Oxford 1-5 Reading
The 8s left Reading at high noon today, admittedly on the wrong end of 5-1, but with their heads held high. We were cautiously optimistic about taking on a team sitting high in the league as we had a solid look about us.
The early optimism quickly petered out when we realized we only had 10 to start the game. The task was made harder when Chris Purves limped off after a few minutes. A period of manic shadow chasing followed as we tried to contain a very useful side including 1992 GB Olympian, Rob Thompson.
Inevitably we leaked a couple of goals despite the heroics performed by Xavier in goal but the team’s spirit was raised when Andy Bowen turned up, reducing the missing players list to one. As a result of the re-balancing of the teams and so possession, the goal deficit was reduced by a sharply converted short corner from Rich Bennett.
Fate was not finished with the plucky 8s yet and Andy Bowen pulled up with a groin strain. He battled on like only an old trouper can but could not get through his normal work rate. Just before half time Andy Rush joined us, having had a little more sleep than the rest of us, and we managed to compete well in the second half making several great chances, albeit without success.
A single second half goal for them took the score to 5-1 around the same time as our third injury of the day took Giles from us. We should be very proud of a fine and committed performance today. Lots to build on next week.
MoM goes to 8s debutant David Ingledew who will probably only move on Sunday with the help of a handful of nurofen.
DoD goes to Jon D who clearly sent his team onto the pitch without a decent warm up.
Match Report by Jon Darnell