Brentford 4 Raging Fever 4

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Dougie07
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Brentford 4 Raging Fever 4

Post by Dougie07 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:41 pm

Fever started (and finished) their preparations for the annual WorldNET tournament in Leeds with an entertaining draw against Brentford. The game was contested on a pitch situated between Harlequins' Stoop ground and Twickenham, the home of English rugby. Despite the majority of players possessing all the athleticism of a prop forward after the summer break, the game was closely contested from start to finish.

The scandalous clash with Oxford United's Open Day and the alternative uses for the warm weather meant that Fever were reduced to a bare eleven.

Fever started the game well with Rob Muskett trying to make the most of his opportunity to play 90 minutes up front by shooting whenever possible. Unfortunately, the Brentford 'keeper remained untested as Muskett, Russell McSweeney and John Matthews sent the ball into the bushes behind the goal.

The home side made Fever pay for their wayward finishing by taking the lead against the run of play. Minutes after Joel Harrison had prevented the opener with an outstretched leg, Brentford counter-attacked quickly. Despite being driven wide by Fever's defence, the home side's striker still managed to hook the ball inside the near post with Harrison out of position.

Fever's response, however, wasn't long in coming. John Matthews was adjudged to have sprung the offside trap and he calmly slotted the ball low to the goalkeeper's right to level the scores.

The leveller lifted Fever and they were soon in the lead. The men in yellow passed the ball out from defence, eventually finding McSweeney in the middle of the field. The midfielder's forward pass was either dummied or missed by Matthews, allowing the ball to run into the path of Muskett. The striker justified his ambitious warm-up efforts by bending the ball high past the advancing goalkeeper to give Fever the advantage.

Having done the hard work, Fever would have been keen to go into the half-time break in the ascendancy. However, miscommunication in defence allowed Brentford to draw level moments before the referee's whistle. A corner was floated into the Fever six yard box and indecision between goalkeeper and defence allowed Brentford's target man to power a header in, despite the best efforts of James Longshaw on the line.

The half-time break provided a much needed breather in the warm conditions and Fever were quickly out of the blocks in the second half. Débutante Ricky Goodenough had impressed throughout with some strong running and he was rewarded with a goal for his efforts. The ball fell to Goodenough on the edge of the area and he proved he was indeed adequate for the task in hand, bending the ball into the bottom corner.

A pattern had emerged throughout the game, whereby Fever would pass the ball well when behind or on level terms, but lose composure when in the lead. This trend continued as Brentford ended a period of sloppy football by equalising in spectacular fashion. A Harrison goal-kick landed at the feet of a Brentford midfielder, who attempted a speculative strike from range. Harrison was unable to back-pedal quickly enough and despite getting a hand to the ball, could only help it into the Fever net.

Throughout the game, clear chances had been at a premium but when they arrived, they were taken ruthlessly. Fever's response to being pegged back continued this trend almost immediately. McSweeney and Goodenough combined on the left-hand side before a ball was thread into the path of Muskett. The goalkeeper was helpless as Muskett expertly knocked the ball past him before rolling the ball into the empty net for Fever's fourth.

Having seen their lead wiped out twice before, Fever were determined to hang on with the match approaching a conclusion. However, the inability to defend set-pieces proved to be crucial once more. A seemingly innocuous ball was floated into the Fever area but following a call of “keeper's

Dougie07
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Post by Dougie07 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:15 pm

There was still time for Muskett to come close to stealing the victory at the death. Firstly, a hat-trick came close as George Dugdale's chipped pass sent Muskett clear, only for the resultant shot to roll agonisingly wide of the far post. Moments later, still feeling aggrieved following an incorrect throw-in decision, Muskett outmuscled his marker but was unable to keep the ball in play having knocked it past the stranded keeper. At the other end, only a fingertip save from Harrison prevented Brentford from completing an unlikely victory.

The referee's whistle brought the contest to an end with both sides feeling that they could have won the game. Fever will be happy with the quality of the goals they scored, but frustrated to have been so generous at the back. This was an enjoyable WorldNET warm-up and one that both Fever's veteran and youth teams can learn from.

Fever: Joel Harrison, George Dugdale, Paul Soper, Robb Milne, Pat Wehmeier, Chris Rowles, Russell McSweeney, Ricky Goodenough, James Longshaw, John Matthews, Rob Muskett.

Goals: Muskett (2), Matthews, Goodenough.

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