Written by Gabriel Robinson

Following our win against Walton Casuals four weeks ago, we had been hoping to obtain the three points and beat a team whom we had beaten by five goals on the previous encounter. But despite several efforts and chances, the Sharks just couldn’t break free from Walton’s grasp and unfortunately lost the game by a one goal deficit. However, I think every Shark could agree that the scoreline certainly did not reflect what had happened in the actual game itself.

Francis and Joel were the winners of this weeks ‘lottery’ for the goalkeeper duty and over the course of the game proved to be very capable wearing the keeper gloves. As the game kicked off, the Sharks were all over Walton and dominated in possession. Multiple balls were played through from the midfield but their defence either cut them off or tackled before we could shoot. Walton’s goalkeeper was not letting anything past and provided our defence with difficulty as his substantial goal kicks flew into our half. As the game progressed, both teams had their fair share of chances, more notably at Walton’s end of the pitch where various free-kicks and shots were being fired at goal, yet the Sharks could still not find a breakthrough. Half time was approaching and neither team had scored until our opposition found a way through and after a bit of confusion amongst the players in the box, their striker shot from close range and scored.

It was a setback but none of us put our heads down and continued fighting with a strong belief that we could triumph in this match. However, five minutes before half time, one of Walton’s players took a long range shot which dipped and found its way into the back of the net, unfortunately leaving us two goals behind our opposition. The halftime team talk saw many despondent faces but based on last weeks game against Wandgas Youth, we knew it was possible to fight back and eventually win the game from a 2-0 deficit.

Soon after the half started, a penalty was awarded in our favour and Gabriel was subbed on in order to take it. However, the referee stated that a substitute was not allowed to take which then left the question of who would? Bravely, Francis nominated himself to take and stepped up to the spot under immense pressure. But it seemed as if the nerves did not get to him as he calmly slotted the ball in the bottom left corner and decreased their lead by a goal. After the penalty, the Sharks were pushing more than ever to secure a second goal for a draw, at least. Following a brief scare as Walton Casuals hit the post, the Sharks went on attacking the opposition’s goal. It seemed as if Walton had adopted the ‘Park the Bus’ tactic with ten minutes remaining for the Sharks to equalize. Attack after attack occurred as the minutes were counting down but their ten man defence wasn’t allowing any mistakes. Before we knew it, the final whistle blew.

Ultimately, the Sharks just couldn’t mirror the performance we undertook last time out and Walton’s goals came as a bit of a fluke. Hopefully, we can try and regain these points in our upcoming game next week.