ROBIN HOOD ATHLETIC 0 KNARESBOROUGH TOWN 0
By Matt Wright
On Saturday we welcomed Knaresborough Town, a huge club thriving at the moment with investment and in an attractive catchment area for quality footballers to play.
Knaresborough had started the season strong with only 1 loss to their name so far. After last week’s disappointment we today welcomed back Jamie Lister, James Finlayson, Harold, Chris Brown, and John Tunney with Josh Corbett, Chris & Rich Coupe, Stephen Hancock and Mark Temple-Baker making way for a variety of reasons.
We started the game on the front foot with this week’s front 2 looking lively and retaining the ball in good areas for us, this allowed us to have a base of 10 yards further forward in comparison to last week. This allowed our midfield to retain and dictate the pace of the game in good areas. Paul Mitchell and Dale Pickering were today looking back to their best up and down the left and right, this week showing the quality they possess and retaining possession when needed. Our first chance came after 5 minutes when a ball forward from Matthew Gould found Jamie Lister with his back to goal, he threaded a great ball through for Dale Pickering who rifled against the post with the rebound dropping to James Finlayson who’s attempt was turned around the post by an outstretched leg from the defender. Shortly after we forced another chance this time after great football again from front to back Jinky lashed narrowly wide of the post. Up until the 25th minute we were really forcing the play with some good 1 and 2 touch football playing through our midfield that was looking very mobile. Knaresborough to their credit really dug in and displayed some resilient attributes to stay in the game and started to peg us back. They started to get the ball forward at every opportunity to the big man up front who had excellent ability. A string of corners and cheap free kicks meant for a period of 10 minutes we were sat back in our own box holding our shape and clearing the ball. In fairness Alex Cottrell in our goal was largely untested whilst he dealt well with crosses and balls played through. It was clear to see the big forward was going to create at any opportunity he got. 10 minutes out from Half time we found our feet again and started to play through the midfield again and just before the break a great ball over the top was met by Jamie Lister who could only tamely pass it to the keeper. A massive chance but a huge let off for Knaresborough.. HT 0-0
It was fair to say we controlled the vast majority of the half and despite a drop off we were strong at the back and created plenty of chances. An importance on keeping our discipline was put across to the players as well as concentrating on the basics.
The second half started and they were quick out of the blocks, we were put under pressure from the start. Without playing with any sort of style they were very sharp to the ball and we were allowing them the space to create opportunities. Mark Ryan ‘Luka’ came on to freshen up the midfield and instantly injected some energy getting us back in their half creating more chances. A great chance fell to Harold the helicopter who had a pin point cross put on his head that was glanced wide. As the game went on both teams searched for the winner, with that came a little bit of ill-discipline and space. 10 minutes before the end Corey Eaton was introduced to give some fresh energy on the left and he delivered a fantastic ball into the area that was missed by everybody.
Last throw of the dice For Knaresborough as the experienced CM had a pot shot from 25 yards hitting the post and going out for a corner, a let off but the game fizzled out then as it finished 0-0.
A disappointing result in context as it was a game we should have won with the chances we created, it was a game whilst we didn’t always dominate, we looked very comfortable as our defence looked really assured. I can’t fault the lads for their efforts as they gave me everything, as ultimately it was one of them days we could have played another 90 and it wouldn’t have gone in. The positive of that is that Jinky, ligger etc were getting into the positions to score, it becomes a problem when they are not. Some top performances all round especially at the back with Joey, Browny and Lewis with Bulby returning to some form. Liggers information at times was exceptional as he brought players into the game with his voice alone.
My message to the players and in some respects to some of the support, is whilst its 0-0 and we are edging the game in terms of chances don’t be so disappointed when we don’t do something perfect. It happens at this level of football, and let’s face it at 0-0 and on top, been positive will mean we will go on and score. When were are negative, disappointed or display poor body language the only thing it does is lift the opponents. Not conceding was a huge positive but we must address our lack of goals. As ever we will do our upmost to entertain and its only around the corner when we score a boat load.
Stay positive and we achieve positive results