A beautiful summers evening against a team we despatched with ease a week earlier. What more could a Novo want?
Perhaps there entire team to be there more than 5mins before kick off? As the referee blew his whistle skipper C Young and Ryza dashed out of the Tesla.
Hansell delayed kick off by having a nice chat with the ref about the history of the league and current cup format. Explaining the two games a week was taking its toll on us older gentlemen.
The pre match tactics of a high press from the gaffer seemed to be rejected and an attitude of let’s just see what happens seemed to prevail.
With new Cloudy down in London, no doubt finding the next women’s shoe for the summer season the Novos had to reshuffle. Having only conceded 2 goals at the weekend the back four stayed the same, with Patty back between the sticks.
An attacking midfield three of Cloudy, Oli and Greg, with JRS up top and Haigh and Hansell out wide.
Things did not start well. Dinny, as I shall refer to them romped to an early lead. Being allowed to much time on the ball they played over the top on broke the line too often. Perhaps a high press may have stopped this?? Anyhow I digress.
Si coped admirably with their fast right winger.
Dinny looked to put pressure on Patty with long balls in high that he dealt with well.
Ryza and Patty did have a small disagreement over one of the goals. Which was good to see that both players were passionate.
When we had the ball Dinny were happy to let us have it at the back and closed down when the ball was played into the midfield.
A change in formation brought the Novos back into the game. 4-4-2 with Greg and JRS up top and Haigh and Hansell on the wing.
JRS was denied a clear penalty when the ball hit the post from a defender, he was brought down from behind but the ref was having none of it.
I don’t know anything about Haigh’s Rugby career, or rugby, but today I would describe him as a flying winger. Who was this masked man? Had Phil Miller’s pre match needling got to the young fella? Despite having broke their line repeatedly last week Dinny had no answer to his strong direct running.
I apologise for not remembering all the individual goals in the game but a theme developed. Ball over the top Haigh shrugs off a defender and finds the back of the net.
JRS produced a sublime bit of skill that back in the day would have been greeted with shouts of ‘no flicks!’ This flick set Oli through to round the keeper and Novos found themselves back in the game at 3-3.
A lot has been said amongst the team in the spring cup about the difference between Thursday Oli and Sunday Oli. Everyone today was delighted to have Thursday Oli in attendance. You can see why he won Crammy young player of the year when we finished second bottom a few years back.
Oli was through again towards the end of the half, with Dinny defenders pressing hack on their Xbox to scythe him down. The ref played ‘advantage’ as Oli was able to stand and attempt a pass. Then the chance was gone.
Novos though could not see out the half and were again undone by a long ball over the top. The Dinny striker had the touch of his life and put them 4-3 up.
At half time with the skipper having a lie down. Applegarth stood up and delivered some strong words that were taken on board. Cloudy fresh from a double handed round the neck pull down on one of their players pointed out, if he beats you, foul him. This attitude needs to be adopted by the team, as would have prevented a couple of goals tonight.
The second half saw a much better performance from Novos.
Si switched to get away from the quick winger. Dinny responded by bringing on a faster winger.
Novos reverted to form creating shed load of chances but only taking a select few.
Hansell missed an open goal, after getting the ball stuck under his feet.
Greg had his penalty saved with JRS blasting over the rebound.
Thankfully Haigh and Oli both secured their hatricks to put Novos in front.
JRS was given a birthday present when a ball forward came off Greg’s back with the keeper closing him down and JRS lobbed the ball home to put Novos 7-4 up.
Dinny promptly lost their heads. Having already had to change their linesman due to blatant cheating, they reverted to late challenges on everyone.
Ryza took exception to this and the referee and was lucky to escape a yellow, or being taken off.
Hansell almost saw Red after being fouled which was missed by almost everyone apart from the referee. Having been repeatedly been kicked in the calf, he swung round with a clenched fist only to make eye contact with the ref, and managed to walk away with a quiet talking too.
Dinny continued to loose their shit and then players, as two lads were sent for a sin bin, which effectively ended their games.
Bizarrely they started to get better at this point and the right winger pulled a goal back. As they pressed forward again, Patty kept his focus with a smart save at his near post.
Despite Oli hobbling off, and Dom coming into an unfamiliar CDM role, Novos repelled any further attacks and completed an impressive turnaround from 3-1 down.
Can Novos finish the season on a four game unbeaten run?