An inauspicious start for our 65+ Strollers squad in match day 1 of the Midlands 65+ league as we lost games to the squads that finished 1st and 2nd in last season's campaign.
Strollers 1:3 Matlock (Smith)
A solid start from our lads saw us take a well deserved lead into half time after a team move that flowed from Dave Forth at the back, with a pass in to a hard working Tim Marsden, followed by an excellent dummy from Jimmy Watson, to allow Frank Smith to bury the ball into the Matlock net. Up front Matlock continued to struggle to stop Marsden providing an 'out' ball for Strollers and after some good interplay John Phythian nearly put us two ahead.
Second half was a different story. Matlock played a deep defensive midfielder to cut the long ball to Marsden out, coupling this with some very loose passing from the Strollers, we found ourselves struggling to hold our position and Matlock soon equalised. Despite pushing to retake the lead, loose passing caught us out once more on two more occasions and Matlock made us suffer, eventually cruising to a 3-1 win.
Strollers 0:3 Sleaford
In the battle of footballing friends, Sleaford deservedly came out on top.
Once again loose passing was a major factor in this defeat and this is an area where we need to improve.
Some excellent finishing from Sleaford put them 2-0 ahead mid way through the first half, and our opponents were having the lions share of possession. Despite this we did produce occasional chances and one resulted in a penalty. Although slotted away well by Watson the referee adjudged that Watson has stepped backwards in the run up and the goal was disallowed.
Second half saw the Strollers dig a little deeper and the reds created a number of good chances only to find the Sleaford keeper up to anything we threw at him. Eventually, a well hit shot, from just inside our opponents half, found the back of the Sleaford net, but Watson was unlucky again with the referee ruling that he had 'run' into the shot.
Soon afterwards any sign of a fight back from our lads was quelled when a loose ball from defence offered up a clear shot on goal and Sleaford went 3-0 ahead.
Trev Oliver (gk)