UCFL Div. 3
21 January 2012
Terenure FC 3rds 0 Ė 3 Three Trout Rovers
Done up like a kipper. Slapped in the face with a wet fish. The fishy smell around Bushy Park last Saturday was almost certainly emanating from our stinking performance. We went into the game on the back of two league wins in a row, looking at getting into the promotion race and pulling well away from relegation troubles, Three Trout hadnít won a game in their short history and arrived in Bushy with a record of played 14 won 0 drawn 1 lost 13. On paper a comfortable win was on the cards, but football isnít played on paper, itís played in gale force winds, on mucky pitches, in January, and anything can happen.
We knew Three Trout had strengthened since our first meeting out in Greystones, when we came away with a 3-1 win, but maybe we werenít as fired up as we needed to be and we looked to be caught on our heels from the start. Three Trout took to field with an obvious desire to break their winless duck and played with energy and enthusiasm, making light of the difficult conditions while we struggled to adapt. Some good wing play and movement up front in the early stages showed that Three Trout were going to be a threat if we didnít get our game in gear.
After a difficult opening spell we started to gain some momentum in the tie, forcing Three Trout back and winning free kicks around the box and corners, but never testing their keeper or creating clear cut chances. Our profligacy in the danger area was then punished in the most disappointing manner as a long ball down the middle was flicked on to Troutís centre forward, he used his strength to hold off a defence that was too flat and had a little bit of luck as his shot bobbled past our keeper. One down and if we didnít know it was going to be difficult before we certainly did now. Again we applied pressure without really looking like creating good chances as Trout started to grow in belief and were putting bodies on the line to make blocks and tackles wherever we threatened.
We were the authors of our own downfall once again shortly before half time, some sloppy passing close to our own penalty area gifting the ball to Trout and after a bit of a scramble they were in behind our defence again, they might have had a penalty as Shane dived at the strikers feet and failed to collect the ball, but, credit too him, he played on and squared to his inrushing support for a simple finish. The closest we really came in the half was a free kick tipped around the post for a corner and despite having the better of possession and territory we were deservedly two down at the break.
The wind conditions improved a little in the second half and so did our passing. Almost from the tip-off we put together a passing move that went from back to front and had Trout chasing shadows but again there was no end product. The half continued in that manner, Trout happy to defend their 18 yard line and look for quick breaks as we pushed further and further forward. By far our best chance of the game arrived with the score still at 0-2 as the ball fell at Noeleyís feet no more than a few yards from goal, but he somehow lifted it over the bar, even the referee didnít believe he could have missed and he awarded a corner to everyoneís disbelief.
Our corner count and shots count must have been well into double figures by the final whistle, yet I can only remember a few fairly comfortable saves for the Trout keeper. Itís fair to say you canít win games without scoring goals and Trout just compounded our suffering in the closing stages, a breakaway gave them a free kick about 30 yards out and towards the wing, a fairly innocuous position, but the ball was whipped in with pace and eluded everyone, including our keeper, to nestle in the corner of the net and seal victory for a deserving Three Trout. And it was almost even worse moments later, a tremendous effort cracking the cross bar but not crossing the line as our heads dropped and we looked forward to going home and crying into our fish suppers.
The final whistle put us out of our misery and brought a joyous response from the Three Trout following, they had finally won their first game and Iím sure theyíll repeat the feat before the season is out. Credit to Trout, Iím sure they were the only side to bring a full squad of sixteen to a game against us this season and they had supporters too, they seem to be building a great club with an excellent ethos and are a welcome addition to the UCFL. I just hope they never beat us again.
For an alternative view on the game have a look at Three Troutís website; http://threetroutroversfc.webs.com/a...trout-rovers-3