On the 1st CAT2 game of the season FSA travelled
over to Warwick University to play a strong A2B side, who came 2nd in this league last season.
Against a very physical side FSA were up against it
from the start, as A2B started the brighter however a well worked move by the hosts struggled to trouble our captain, keeper John Meadows' goal.
After 5 minutes FSA soon got into their stride. Understanding that moving the ball quickly would counter physicality on a pitch with very small dimensions, and after 15 minutes FSA took the lead with a long distance effort from Elliott Duncan - 0-1.
FSA didn't stop there, adopting a high press A2B could not find any rhythm. Ellis Haines and Raphael Akintunde combined well down the left to set up Shamir Ali to tuck the ball home - 0-2.
Momentum was now with FSA using disciplined shape out of possession, working hard as a unit to limit the opposition of any real chances.
After 30 minutes it was 0-3. Michael Akintunde broke up a rare attack from the opposition deep into his own half and combined well with the tenacious Harry Smith who fed Bakary Mass on the right who supplied a confident finish after beating his defender.
FSA however then seemed to relax at a 0-3 advantage. Slowing play down giving A2B a psychological advantage in the game and just before half time a goal was conceded from a corner - 1-3.
The 2nd half started as the first ended. A2B had momentum and scored early through their number 9 being given space in the box to turn and finish - 2-3.
FSA tried to gain some momentum but had given their opponents confidence and they equalized after 60 minutes with a sloppy pass being intercepted and a calm finish gave our goalkeeper John Meadows no chance - 3-3.
In the last 30 minutes FSA changed their mentality and credit to the guys. Remembering what got them into a 0-3 lead in the first place. A higher defensive line pushing the midfield higher to support a high press to our strikers out of possession.
In possession the ball was moved quicker and with a purpose, this evidently worked as one further goal from Shamir Ali superbly set up by Ross Jones and two further goals from Bakary Mass to complete his hat trick put the game to bed.
Lessons learnt in game management today. Credit to the boys to show brilliant character and for an hour some brilliant individual and collective football.
Final score: A2B 3-6 FSA
Man of the Match: Bakary Mass, Raphael Akintunde