The SJFA Tier 3 has almost 60 registered players, a manager, and three coaches.
We had played Northwood about a month earlier and lost narrowly 6-4, and so I was looking forward to playing them again.
However, a few key players were unable to make it and we had very few numbers, therefore we went with this squad, managed by Bruce:
Suhail Merali (GK)
Ali Mehdi Abbas Ismail
Sajjad Husayn Kanani
Mohammed Hassan Rashid
Abbas Ali Ladha
I organised the team in a 3-2-1 formation with Adam, Abbas, and Sajjad Husayn/Mohammed Hassan in defence, Ali and Husayn in midfield, and Sajjad in attack.
Again, we started really well and took the game to Northwood. We were attacking with a lot of pace. Husayn managed to dribble past two defenders and finish from a tight angle. We were 1-0 up and well deserved.
We then controlled the game for a long time, and it was quite tight. Suhail pulled off some amazing saves.
However, due to some basic defensive errors – which have plagued us all season – we conceded two soft goals and as half time approached we were 2-1 down.
Sajjad was switched to midfield and Husayn into attack.
We again played really well, and scored through a long shot by Ali Ismail which the keeper could not keep out. Northwood then scored another to make it 3-2.
The boys then gave it absolutely 100% with each person giving their utmost. Hassan Rashid was flying in with tackles, Abbas Ladha was a rock at the back, Adam was making the play, Suhail was amazing in goal, Ali was bossing the midfield, Sajjad Husayn was strong in defence, Sajjad was intercepting well, and Husayn was a constant threat.
A loose ball fell to Ali, and with a side step and shot he thundered the ball into the goal to make it 3-3.
Credit to Northwood they came back strong, and in the last 5 minutes they managed to score to make it 4-3.
We then had a few chances, but we could not convert them into goals.
Northwood 4 – 3 SJFA
Our motto: we back our skills, no matter who the opposition
Manager – Tier 3, SJFA