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6th November - vs Sale United Eagles
6th November - vs Sale United Eagles
Spartak run ends with a bang
Spartak played away to Sale United Eagles today, Sunday 6th November, at Crossford Bridge Sports Ground aiming to continue their superb unbeaten start to the season. With Sale currently top of the league this was always going to be a hard test of Spartak’s credentials and so it proved as they lost 11-1.
Spartak started the match with George in goal and a familiar defence of Dylan in the centre, Jack on the right and Connor on the left. Phoenix started in a different role on the left of the midfield, with Sam and Joe in midfield and Dan out on the right. Theo started this week as the lone striker. With Sale clear at the top of the league it was important that Spartak got off to a solid start and challenged for every ball.
With only a few minutes gone the game took an unfortunate, but what was to become an all too familiar, turn for the worse as Sale attacked and with what appeared to be two players stood offside broke into the Spartak box unchallenged and fired home to take the lead. Spartak were stunned by this having never been behind in a game this season and found it hard to come to terms with the position. Sale quickly increased the lead with some neat passing and strong running through the Spartak defence without being challenged and within tem minutes were 3-0 up.
A couple of substitutions for Spartak saw Joseph come on for Theo up front and Alice come into the midfield with Phoenix dropping back into defence. Spartak slowly came into the game with some good passing moves with Dan in particular showing some good skills down the right. The good spell of play was rewarded with a goal as Joseph burst down the left and a good cross in found Sam on the edge of the box where he controlled the ball before firing into the far corner of the goal. This was much more like the Spartak we have seen this season with accurately passing and good running creating goal scoring opportunities.
The game flowed from end to end with both sides playing some good football but it was to be Sale who scored the next goal. Following a corner the ball bobbled around and Spartak were unable to get it clear before a Sale player shot and the ball came off a defender and into the net. Just before the half time whistle a superb defence splitting pass again saw the Sale striker through on goal who gave George no chance with a clinical finish to make it 5-1.
The second half started with pretty much the same team that finished the first half except for Connor and Luke getting their chance in the centre of midfield. Spartak started well and started to press Sale back with some good moves down both flanks. The story of this half however was much the same as first Sale counter-attacked quickly increased the lead from the edge of the box. From a corner minutes later Sale added another as the forward was left unchallenged to fire the ball home. Spartak were unlucky with the next goal as a poor clearance fell to the Sale striker who then hit the post but the rebound fell to the feet of a team mate who coolly steered the ball into the net.
With the score at 8-1 Spartak could be forgiven if they had packed in at this point but they refused to give up and continued to try and play the football they are capable of. With nothing to lose a slightly different formation of three in midfield supporting a front two gave Sale more work to do to remain in control of the game. Their defence and midfield had to work hard tackling and tracking back as Spartak pressed forward in the search of goals. On several occasions just a little more composure from Spartak would have seen us pick out a better pass or another second or two in front of goal would have given us a better chance to score. .
As Spartak pressed forward space was left free for Sale to swiftly break up field and add three further goals. The final goal, to make it 11-1, was probably the best move of the match as Sale under pressure at a corner cleared the ball out of defence and accurate passing soon had the ball into the Spartak penalty area with the striker clean through on goal who made sure from close range.
Sale showed why they are top of the league today and the 11-1 score line reflects how potent they were in front of goal but another three or four goals for Spartak would have been just reward for efforts on the day. Although there were lots of positive points from every player it is important in the next game that we continue to work hard as a team, play for each other and focus on being harder to beat.
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