21D: Round 13 vs North Sutherland 1 at Preston Park. 6-1 Win.
After a few weeks off due to the bye then yet another great wet that saw Lake Preston and the plethora of water birds return, football was finally back in sunny Engadine! The squad wasn’t at full strength but there was certainly enough quality on the pitch to do some serious damage to the lower of the two North Sutherland sides and that’s exactly what we saw.
In the second half of the season we have seen a more direct and purposeful Engadine emerge. They still like to play balls to feet when coming out but their attack has a lot more purpose to it than we saw at the start of the season. The players look like they now know what they are doing when the ball is transitioning from midfield to attack which is nice to see when watching games.
This game was a prime example of that, with both strikers and the Engadine attacking midfield trio’s movement adding something new to the side. In a team that has traditionally been dominated by midfield possession play, the movement in the final third has added another dimension to the side that has scored a bucketload of goals since their unexpected loss to Menai.
Six goals were shared across midfield and attack with the pick of the bunch being a barnstorming, comitted push forward from fullback Corey to break his goose egg. “He’s not going to score… surely not… surely… YESSS!!” – So, so good!
The only sour note was an early 2nd half red card dished out by yet another out of touch, old man referee. We are playing D grade football. The match is obviously lopsided. There are no malicious challenges or fouls. The ball goes out, the coach asks the referee for the first sub of the half which is subsequently made. All of a sudden the referee comes charging over to the sideline blowing his whistle, yelling angrily at a confused bench then showing yellows to each player for doing the sub without his permission… The ball is still out and noone really knows what is going on. The reff was asked before subbing and an okay was expected but turns out it didn’t come. The player who was booked doesn’t swear, doesn’t abuse the reff, just shakes his head with a ‘patronising okay’ which is enough for an immediate second yellow. Wow. Just wow.
Next week lets hope the talking point of the game is once again the football and not an attention seeking hero of a referee like it too often is in our boring, lopsided football league.
Check out the Engadine Crusaders Facebook page for a full match gallery and as always don’t be shy to tag or leave a comment.