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Whiteley XI 2 GB Utd 2

Before the game I asked that we continue with the same drive and commitment that we had displayed in previous weeks, while stressing the point that we all need to focus on our own role.

We started the game pretty slowly, and in fairness, we had to endure a lot of early pressure. GB didnít offer much in terms of goal threats, but all the same, they kept us on the back foot, and to be honest Colin did make a couple of early, if not comfortable saves. Our best chance came midway through the first half, when a looping ball across the box dropped nicely to me 15 yards out on the left hand edge of the box, however my volley spun just over the bar. I also took a corner, which again had a vicious swerve on it and it went into the net at the far post, before being cleared out by a defender.. sadly everyone carried on playing, blissfully unaware that we should have been a goal up. My disappointment was short lived though, as a few minutes later I knocked the ball on for Jon Allery to surge forward and blast a 25 yarder into the net. Sadly as seems to be the whiteley way, a poorly defended set piece left Alex Cade to head the ball back towards his own goal at an awkward height, which Colin could only flap at, and they seized the chance to make it 1-1.

At half-time we all agreed that we needed to step up a gear or two in terms of aggression and commitment in certain quarters, Myself and Jon Allery were rightly criticised for doing too much attacking and too little defending, with Holmesy also being singled out for some words of encouragment!!!

We were better in the second half, although perhaps at times I still left Darren a little exposed, Jon Allery was guilty of much the same on the other side - However, we battled a bit better, despite Big Ray sparing our blushes with a goal line clearance, and their centre forward taking striking to new depths with a single display of outrageously bad finishing.

Holmesy was subbed 10 minutes in, bring to an end a performance which by his own admission heíd rather forget!! Vik came in on the left, with Jon Allery moving to the centre midfield. We carried on, and began to win the midfield battle, with Pete doing some excellent running up front, and not being afraid to have a dig at any opportunity.. a trait which in the end was to haunt us.

Alex Cade kept up the pressure with a solid display in midfield, although mention must be made of his direct free kick, which can only be described as dreadful.. nice one Alex, keep practising!!!

With 20 minutes to go, John Stephens swept a lovely ball out to the right wing, where I found myself in plenty of space, I chipped the ball in leaving Ray and Pete and open goal, which Pete managed to scramble over the line.

Sadly again we committed our new sin, of defending the first ball in from a set piece quite well, but failing to nail the second ball, this cost us as a low shot from the edge of the box somehow found its way through 5 players and into our net.

We won a free kick, which I took and again curled one into the 6 yard box, right to Rayís feet, which he managed to fluff - apparently Ray tells me, he couldnít believe the space he found himself in and thought he was offside.. Lesson to all, put it in the net and then argue about it.

The game still wasn't finished and in the dying seconds, another fabulous run from Pete saw him bearing down on goal at a tight angle, with Ray, Alex and Myself all queuing up and screaming for the cut back - Pete elected to shoot, and from such a tight angle, the keeper stopped it comfortably - a bad decision from Pete, but one from which he will learn - At his age I would probably have done the same thing, and to be fair, whilst we could have snatched all 3 points, this chance was not the reason we didnít win, we had other chances to score, and we gifted them 2 silly goals.

Man of the match has to go to Colin for some outstanding saves during the match, well done mate.

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