A very enjoyable game. Many thanks to the various people who went out of their way to make sure the game took place.
The final score was 9-4 to the Reds but throughout the game, the Whites were seldom more than a goal or two behind. It was clearly a case of fortune favoring the bold as Reds elected to play with two at the back from the outset while Whites started with the usual three. This meant that Reds dominated the possession in the midfield early on and this translated to early goals.
Having said that, once Whites cottoned on and tweaked their formation, they started coming into the game. Fred in particular had a good game, enjoying the freedom of playing against a two men defense. For a couple of his goals, he had the first step on the Reds defender before shooting with power and accuracy. Hats off for a masterclass in scoring. If not for Lnyz's acrobatic save, he would also have scored the goal of the game with a bullet header to the top corner.
Jake also had a good game measuring the Reds goal by hitting the post repeatedly But I think eventually, Reds willingness to press from the back made a difference. Tim in particular had an outstanding game and Nick was his usual dominant self in the centre. Like I said, an enjoyable game and I would like to hear views on whether the regulars preferred the seven a side game as opposed to the eight a side. Thoughts?
Re tactics we also elected to start with 2 defenders but somehow the strong Reds' midfield pushed us to commit more midfielders in defense.
Re numbers Rajiv put up a vote sometime ago to get the players' view. I remember voting for 7-aside as at the time the pitch seemed really cramped when we played 8-aside. I don't know if I got used to it or if I'm just getting older but I'm not sure I would cast the same vote now... What I really think is that it depends on the quality of the players involved. If you have 14 good players then I actually prefer 7-aside. But if you have a "weak link" then it's easier for the other team to take advantage of it. With 8-aside you have more chances to make up for a blunder I think.
As with Dez's report, it was an enjoyable game even though it was very tiring being 7-aside. Kudos to Nick and Jake who made the game happened .... a good run-out after a mega chinese new year pig-out.
Agree with Fred on a 7 or 8 a side view.... it depends on players who are willing to run and cover more ground if its 7... (i do prefer 8 as it forces more quick passing given the tighter spaces.. and less running!) I think all 14 players did that on Sat which made it fun although we were all tiring towards the end, playing for more than an hour. Special mention to Jon for Reds who not only scored a hat-trick [one audacious back heel ... which finally came off ......] but ran into space well in attack and tracked back to help in defense. Karthi also was a menace on the wings, putting in great crosses and passes into the box. For Whites, Fred was as always dangerous with his specialty of scoring from impossible positions...i think its a French thingy... ... Jake is becoming French too ... powerful shooting... i think together, they hit the posts about 5-6 times....
Great reviews guys. I have to say my most enjoyable game on a Saturday for quite a while. The extra space from having 7 aside allowed you to look up and play football as opposed to always battling for the ball.. its strange how much 2 less players can make a difference in terms of space and the quality of football. I would def vote 7 a side on that pitch - but agree, it means more running (especially for the centre mid as the lack of 3rd defender means the centre mid has to be a typical box to box midfielder, at least more than normal.