Many Shades edge Maidenhead classic

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Many Shades edge Maidenhead classic

Postby Probably Shirts » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:45 pm

Once again the Many Shades played Maidenhead ahead of the Hawks’ first team game, this time on FA Cup Saturday. As ever against the Magpies, it was a closely-fought tense affair with little between the sides.

With the Many Shades just having the bare squad of 7, and the Magpies able to field a full squad of 12, we knew it was going to be tough, especially as it was a 7-a-side game over 2x 15 minute and 2x 10 minute periods. The Magpies were able to use their substitutes well. They included one younger player who looked as if he was just short of recovery for a first-team place, young and very talented, but with a heavily strapped knee.

With the wind behind, the Magpies dominated the Many Shades for much of the first period, the unfamiliar 1-3-2 formation not giving us enough out balls and leaving us penned into our own half. However keeper John Kennett was largely untroubled, and with the score 0-0 at the break we reconfigured our line up to go with a more traditional 2-2-2 line up.

Pushing players forward forced the Magpies to restrict their attacking play, and gave us those vital opportunities to get the ball safely out of defence. One such opportunity saw some classic Many Shades visionary passing as John slipped the ball to Jeff Pickering, who took a touch then swung a delightful cross-field ball forward to Stew Russell who in turn laid it first time into the path of James McIlwaine for him to take one touch and smash the ball past the helpless Magpies keeper. With the Many Shades on the ascendency at this point, inevitably we got caught out as the Magpies broke away. A player got free down their right and sent John the wrong way to slip the ball just inside the post for an equaliser. So the second period finished at 1-1.

On to the third period, and this was a very even spell of play, with the Magpies dominating midfield for long periods without breaking through the well-drilled Many Shades defence well marshalled by Pete Dolamore and Barry Ingram. For equally long periods our pressing game kept them pinned into their half, but neither side could make the vital breakthrough.

The fourth and final period saw a tiring but well-oiled Many Shades continue to keep a good shape, and in fact begin to dominate the Magpies, with Bobby De Ste Croix forcing a series of corners that the Magpies dealt with with varying degrees of difficulty. Jeff helped close them down brilliantly, one such intervention leaving him sounding like the BeeGees on helium for a while. It came as no surprise that more of Bobby’s persistent pressuring led to a throw-in (kick-in) level with the penalty area. It was quickly taken by Stew to an unmarked James, who took two more touches, and suddenly we were 2-1 up with just three minutes to go. Once again the Magpies refreshed their side, bringing on their more mobile players in a bid to break us down, but the Many Shades were determined to cover each other and we held on to record a really tough 2-1 win.

The match was played in fantastic spirit, and although tight and end-to-end, there were no signs of anything unpleasant, giving the referee an easy time of it. It was a real pleasure to play in, and quite possibly a nail-biter to watch. Many thanks to the Magpies in the Community for their hospitality in organising the game. They also provided reserved seats and a light buffet at York Road where we watched the Hawks lose a classic FA Cup tie 2-1 courtesy of a last-minute thunderbolt. Mixed results, but a cracking day out!

The substitute-free zone of Many Shades was made up by John Kennett, Barry Ingram, Pete Dolamore, Stew Russell, Jeff Pickering, James McIlwaine and Bobby De Ste Croix.
Probably Shirts
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