The Mighty Shane 0 - 0 B53 Carnegies: Shane impress again against tough opposition
Shane produced another excellent performance and claimed a point from one of the top teams in the league. Following the previous week’s dramatic victory over league champions Red Lions, this match was arguably an even more difficult proposition as B53 are currently challenging for the 2017 title, trailing only to B52 Carnegies in second place.
Despite the gap in the table, Shane went into the game with confidence, and it showed in the early exchanges of the game. With the poor quality of the pitch playing a role in the proceedings, it was difficult for either side to retain possession for long periods.
This led to an exciting encounter with many chances created for both sides. Shane’s attack in the first half caused B53 all kinds of trouble, with Jonty Chang and Zach Paruch linking up well throughout the half, and it was the latter who came closest to opening the scoring. Following an excellent flowing move, the ball was played through to Zach, whose precise finish toward the bottom corner would have put Shane ahead were it not for a brilliant save from the B53 keeper. Another long range effort from Zach and chance for Jonty from a corner kept the opposition defense on their toes.
Toward the end of the first half, B53 started to come into the game more and cause the Shane defense problems, without being able to create any clear cut chances however, thanks to the solid work of the back line. The defensive pairing of Jack Snart and James McGuirk were outstanding in control of the shape and marking B53’s most dangerous attackers out of the game.
Shane were clearly struggling under the midday sun and so it was a relief when the halftime whistle came, and with some fresh legs and renewed vigor, the boys went into the second half full of confidence. The second half played out in a similar fashion to the first, in that there wasn’t much between the two teams, but as both teams began to tire again, chances fell to more frequently.
First, B53 were unfortunate not to go ahead as they had a great effort crash off the bar, before goalkeeper Toby Shaw made a vital save to keep the scores level and earn himself a very well deserved clean sheet. As one of B53’s pacy attackers ran clean through on goal, Toby rushed off his line, made himself big, and parried the shot away in Schmeichel-esque fashion.
As the game went into the last 15 minutes, Shane showed a side of themselves which had been lacking for the past few seasons, with every single player fighting tooth and nail to win the ball back, deprive the opposition of space, and challenge for every loose ball. It wasn’t all scrappy however, as Shane themselves starting pouring forward more as time started to run out.
Shane were unlucky not to win the game at the death, as in the last minute, Mamadi Colley, who put in a great midfield performance, had an effort saved by the outstanding B53 keeper.
Overall, Shane can be extremely proud of their showing and 4 points from two tough matches against top teams is a great return. The result and nature of the match confirmed a growing reputation that Shane this season are one of the hardest teams to beat.
Man of the Match:
Jack Snart - The centre back’s best performance of the season in one of Shane’s best results of the season. Kept B53’s main threat in his pocket for 90 minutes, denying the opposition chances on numerous occasions with precise tackling, clearances and excellent man-to-man marking. Another highlight in what’s been a brilliant first season with the club.