Recently, Hotspurs have had the personnel to win games (when/if they show up on time!), but have performed as less than a sum of its parts, rather than more than.
Vice Captain Jason, Club Captain Joel, and Godfather Bruce have stepped up to show the boys how to bond properly, and straight away we get a victory. Well done boys.
On a massive boggy pitch, with only 13 players, the Hotspurs could have been forgiven for fearing the worst ahead of kick-off against Nippon – a team that invariably displays boundless energy and an indefatigable competitive spirit.
A first half hat-trick though from Esad, put us in a reasonably comfortable position at the break (3-1), and we could even afford to miss a penalty. Having said that, with the chances created, a 5 or 6-0 half-time score line wouldn’t have been inappropriate. We continue to be as profligate in front of goal as a BPL footballer in a nightclub lighting his cigar with a 50 pound note.
With Bryan making it 4-1 early in the second half with a superb finish, the Hotspurs should have been in cruise control, but somehow we allowed Nippon to score 2 cheap goals, and at 4-3, with no subs remaining, we were beginning to look a little tired and more than a little nervous.
Then to the comment of the day from Jamie: “Er…let’s just score another goal.”
No one could fault the logic, and no one would take anything away from Jamie’s finish that made it 5-3, as the Hotspurs ‘resorted’ to a more direct style of football that we tend to eschew, and yet somehow, manages to be quite effective at times.
Esad then bagged his fourth, and Hotspurs’ sixth with an even more direct approach, and Nippon’s resistance was finally broken.
This was not the prettiest game of football, but then conditions did play a significant part. It was difficult to generate any pace on the pudding of a pitch, and the Hotspurs were no doubt mindful of a small squad – especially having made one of only two possible substitutions after only 5 minutes.
Thanks to Nippon as ever, for a fair and competitive game played, also as ever, in an excellent spirit.
MOTM Hotspurs: Esad – 4 goals. Nothing more to say, other than the fact that it could have been 14. Honourable mentions must also go to Sergeant Major McLaren, and Bruce for stepping in at late notice and putting in sterling performances.
MOTM Nippon: M Sakamoto – tireless.