Polytechnic 8s 2017-2018
Skipper: Nikos Drakatos
Old Actonians 7s – Polytechnic 8s – 0-1 (0-0)
Goals: Stefan Dimitrov
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
– Vince Lombardi
Fighting for survival
After a devastating start to the season, with 3 losses and 19 goals conceded in aggregate, the team seemed on the verge of collapsing. The club was not happy. Neither were the players. Everyone was aware that performances like the last one should be avoided by all means.
After an intense warm-up session, the team gathered around and swore to put on a performance filled with passion, determination, and support for each other – no matter the score.
Starting with a conservative 3-5-2, while trying to carefully weight their feet on the pitch, Poly gave space to the home team allowing them to control the game. After the first ten minutes, Poly felt more comfortable with the ball on their feet and started building up from the defence. Neil played a pivotal role in clearing any loose balls coming into the area and confidently carrying over the ball to the midfield.
Soon after, Poly started creating goal opportunities with Stefan and Metodi playing the one-two trying to penetrate the opposition’s defence. The Bulgarian duo created a number of great opportunities to open the score, however, the luck of followups from the midfield on the last third and the opposition’s defence kept the score level until halftime.
Building on the confidence
Realising that they were in control of the game, halftime found Poly determined to take a step further and push higher up. After halftime, the game continued from where it was left off with Poly creating a number of opportunities for an opening goal.
Mo, who had replaced Robert, and Arash, who had also replaced Sean, we carrying the ball down the flanks, opening up the pitch for Stefan T. and Stefan D. to receive the ball in the centre and become dangerous.
Poly kept missing one chance after the other with both Stefan D. and Metodi being unlucky with their last touches. Both the midfield and the defence looked rather comfortable with Phil clearing any incoming balls, and Stefan T. and Celso dominating the midfield.
Robert and Sean both came back on to replace Celso and Metodi who were both left without a breath after winning many fights. With 10’ left on the clock, there was room for one goal, if not two. It was then that a counter-attack developed when Phil got possesion of the ball in the centre and found Mo on the left wing. Mo carried the ball inside the area and crossed it at the right time for Stefan D. to find it with the tip of his foot while being dragged down by the last defender. The ball ended at the back of the net and Poly players broke into cheers and celebrations.
Not over yet
What happened next, proves why we should never lose concertation and composure until the very end. Being 1-0 ahead, the team wanted to keep the score until the end. We were clearing balls away and not trying to play it to feet or carry it over to the other side of the pitch. The pressure from Actonians was on. The opposition kept pushing for a goal trying to find opportunities mainly from their left flank.
With less than a minute on the clock, Miltos took the goal kick. Actonians won the ball in the midfield and broke into a counter-attack from left. The ball crossed Poly’s entire defence line to find an Actonians’s striker ready for a free header, after escaping his marker.
What happened next has not happened for a while. Seeing the cross, Miltos decided to take two steps back and jump towards the player with the free header. Doing so, Miltos blocked the header right on top of the goal line. A second block from Miltos later sealed an incredible last-second save and the game was all over, signaling the first win of the season and the beginning of a great come back.
MOTM: Neil Davey
After playing as a striker for the first 3 games, Neil took place at the defence as a sweeper. And sweep he did. With Neil at the back, the defence looked very comfortable focusing on their marks rather than on loose balls. Neil was literally everywhere, clearing balls and carrying over to the midfield to begin an organized attack.
A well-rounded game from all the lads on the field. Everyone played to their best ability leaving very little room for mistakes. The passion and determination from each player were evident and played an important role in the team’s first win of the season. We now have the basis to build on and continue with the same passion. Well done to everyone for a great game. We now need to keep working hard in order to turn the situation around.
Thanks for your hard work!
|POLYTECHNIC 9s 2014/15 SEASON SUMMARY