OTFC IIs match report – vs. Royal Sun Alliance in the League 6 South (@AmateurFC):

OTFC IIs 3-6 Royal Sun Alliance

Bettis x2
Brant x1

Despite a strong team sheet and morale on the up after a spell of 3 points, I have tried hard to put this match out of my memory. So in short… We were equal, we were up, we were down, we fought back, we fell behind, we lost.

The away fixture earlier in the season was a resounding 7-1 loss… But we had eight and a half players against a team with subs… No real pointers there then. What we did know was that on our day we can give anyone in the league a run for their money.

We started on the back foot… RSA were playing a mature solid back four, one in the middle and five kids upfront. An interesting ploy, but it worked for them, their pace was a problem, but containable, their stamina might prove a problem for us in the second half… Only time would tell.

The match started with some hefty challenges both ways, within twenty minutes both sides had some walking wounded. RSA lost their captain and centre back, their striker took a wallop from Danny Wight, then Si Keane and Dicky Bostelmann both took heavy knocks.

Having ridden the initial onslaught, we found ourselves getting slowly back into the match. Nonetheless, we managed to let a few chances go against us and walked to the halftime break a little dejected and 0-1 down.

Discussions around half time were on missed chances, not goals conceded, always a sign a team feels they should be in it rather than down. This enthusiasm spilled over into the first 15 mins of the second half, suddenly other than the odd break at pace, we were in control. A great combination Dave Bettis goal set up by Alan Hutcheson put us back in contention. We had chances down both wings and felt unlucky not to score. The breakthrough came when Paul Angell set up an opportunity for Bettis to put away a penalty… Paul’s individual skill ensured a clumsy tackle. Giving Bettis the chance to send the ‘keeper the other way. 2-1.

Before we could catch our breath, RSA were back in front. Two quick goals followed – and several questions about the offside rule, which fell on deaf ears – and we were on the back foot again.

Our next came out of the blue, despite pressing high and keeping possession, we had shown little threat to the goal. Up steps Gary Brant. BANG, out of nowhere a sweet curled shot right in the corner. Suddenly we’re back in it. 3-3 and 20 mins to go.

And then suddenly we’re not! A minute after kick off the five man strike force struck. We were staring at a deficit again.

Unfortunately our fitness, discipline and perhaps a couple of individual errors lost it for us. Two more goals were quickly put past us and the final whistle came.

As someone said after, it was a case of we were in it until we weren’t.

Never mind boys, let’s move on – there’s another Saturday to make good on this one.