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25th Sept - vs Timperley Athletic
25th Sept - vs Timperley Athletic
Spartak off to a good start at home
Spartak played their first home game of the 2011-12 season against Timperley Athletic. This was the reverse of the previous week’s fixture which saw Spartak beat Timperley Athletic 9-0. We were keen to continue the solid start to the season with another win but Timperley were in a determined mood to make life difficult as possible and improve on the previous week’s scoreline.
Spartak lined up in the first half with Phoenix starting in goal, in the absence of George, with Jack, Dylan and Conor as defenders in front of him. The midfield was made up Alice on the left and Dan on the right with Sam and Joe in the centre. Joseph played as a lone striker and looking to add to the two goals last week
Alice was quick off the mark with some excellent trademark runs down the left and the first to make an attempt on the Timperley goal. Sam and Joe were also looking good in midfield but unable to find the final ball. To credit Timperley their midfield were quick to close down Spartak players and their defence played a very deep line making it difficult to find space in which to create a clear opportunity around the goal.
On fifteen minutes Jack played in a superb cross from right back which a Timperley defender could only handle and Spartak were awarded a penalty. As the player winning the penalty, Jack declined the chance to take the spot kick and the responsibility was handed to Dan. The Timperley keeper was equal to the challenge as Dan hit a strong penalty straight down the middle and the keeper stood firm and Timperley cleared. Perhaps selecting either corner would have seen Spartak take the lead.
Flurry of goals
A double substitution was Charlie replace Dan on the right and Theo take on the role up front from Joseph. Spartak pressure was soon to pay off and Sam leading by example ran ten yards with a ball and fired in a low shot from the edge of the box to give Spartak a 1-0 lead. Shortly after the lead was doubled as Theo stabbed home from close range following a Charlie corner. Charlie himself then further increased the lead with the best goal of the lot as he cut in from the right, leaving Timperley defenders in his wake and firing in from close range.
Although were able to apply more pressure Timperley were no means out of this game. Quick breaks from midfield and down the wings met with Jack and Conor in great form making excellent interceptions and where they did manage to break through Dylan was quickly mopping up all loose balls. Luke then replaced Joe in the centre of midfield and put in an energetic display and was keen to make his presence felt in many areas of the pitch.
Timperley managed to pull a goal back shortly before half time with a break down the right and after evading Spartak defenders shot from a narrow angle found its way into the back of the net. The halftime whistle went with Spartak in a 3-1 lead.
The second half saw Conor take over in goal, and Phoenix join Dylan and Jack in defence. Charlie continued his excellent form down the right, with Joe back partnering Sam in the centre of midfield and Alice down the left. Theo continued in the lone role up front. From the whistle Timperley were keen to follow up on their goal and continue with breaks from midfield which the Spartak defence dealt with comfortably. Although much of the play was in the Timperley half the play from both teams was a pleasure to watch with good control and passing from both sides.
Fifteen minutes into the second half saw a triple substitution for Spartak. Jack, Sam and Alice left the field following fine performances to be replaced by Joseph, Luke and Dan. Theo moved the right back in Jack’s place, Joseph came on up front; Luke was back in the centre as Charlie moved over to the left and Dan was back on the right. From a coaching point of view it was pleasing to see that this did not interrupt the flow of the game with the substitutes fitting in immediately.
The Spartak defence remained strong as Timperley continued to press and look for openings but Joseph was very busy up front for Spartak chasing down defenders and looking for chances to increase the lead. This wasn’t long coming as Timperley cleared from a Spartak corner and Phoenix, nearly thirty yards from goal, looked up and sent in a speculative lob which bounced in front of the Timperley keeper, over his head and into the back of the net.
Towards the end tiring legs saw the game become stretched which neither side could take advantage of and the game ended with Spartak winning 4-1. Spartak deserved the win but credit to Timperley for playing a full and entertaining part in the game. For a team who were only formed a few weeks before the start of the season and have only had two training sessions before today they did very well and will provide some teams a surprise further into the season.
This was a sound performance from Spartak with superb defending limiting the opposition to few scoring chances. The work now for Spartak is to make more of the good passing game we are playing and create early and clear scoring opportunities for ourselves which will allow us to take control of games and give us the confidence to record many more victories this season.
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