game from the Upper North Stand, rather than the Lower...surrounded by people(most having moved seats) who enjoyed the match, were friendly...and had fun. It's where I'll be watching any further games from, I'll also be ordering my tickets before the game, as I understand there were queues for match day tickets(crowd of 16500). We also visited the Royal Oak...and boy, was it humming...with punters spilling outside. The landlady will do well, if that continues.
A busy journey home ended the day...