Falcons slumped to a 6-0 defeat to London Titans in Whitton as an understrength side paid the price for a lacklustre display.
There was a return for Gracie after several months away as a newlywed, although he was part of a defence that was unable to cope with the long balls sent forward by the opposition in the first half and Titans were 3-0 up before the quarter hour had even passed.
There were some bright spots going forward as Louis put in two terrific crosses from the right and last ditch tackles or finger tips prevented what would have been certain goals. Kaz also saw a free kick deflected but comfortably saved. However, work rate was missing in droves and Falcons found themselves a further two goals down by half time.
In fairness, the second half was considerably better as the team finally relaxed on the ball and retained possession for longer periods. However, there was a tendency to send long balls into the front two – not the best strategy against a team substantially taller than our average of around 5 foot 2. Kaz had a header cleared off the line from a corner before the game’s final calamity took place on the 75 minute mark. The ball bounced all around the Falcons defence and, when a shot came in to an open goal, Josh decided he’d had enough for the day and kindly tipped the ball over the bar for a penalty and red card. Conal diving over spot kick summed up the poor guy’s day in goal.
So, 6-0 down with not much time remaining and yet Falcons finally got a few more efforts on goal. Pete and Kieran both shot over from 25 yards before Louis became the most bitter man on the planet when he finished off a great move, only to discover that the referee had already pulled the play back for a Falcons free kick.
Obviously this isn’t a game we want to dwell on for too long. It certainly had an end of season feel to it as the effort and physicality were far short of what’s needed to compete in football. Hopefully with a few faces back and some more fight we’ll get back on track next weekend against Stonewall.
Gracie (James N)