Moor Mead finally met their match in the league today and although they produced a valiant effort they could not prevent the first defeat in the league (ever?).
The teams lined up looking like two teams of car park attendants playing each other, with both teams supporting magnificently vibrant colours, Moor Mead in the normal electric green against the bright orange of Walton Tiger Casuals.
Despite Moor Mead being on top, Walton had the first shot of the game after a break down the right hand side, and looked as dangerous as they eventually proved to be. Walton were organised with pace and they broke from the back well with another shot, this time across the goal.
Moor Mead continued to play with confidence though, and nice wing play from Daniel led to the first shot from outside the box from Miles which soared over. The Tigers then showed their teeth when some unlucky defending by Moor Mead lead to pressure which told eventually and despite a great save from Alec the ball bounced free and Walton tapped it home. (1 – 0).
Moor Mead rallied, Kiran accelerated down the right wing from a pass by William, but even beating one player he found the Walton wall of defence when by the corner flag, so instead laid it back to Miles, and this time Miles had calculated his range perfectly, and again from outside the box, rifled it above the keepers despairing jump and neatly under the crossbar. (1 -1).
Moor Mead on top, William was bossing the midfield, more pressure from Moor Mead led to a corner. Miles sent the ball into the box, it was knocked down by Kiran, found its way back to Miles on the edge of the box, he beat his man to the by-line and delivered a slide rule pass across to James who finished it beautifully (2 -1). Half Time.
Second half, Walton proved to be as effective attacking as Moor Mead, and took our defence apart on a couple of occasions, firstly when they had two players overlapping after breaking down the left side and with our defence out of position the Walton boys passed it round a forlorn Alec (2 -2).
Their third goal came from more pressure up front, although it ended up unluckily deflecting off one of our defenders, sending Alec the wrong way. (2 – 3).
Walton were then all over Moor Mead and they attacked down the left and a square ball once again left our defence exposed, especially as we tried to come back from pressing highly up the pitch to get the equaliser, but again we were left threadbare at the back with Ben trying to hold the fort on his own, as Walton compounded Alec’s misery by slotting the ball straight past him.
Alec was annoyed, but still produced three wonderful saves to stop it being more of a defeat, one time rushing out of his area and heading the ball away. Moor Mead tried to come back into it, Walton sat further back, and we pushed at them even more and had a number of opportunities: Kiran’s shot in the box was wonderfully blocked, Ryan missed a volley, James was buzzing around the area and again Kiran hit the side netting, but eventually Moor Mead did get one back when Miles's long shot was parried by the keeper but Charlie was on hand to knock it in. (3 - 4).
A Valiant effort but it wasn't enough against a Walton team who proved not to be casual at all. They had a number of good players and matched our team player for player and defended with resilience and effort.
Still it was a magnificent game and we were close in performance to an obviously good team, not forgetting we are at division 2 level. Should be an exciting season.