The Hibs came into this game on the back of a great performance last week and was looking for another 3 points. The Parlour FC came into this game thinking it was a friendly and only brought 10 players. Should be an easy win then?
Hibs started with the 4-2-3-1, with Hakan, fresh from getting married, and Billie, fresh from refusing to get married, making welcome returns to the team.
We were sloppy from the get go and were playing with fire. Balls were being flicked left and right and we continued to do so even when they weren’t coming off. All this while, Parlour looked dangerous on the break and were going for broke early, leaving numbers forward. Our poor ball control also meant we kept losing the ball and put our defence under tremendous stress. A few times, some great balls flashed across our goal and we only just managed to divert it from tap ins, with Lam’s effort standing out.
Water break came and we regained our composure. We started playing posession football again and making full use of the pitch, especially down the flanks. James had the first of many chances to score but the keeper made a great save. He then had 2 more from a similar angle but the ball crept past the far post. A couple of minutes later, Seb had a chance, keeper saved but Xander’s follow up was blocked. Hakan then had another great chance but blazed over.
Hibs continued to play on the front foot but we were still far from our best. During a corner, the ball broke to a Parlour player and he curled one towards the top corner but very fortunately for us, it cannoned off the crossbar.
Hibs kept creating chances. James had another 1 v 1 and finally puts it past the inspired keeper, with what was probably his worst effort of the afternoon. As they say, if you first don’t succeed, try try again.
Water break came again and we switched to a back 5. This is the sort of game that a bad bounce or poor clearance can undo all the work and we opted for the security blanket of an extra defender. Parlour were leaving 3 men up top and all times now and nervousness had definitely spread amongst us. We’ve missed too many chances by now and were hanging on. Hibs managed to create 2 more big chances when James ran through on goal but the covering defender came back with an unbelievable tackle and finally, James’s ball across the goal for Billie to tap in, only for the him to mishit.
Final 1-0 Hibs
Massive credit to Parlour for fighting to the bitter end and you boys should be very very proud. Playing with 10 men, (9 at one point) on the PSA, in that heat, would have done a lot of teams in by the first water break. Your keeper was outstanding as well.
On our end, we need to finish a little better next time. If we had finished even half of our chances, the score would be 4-0. These are the games we have to get 3 points, when we weren’t at our best, if we want to win the league. It’s very encouraging to see the team showing passion and grit, that didn’t spill into frustration and abuse of each other. We stuck together, rolled with the situation and got the win in the end.
Motm today was the Rodfather, who led the backline through a lot of pressure and made it look much easier than it actually was. Covered for mistakes and gave the team a platform to continue playing on the front foot. Well deserved!