M3 vs Norwich City 2

23 November 2022| Mark Sanderson
M3 vs Norwich City 2

It was a grey, dreary day at Wilberforce Road where the Men’s 3s attempted to get back to winning ways in a very competitive Div 1N. The team went into the game knowing that it was going to be a tough test as Norwich City 2s had experienced a resurgence since their 1s have been promoted to National League Midlands Conference last season. The opposition sat in second place at the time of the game, but would top the table with a win. City were very much at the other end of the table.

It is fair to say that the match did not start well for Cambridge, who were 1-0 down in the first 5 minutes when pressure from the Norwich front 5 forced a turnover in midfield. The ball was worked to an unmarked forward, who had the time to turn and slot the ball past the advancing keeper. 

The 3s couldn’t find their stride and had barely crated a chance before they were 2-0 down. This time from some well worked build-up play by the visitors, who managed to find enough space in a packed Cambridge circle to get a shot away, which went in at the back post.

This was not the start that City wanted nor needed, but they started to find their feet and managed to win a couple of PCs and test the keeper once or twice. Sadly, just before the break, Cambridge conceded a few PCs of their own and it was from the last of these that the visitors managed to take a 3-0 lead, through a diving deflection that was celebrated wildly by the scorer.

The half time team talk focused on personal responsibility and finding the competitive edge that we needed to compete. This message seemed to resonate with the team as the second half proved to be a much closer contest with City fighting harder for everything that was on offer, but they still struggled to find much luck in the Norwich circle.

The visitor’s 4th and final goal came halfway through the second period. An aerial found its way to one of the Norwich strikers, who was forced wide by Guinness in the Cambridge goal. The striker got to the baseline and attempted to find a teammate in the middle, but the diving ‘keeper managed to get a touch on the ball which sent it towards the goal. Despite there being a defender on the line, he was unable to stop it sneaking in from the tightest of angles. I am not sure that anyone on the pitch had ever seen a goal like it before and not many will see one like it again. Some would say that this has summed up the 3’s luck this season.

Cambridge fought hard until the final whistle, but had little to talk about by way of chances, bar a couple of PCs, as Norwich controlled the game until the end of the match. There were lots of lessons to be learnt and there were a few positives: the grit and determination in the second half and the return on Panos who has been sidelined all season by a long-term injury.

MotM went to Harry for a steely performance at the back (the fact that a defender got MotM in a 4-0 defeat tells you something).

DotD went to Guinness. Not for the touch for the 4th goal, but for explaining the nuances of EH junior regulations at teas, based on a misheard and misinterpreted comment from the other end of the table, when saying nothing would have been the right decision. 

Next week the 3s travel to Wisbech. Things to look out for: Wily getting DotD again (He knows what he did!), Wisbech having a stronger squad than for their loss to Uni 2s this week, points being earned and decent teas. Onwards and upwards!

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