February and March Round Up
Shane registered a win and two losses in a couple of months where fixtures were few and far between. The boys opened February with a narrow defeat against Animals, before confidently beating the Eagles, and ending March with a loss against reigning champions B52.
Shane 2-3 Animals
Animals were first up in what was always going to be a tough game against a tidy and well-drilled side.
The Animals flew out of the blocks, using their fast and nippy attackers in an attempt to penetrate the Shane back four. The lads held firm, until the Animals striker broke through only to be fouled by a last ditch attempt at a tackle. Stand-in goalkeeper Lukas Tschojer stood tall however, using his feet to save the penalty that was bound for the bottom corner.
Shane continued to frustrate through their dogged defending, until a scrappy and unfortunate own goal broke the deadlock to put the Animals ahead going into half-time.
A big second-half was needed but Shane started slowly and conceded twice in as many minutes to go 3-0 down.
Heads could’ve dropped, but instead this kicked the boys into action and we pegged the Animals back into their half for large parts of the second period, even after being reduced to 10 men. Shane pulled a goal back as Lars Fund towered over the defenders to head home from a corner, and then another as Felix Tasker headed home, but it wasn’t enough to clinch a share of the spoils and Shane went home empty handed. Promising signs from the boys though, and an excellent reaction to going behind.
Shane 4-2 Eagles
Three weeks later, we battled Eagles in a tough and physically demanding game, coming away with all 3 points with a comfortable 4-2 win.
Shane imposed their style on the game from the get-go, settling into a good passing rhythm to frustrate an increasingly exasperated Eagles side. It wasn’t long before we broke the deadlock as Alex Wyatt swung a free-kick into the danger zone, and with Lars Fund challenging the keeper, the ball broke to Tom Burke who put his head on the line to nod home and put Shane ahead.
Tom was involved again with the second goal as he played a sublime through ball to Dan Swift on the left wing, who strode forward before passing across the box to Felix Tasker who had no problem converting into the bottom corner to give us some breathing space. We regrouped at half-time with a 2-0 lead.
Eagles came out in the second half with intent and reaped their rewards through a fortuitous goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Shane showed great resolve again though, and bounced back with a calm cross from Dan Horne to the feet of Dan Swift who coolly converted for his first Shane goal. 3-1.
The game was put to bed when Tom showed great awareness to play a quick corner to Felix whose header was brilliantly saved, before Jip Snelder superbly slotted in the rebound from a very tight angle. 4-1.
Eagles then pulled one back towards the end when awarded a bizarre and very questionable penalty.
The game finished 4-2 as Shane showed great character to bounce-back from the loss against Animals. Free-flowing and confident in attack, coupled with some solid rearguard action from the makeshift back four, Shane came away deserved winners to extend their lead over Eagles in the table.
Shane 1-4 B52
A Shane team decimated by injuries and unavailability were well-beaten by reigning champions and unbeaten B52 in a tough match at Jinhe.
After falling behind early on, Shane’s improvised defence weathered the storm for large parts of the first half, but 2 goals in as many minutes just before half-time left the boys with too much to do.
Despite the blow of the late first-half goals, Shane went into the second period with their heads held high and continued to fight against a very good B52 side. Shane had a couple of chances to pull one back, but it wasn’t to be and B52 added to their lead through a lightning-fast break down the wing.
Captain Jamie Smith led with his never-say-die attitude and continued to thwart attacks with his defensive partners Jip and Mamadi. Midfielder Smittie was excellent throughout and remained determined to win every ball, and it was through this sheer single-minded determination that he closed down their keeper to earn a consolation goal.
Shane can walk away from this game with their heads held high, as despite the result, their attitude remained admirable throughout. This defiance to never lie down will serve them well in the future and in our next game in April against Magpies!
Up the Shane!