L’Equipe captain Mark Singer says his side will now focus on winning the Division Two title after he saw them suffer their second cup exit of the season.
Peter Morrison Trophy First Round:
Faithfold A 3 L’Equipe 2
Sunday, 23 October, 2016
Going into Sunday’s tie against a team from a Division above them, The Oranges went into this tie with a 100 percent winning start to their league campaign, and up against a side who had three defeats from four games, fancied their chances of causing an upset.
However, while they were far from outclassed, second half strikes from Max Martin and Singer weren’t enough to see them edge a five-goal affair, as Daniel Yossman’s double, coupled with Shai David’s strike saw The Greens through to the next round.
Reflecting back on the game, Singer said: “We certainly weren’t at our best and still came very close in a game against a team of Faithfold A’s calibre. It bodes well for the remainder of the season and I was particularly pleased with the “never say die” attitude from everyone on the team. We could have easily given up when we went 3-1 down, but kept fighting and our persistence so nearly took us to extra-time.”
Believing they could have caused an upset, he said: “We went into the game knowing we were the underdogs, but certainly believing we were in with a shot of beating them given their start to the season. I think the scoreline was probably just about fair in the end as they were marginally the better team. They had some quality individual players which I think is what ultimately made the difference. “
Looking ahead to the remainder of the season – and that push for a league title, he said: “We’re obviously delighted with our start. Whilst it’s a shame to be out of both cups so early, we can now focus all our attention on making a run at the league title.
“We have some tough games to come and a long season ahead, but Nick Stern has assembled a superb squad this year and we really hope to be in the running come the back end of the season.”
Happy with his side’s performance, Faithfold manager Rob Shooman told jewishnews.co.uk: “It was much more of a team performance with all of the players in the right attitude and for only the second time this season, closer to what we would call our first choice players, albeit still short of five first choice players who were away or injured.
“I felt we 100 percent deserved the win over the 90 minutes, and don’t feel the scoreline was a fair reflection on the game, we were on control for most of the 90 minutes. We bossed the game with Sam Reeves controlling the midfield, ably assisted by Micky Field and Shai Davidi. The back four were not troubled although we switched off for their first goal from a free-kick and we were too relaxed a few minutes from the end when they scored from a header, we should have cleared long before it got anywhere near our penalty area.”
Admitting he was never comfortable during the 90 minutes, he said: “How can you feel comfortable when you lose a two-goal lead? With all due respects we should have killed off the game in the first half with the chances we had, it would have been a lot more squeaky bum time if they had ever drawn level. The team were playing well , we were the better team and I did have confidence we would win BUT strange things do happen.”
Looking back on their start of the season, he said: “One win in four league games is clearly not anywhere good enough for my bunch of talented players, conceding a hatful of goals and not scoring enough is a worry. Apart from the first game we have had to cobble together teams and from players being injured, away and not available due to personal commitments, it has been very hard to put out viable teams able to contest, playing players out of position breeds frustration and frustration on the pitch turns to complacency on it. I must say though the guys who do turn up try to give 100 percent. When we have ALL our players available, and I’m hoping this is going to be the case very soon, this team of mine is going to be the ones to watch , we have unbelievable talent , great footballing attributes and a will to win rarely seen.
“I cant wait to play the teams we have lost to ,with my full team available the result WILL be different. There is no one in our division that we cannot get a result against , as for the cup , it’s all down to who you draw in the next round , the cup is the cup and should always be taken as second place to the league , I’m sure if you ask most managers , would you rather win your division or the league or a cup competition , most would go for the first two.”