|12/12/2020||11:15||East Berkshire Football Alliance||2020-2021|
FIRST HALF HORROR SHOW DOWNS RAIDERS
Raiders travelled to Oxfordshire on Saturday for a lunch time kick off against high flying Rotherfield Utd again without a recognised goalkeeper in their ranks. This week Euan volunteered to take the role in the first half, which reduced our attacking options.
The first 10 minutes were fairly even with Rotherfield demonstrating a physicality and determination that was eventually going to prove to be the difference between the two sides. After 7 mins Raiders were awarded a free kick from outside the area but Pablo’s effort was fairly comfortably held by the keeper. At the other end Euan saved one on one which was closely followed by the Rotherfield striker volleying wide. Rotherfield’s pressure began to tell and after 12 mins a half hearted challenge in the penalty area was brushed aside by the striker who poked the ball past Euan. Raiders responded well but 10 mins later went 2-0 down when the striker was put through and stroked the ball home. Rotherfield were now clearly on top and made it 3-0 after 26 mins direct from a corner! Raiders kept trying to threaten and after 31 mins pulled a goal back when, under pressure from Harry a Rotherfield defender and the keeper got into a tangle and the defender slotted the ball into an empty net! For the next few minutes the game became a scrappy midfield battle apart from a great run and cross from Pablo while at the other end Euan tipped over a close range shot. Raiders were now being outfought and in the final ten minutes Rotherfield added two more goals. Raiders 5-1 down were grateful to hear the half time whistle and after some stern words from Dan and Rory coupled with Matthew volunteering to go in goal and a change in formation to 4-4-2 came out for the second half.
Raiders started the half in a more determined mood but Rotherfield were giving precious little away at the back and were still dangerous going forward. During one of their attacks and with the ball bouncing around Pablo was penalised when the ball struck his upper arm. The resultant penalty was efficiently despatched past Matthew. With the score at 6-1 Rotherfield, particularly the keeper, relaxed in defence and Raiders came more into the game with a few good passing moves resulting in Harry shooting wide, a Raiders header from a corner clearing the bar and Pablo volleying wide. At the other end however Rotherfield continued to create chances, Matthew makes a scrambled save from a free kick and Hari heads off the line from another free kick. Hari also made some firm challenges to stop further attacks but 6 mins from time Rotherfield added a seventh goal. There was still time for Raiders to make the score slightly more flattering when Euan volleyed home from the corner of the area.
To say the least a disappointing display and result after a successful run of matches. The boys must learn to be more physical and play their passing game when the opportunity presents. We obviously need a specialist goalkeeper, but at this stage of the season this could prove easier said than done.