Newburgh Thistle 5 - Postal ALC 0 - Newburgh - 5th Aug 2023
TEAM - 1. S.Walker 2. N.Willey 3. A.Baxter 4. M.Hunter 5. L.Giulianotti 6. T.Reinard 7. A.Clark 8. J.Steele 9. L.Melia 10. S.Abel 11. B.Webster 12. S.Cotovici 14. G.Cormack
OPPOSITION MOTM – L.Melia
Postal arrived at Newburgh for the first game of Div 1 North with a decimated squad. The pitch looked excellent though and on a sunny day, spirits were high to start the new season.
Those spirits were dampened after only 4 minutes. A long high ball deep into the Postal half, saw the defence jump out of the way of the header and the ball eventually broke for a corner. From the corner, poor marking, saw one of the smallest players on the park run through to head into the back of the net. 1-0.
Credit to Postal they settled into the match and were playing some nice passing football for the first 15 minutes of the match. On 13 minutes Abel managed to get a shot off from distance but it lacked power to bother the keeper who saved easily.
On 16 minutes, Walker in goal for Postal made a good save at point blank range after the ball had been bobbling around in the box for what seemed an age.
Two minutes later and the home side doubled their lead. A simple looped diagonal ball over the top of the defence saw a Newburgh player head home. It looked suspiciously offside but the ref waved play on. 2-0.
On 25 minutes Melia was sent in on goal but slipped as he went to get his shot away.
On 29 minutes, Postal slit their own throats. A ball over the top was being Shepard’d back to the keeper. Walker ran out to clear bounced it off the strikers shins who followed up to roll the ball into the empty net. 3-0.
On 32 minutes Melia was sent through on the keeper again, this time got the shot away but it rolled past the post.
On 39 minutes Postal had another half chance. A cross from Clark could only be palmed away by the Newburgh keeper and the resultant Melia shot went far and wide.
The game was over as a contest of 40 minutes when Postal conceded a carbon copy of the 3rd. Unbelievably, almost exactly the same goal involving the same players. 4-0.
HALF TIME – NEWBURGH 4 - POSTAL ALC 0
Credit to Postal they could have downed-tools in the second half but they continued to work hard and created a few chances.
On 25 minutes good work on the left from Baxter saw hit cut back reach Cotovici but he sent his shot over the bar.
4 minutes later and the home side scored a 5th from a free kick about 25 yards from goal. 5-0.
Postal nearly got a consolation on 38 minutes when a cut back from Cotovici into the patch of Clark saw him hit the post.
On 41 minutes Melia was sent one-on-one with the keeper but hit it off his chest and away to safety.
Overall, the one word which springs to mind was “Naïve” today. The home side did things just that bit quicker and cuter than we did. They looked like a well established 1st Div team while we looked like a team who finished 3rd in the 2nd last year.
When they fouled us, it was done behind the ref’s back while we did it right in front of the ref.
We found ourselves offside too often, they played on the last man and beat the trap (if you could call it a trap).
And, most importantly, when they got a chance they invariably scored while we squandered the chances that we had.
Not all doom and gloom though, we passed the ball well at times today. Created at least 3 or 4 really good chances and the effort and work-rate couldn’t be questioned.
Next up JSXI at home on Wednesday night.