by Dave Mackenzie, Reserves Manager
An extremely youthful reserve team with an average age of 17 and three quarters took the trip up the A38 to face an established and well-seasoned Pinxton eleven.
The trip was a bit too far for one car with Larrel King’s deciding that the hill over Little Eaton was a gradient too far. Unfortunately, this meant a bit of a shuffle with Lopes Massampo moving to right-back and Matt Feurtado coming off the bench.
The starting eleven were Tom Smith, Lopes Massampo, Marcus Calderone, Patrick Pugh, Tom Eccleshall. Louis Pennington, Matt Feurtado, Surafel Tefera, Bobby Battisson, Will Monteiro and Jude Ayetine. Set up with a back four, diamond and front two.
With such a youthful side fitness or lack of caused by the Lockdown wasn’t an issue, however not being in a match situation for a while certainly played a part in our demise.
Having sustained a couple of corners and a free-kick that looked as though it crossed the line, from a central position. We then allowed another short corner played to the full-back, whose cross resulted in the first goal.
The second goal came from another rash challenge, central again and again about 20 yards out.
Unfortunately our wall was set up the wrong way round, which would explain why the taker was able to get it over the wall and into Tm Smith’s right-hand corner. The tallest player should be on the outside!
Both goals would have probably been prevented if we had had more match play.
Despite the disappointment, the team deserve great credit by playing their way back into the game and creating several chances the best of which resulted in an excellent goal line clearance by the centre half when the goalkeeper was beaten.
The game now had a really good flow to it although the man with the whistle was able to conjure up some unfathomable decisions. The worst being when Monteiro was tackled from the side, turned and fell backwards over the defender who had made the challenge. The free-kick went against us.
At the start of the second have we were forced into further changes with Calderone struggling having been out for some time. This allowed Larrel King to be brought in at right-back, which immediately gave us results with his speed down the right and some quality delivery.
On another day Monteiro would have bagged a hat trick, and the time when he did get the ball in the net he was pulled up correctly for offside.
Chances continued to be made and Fin Barker’s first involvement was dinking the ball past the full-back and sprinting down the wing, but unfortunately again we failed to finish off the quality of the delivery.
Just as we were really turning the screw a long ball wasn’t dealt with and their #7 coolly beat Pat Pugh before finishing well.
Even at 3-0 the team still fought to get an elusive goal which didn’t come despite the good build-up. This was due to a mix of very good defending from Pinxton, taking one or two extra touches or not quite getting a good enough connection on the shot.
Overall the disappointment was the naivety in allowing them the chances and not converting any of the chances from excellent linking play.