ROBIN HOOD ATHLETIC 1 HORBURY TOWN 1
By Matt Wright
Hood was back to league action Saturday as the club welcomed Horbury Town to the Coach Ground. A period of silence was impeccably observed for Remembrance Day by all in attendance.
As ever a last minute drop out and the squad carrying injuries was the cloud over us. On the plus more minutes for Widgey and Bulby as they come back from their respective injuries.
A couple of changes today as I wanted an experienced line up as possible with a creative threat. The main plus for this was seeing Jinky, Bridges and Ligger all line up together. We focused on a positive start and a positive end to each half with the middle period looking after itself. In truth, a scrappy first half as both teams tried to get a grip of possession. It was Horbury who took the lead after a too and throw opening 15 minutes. A long ball was latched onto and the Horbury forward turned inside with ease to fire into the bottom corner. 0-1. A very soft goal and avoidable to say the least. Our response was good, John Tunney and Declan Parker battled for possession brilliantly in the middle of the park. As a result this allowed Ligger to get forward and join in with the front 2. Ligger in spells was at his creative best but his voice and information he gives is often understated by many. Matthew Gould replaced Richard Coupe who struggled with his hamstring and quickly settling, offering a great voice and calming influence. We equalised on the 25-minute mark after a solid period of possession and positive forward passing found the front 3 in space. Jinky held the ball superbly and movements off the ball found Bridges who played a great ball into the path of Jamie Lister who powered home. 1-1 and a great piece of play. A few chances were created before the half but the final pass wasn’t quite there.
The message at half time was be brave and if we really wanted to win this game take the game to Horbury.
Horbury carries a real threat through the 2 bojangs, Stacey and the target man up top so we had to be wary of the pace and movement they possessed. In truth, the second half was a non-event in terms of a spectacle. Both teams didn’t really commit to giving the game a go and really played within themselves. Bridges came off at Half time through injury so Bulby made his return to up his minutes. Coupes moved up front, but a real lack of service to the front 2 restricted his involvement. Corey came off the bench as we tried to inject some life into the game, this worked as Jinky had the best opportunity to score shortly after from a 25-yard drive that was unconvincing saved.
From the resulting corner Harold missed a golden opportunity with a free header that sailed off target. A Corey Cross was almost powered home by Bulby but the goalbound shot was superbly blocked. Corey then was set away in the closing 5 minutes but the pacey defence really squeezed the space away and it came to nothing. The last few minutes saw Horbury pile on the pressure as they went for broke and push 3 up top. A series of corners were dealt with well but with the last kick of the game, an offside was given as they slotted the ball home.
The game finished 1-1 and neither team deserved the 3 points. The second half both teams played within themselves and a point was fair.
Horbury have a great skill set and talent base but it was a game we could and should have won at our home patch.
Some good performances from Matthew Gould who got MOM, Jamie Lister, John Tunney, Harold and Alex In goal who made a tremendous save in the first half 1v1. This was reflective in the voting.
To be successful we have to improve our mental approach to games and realise going through the motions alone will not win games. Recent months as a manager I’ve not really had the opportunity to create a competitive squad, selection wise. we’ve not really had the continuity to work on anything, in particular, we can take week to week and be hypercritical about. This is due to the lack of personnel through injury, holiday and other reasons. In my experience this is where the real character of players comes through and the mentality they possess.
To our credit we played some fantastic stuff with the ball when we really turn it on, the talent is there and on the whole, a great group turn out for the club. We didn’t lose today and if we had of turned it up a gear we would have won, it’s that simple.
We now focus on a different test against Whitkirk in the Quarter Final of the district cup. They will be good, so we need to really be on point.
Kick off is at 2pm at The Coach Ground and all support will be greatly appreciated.