A difficult Saturday morning for OG management with only 10 men, no keeper and only 4 or 5 regulars. But we dug into the 2nd team to add up a few elements and somehow 2 hours before the game we had a keeper :) After a solid and most importantly compact display last week, the goal was to follow the same guideline. Play low and reduce the spaces. First 20min were all about the Gaelic, passing and moving the ball around but limited to a few chances only before Kike stroke a brillant free kick into the top corner to give us the lead against the run of play. We had a nice chance to make it 2-0 just before they came back from a corner kick to level up. Gaelics had plenty of chances to take the lead but lacked concentration during the last kick, and again OG could have hit hard once again when Jorge found Remi on the 2nd post for him to tap in, but somehow the goalkeeper saved it with is back when landing from his missed clearance. 1-1 HT 2nd half started really strong for Gaelic as had another brace of chance before soon enough to take the lead they deserved. Again they had a few chances to kill the game but did not convert them and paid the price later on. At the water brake, coach Simon re-schuffled the pack and OG started to dominate the debate in midfield. Gaelic played lower and we gain confidence. 5min after the water break and following a good pressing from Yohann, Remi recovered the ball and released Kike, then followed a bit of magic and a cool finish into the lower corner to level up. Revivified by the equalizer we kept going and 5min later, Kike (again) converted with a lob a nice ball through from Jorge. With 15min to go and 3-2 down, Hugo had the chance to kill the game but a clear miss-timed challenged by the goal keeper lead to Gaelic going down to 10men. We close the gap and kept the ball as much as possible to prevent Gaelic of any hope to come back. 3-2 FT. A hard fought victory against the run of play but credit to the team who despite all odds kept fighting until the end. Next week, another big game (as every week), agains the German-Swiss, with hopefully at last 5 or 6 players returning from holiday or injuries. MOM: 2 masive contender, Keion for a brillant game all around, deflecting 2 balls onto the cross bars, and overall a clean performances saving our asses many time. But Kike with a Hat Trick has to be the MOM for today.
Another afternoon full of promise which yielded no points but lots of positives. As expected, the game was high tempo and pleasing/frustrating in equal measures. We started well and dominated possession for the first 20 minutes, however we went behind from a sublime free-kick by Kike who planted the ball in the top left hand corner. The Lions kept their shape and discipline and rewarded, following an outstanding run by Petesy O'Brien who fed Brett Bowman who finished after a second attempt to level the score. The pendulum swung back on our favor early in the second half with Conor King, who put in an incredible shift, jinxing down the right hand side before playing in Petesy O'Brien for a tap in. It was no more than we deserved, however, as was the case last week, some poor game management decisions and tired legs saw us play deeper and deeper as the game went on. Unfortunately we were unable to keep our discipline and were undone by a piece of sheer brilliance by OG's Kike who left a trail of destruction in his wake before planting the ball into the net. This galvanized OG to press for a winner and it was not long after that we went down to 10 men, for the second game in four after Fadhil Ahmed rushed his line and took out the OG's center forward who was clean on goal. Shane Buttimer went between the sticks and soon after we were a goal behind after Kike scored his hatrick and took the game away from us. Having said that the Lions had a hat-full of chances to go further ahead at 2-1 and putting the game to bed. We hit the bar twice and had three additional chances to bury the game but it was not to be. The result was a bitter pill to swallow, especially after dropping two points last on last week, however, the team are creating chances, working hard and adapting to a new game plan which will take time to settle down. I'm proud of the boys but the best player on the park, buy a country mile, ran the show and was the difference between the two teams. Still, we will go again and the results will come.