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16th October vs Athletico
16th October vs Athletico
Honours even in the Meadowside derby
Spartak were ‘away’ to Athletico in the season’s first Meadowside derby today, Sunday 16th October. Following some impressive and goal laden performances of late, Spartak were keen to continue this run and show their club rivals how much they have progressed since last season. This was a keenly contested match that was played in the right spirit by both teams and with every player contributing to an exciting game the final score of 0-0 was a fair result.
Spartak opted for a slightly change formation of 3-1-3-1 this week, sacrificing attacking width in midfield for a more defensive core through the centre of the team. Spartak with George in goal and a defence of Connor, Dylan and Jack with Alice sat in front with the task of breaking up the Athletico attacks before they got close to goal. The midfield of Joe, Sam and Phoenix were looking to get forward and support Theo starting in the lone striker role.
From the first whistle the game was always going to be played in a competitive spirit and so it proved. Both midfields gave the opposition little time or space to settle on the ball and play the football that they are capable of. Athletico were the first team to settle and threaten the Spartak goal but found George in good form making a couple of saves early on and was well supported by determined defending in front of him. George is a great asset to the team this season with his great distribution from goal Spartak can soon turn defence into attack.
The game flowed from end to end and it was soon Spartak’s turn to put the Athletico goal under pressure. Joe and Sam in particular worked some neat passing but a deep lying Athletico defence made it doubly difficult to find the space to get Theo free in front of goal. Substitutions saw Jack and Theo with Phoenix moving back into defence and Joseph coming on up front and Charlie taking over on the right side of midfield. The game continued in much the same way up until half time with little space to play football and find clear opportunities to score. Luke came on for the final five minutes of the first half for Joseph who sustained an injury.
At the start of the second half Spartak Joseph came back on up front as Spartak continued with the same team which ended the first. It was not long before Spartak created what was probably the best chance of the game. In a quick break from midfield the ball was crossed in from the left and Charlie dived forward to head narrowly past the far post.
As in the first half both sides were very evenly matched and neither side were prepared to give up. Opportunities in front of goal were limited for Spartak despite the best efforts of Joseph who again covered lots of ground looking for the space to receive a pass. Both Joe and Charlie were in good form with some strong runs but excellent defending from Athletico saw these come to nothing. Athletico made several substitutions which gave them more attacking strength but the Spartak defence stood firm. Spartak substitutions saw Joseph, Connor and Joe make way for Theo, Jack and Luke to come back on. As the game wore on
Athletico put in a lot of pressure but could not find a clear opportunity and when they did break Dylan was in excellent form to put in last ditch tackles and deny chances to shoot.
Overall the 0-0 score line was a fair result. Spartak defended really well today and deserved another clean sheet. The midfield and forwards worked extremely hard both when closing down and tackling their opponents but also when trying to find the space to make passes or get shots in on goal. Neither side dominated at any point in the game but both played their part in a game which was competitive, played in the right spirit and enjoyed by everyone who was watching.
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