Having taken an age to mark the pitch from scratch once again and to remove a puddle the size of a pond I was hoping the lads would respond favourably playing at home for the first time in months .
It didn't quite work out like that having not played a game for a few weeks but it was obvious from the sidelines that initially we were losing the battle in central midfield with not one tackle of note in the first fifteen minutes but very few in the way of chances on goal for either side .

Our last game out was a superb team performance against todays opposition who before this game still had high hopes of championship medals . The team was to be very similar to our last team sheet but sickness to Rowie , Morgan being Morgan , and Josh sick just before KO meant a little bit of fine tuning with Dan in at right back , Jack coming in in front of the back four and Joe moving out wide left and Devan up front .
Not surprisingly after training and Xmas the lads looked a little bit lethargic as did the opposition and in the early stages the game was fairly even .
It was the opposition who once again took the lead and rather luckily in the end the ball ended up in the back of the net . The lads have proved time and again that this no longer fazes them and during a short break to re adjust the net I asked the lads to man mark their goal threat as on a number of occasions Joel and Rob were getting sucked in to the ball and losing our defensive shape . I also asked Quinny to get forward more and to make overlapping runs .

After last weekends poor performance the Reds returned to wining ways even after three cry offs just before the game in Quinny , K , and the elusive Morgs .
We started with our best keeper Luke in nets against a side who took a point off Elton Vale last week , Devan upfront to give us more firepower and strength , Josh in at right back and Joe in centre midfield .
Despite going 1-0 down to a free kick the lads looked bright and were working hard right across the pitch as a team which was super to see and Unsworth got back in the game with a handball in the box which Dev fired in with his usual power and nonchalance to give the keeper no chance .
This was added to from the spot when Dev was put in by Lewis and upended in a clear penalty to make it 2-1 .
This was the score at half time when all we asked of the lads was more of the same and to hold the ball up slightly better up front and for better movement off the ball .
This they did in abundance in the second half as first the inspirational Oisin found Lewis who missed the target .

Once again up against it in terms of players absent, the lads were up against big strong opposition and a team above us but with ourselves having a number of games in hand .
Getting beat 2-1 at half time we also lost Rob who needed to work but up against it we seem to pull a rabbit out of the hat and the second half display in particular was brilliant and the scorers were Lewis 2 , Morgan 1 , Rowie 1 and Joel to win the game 5-2 with some crackers ending up in the back of their net .No more than deserved with a great team display with everyone contributing .
In the second half Quinn had to play at left back and it is this teamwork and unselfish behaviour that is paying dividends especially Luke who was superb in our nets and could easily make this his best position if that was what he wanted .
With a new keeper and new players we have in the pipeline we really could compete for the championship this term if we can keep our game together as we have done recently .

In a game where we started without Rob , Dan and Joe defence was always going to be difficult without two of our regular defenders and with Ben continuing in nets in the absence of a specialist keeper .
That said the lads started brightly and Unsworth went into the lead when Oisin got on the end of a long Devan pass to finish easily .
We almost went further into the lead when an Oisin free kick found Luke S whose header hit the post and Quinn then put in Lewis who was thwarted by a last ditch tackle . Quinn then found Morgs free in acres of space to beat any offside trap to round the keeper and make it 2-0 .
We were then given a warning when their number 17 blasted against the bar just before half time .
In the second half Unsworth went into a three goal lead when Rowie found Oisin who shot and Lewis could not believe his luck when the keeper made a complete mess of it for an easy goal tapping over the line ,
From this position we should never be beaten but our desire to get more goals in the end is our undoing as we leave big holes in midfield for the opposition to attack and sure enough they quickly scored two goals to put themselves back in the game .
We again went three goals ahead to 5-2 when Lewis put in Morgan who found Lewis free on the right to zip the ball across the goal for an own goal followed shortly after by a long ball to Morgan who again finished far too easily .
Perhaps in future we need to put Oisin in front of the back four as well as Jack when we are in a three goal lead because the naivety of our team defensive play is all too obvious as we strive to get more goals which in reality are not required .
They got back in the game with the one strike of theirs with real quality to reduce the deficit to two , and shortly after , after a good save from Ben they were onto the loose ball quickly to make it 5-4 and just as the ref was to blow the whistle it was 5-5 and into penalties .
Luke made three fine saves and we blasted three here , there and everywhere with the keeper not having to make a save to put them in the next round . Decision making somewhat amiss again it has to be said when once gain we could and should have won it .