HUNSLET 3 ROBIN HOOD ATHLETIC 1
By Matt Wright
We made the short journey across to Hunslet for what was going to be a tough local derby. Hunslet boasted a few ex hood players in their ranks who would undoubtedly be looking to get one over on their old club.
As ever as is the theme of the season, we made quite a few changes to the team that does nothing for the continuity that was the base of a successful season last year. We looked to bounce back from a real under par performance against Sherburn last time out and it was a chance for the players to show what they are all about.
From the Kick off the early signs were positive, we got the ball to the forwards feet who were linking well with Chris Coupe. It wasn’t long before the first opportunity came along, James Finlayson found the ball at his feet on the edge of the box only for his shot to be blocked with Jamie Lister watching on in space. A minute later the same combination but this time the other way around, Jamie Lister broke the line well and a through ball to Jinky looked on but Ligger decided to take the shot on himself only to find it blocked. Two great chances but still 0-0 and only 5 minutes gone, but a positive start nevertheless.
From then on it was 1 way traffic as Hunslet really did turn the screw, they utilised the speed of their number 10 with ball after ball over the top to him. This in tern forced us deeper and deeper but we were so far off the pace of the game it began to be a matter of time when Hunslet would score. Hunslet did score the opener as from an attacking corner Coupes got caught in possession and they were 3 on 2 as they broke. A ball over the top for the speed of the number 10 to get onto the end of, and the result was simple as he smashed it home. 0-1 and we deserved it. It continued to be wave after wave of attack and defence as our forwards were feeding off scraps. Lee Wood in goal made 2 good saves to keep the score line down. It wasn’t long before goal 2 happened, again gifting possession in our own half for them to smash home past the Woody. Just before the half rare chance as Paul Mitchell broke down left hand side and cut in but a scuffed shot made it easy for the home keeper.
HT 0-2 and a few lads looked shell shocked. 2 goals given to them from our own mistakes but let’s not hide from the fact they were better than us by an absolute country mile. First to everything, working harder and talking with much greater conviction than us. The message was simple we must improve or this could be embarrassing.
For the first 15 of the second half it was much of the same, wave after wave with us getting last gasp tackles in preventing goals. Hunslet scored a 3rd as a mix up in communication saw another goal which summed up the day. 3-0 and now damage limitation. Bridges and Dec replaced Jinky and Luka to add some freshness to proceedings. Declan began to really grab hold of the ball for us and make us tick, positive forward passes now found the lively Ligger and Bridges in the final 3rd. Jinky must have been fuming after 60 minutes of dealing with scraps to watch us really start to open up. We looked dangerous from time to time now and looked a little more confident in playing from the back. We scored a goal from a corners as the initial ball was dealt with by Hunslet, found Rich Coupe who from distance hit the post and Browny via Ligger tapped home. Lewis was added to the attack and We really pushed on from here on with a blatant handball was missed by the referee. Luck not on our side again but then again you have to earn it I suppose. The game finished with us forcing the pressure and ligger having a good chance but it wasn’t to be and 3-1 it ended.
Fair play to Hunslet they got the goals that allowed them to relax and should be very proud of their efforts, they were clinical and out worked us. We came into our own after 60-65 minutes but far too late for us to force a comeback as goals aren’t happening for us at the moment and the damage was done. Not the greatest atmosphere after the game as expected from a defeat. If we reflect correctly and make the correct adjustments then there is no reason why we can’t find our form again, self-motivation is key for this clearly talented group.
MOM – Chris Brown who was a rare shining light
Next up for Robin Hood is a trip to Huddersfield Amateur on Saturday.