|Posted by www.colinvalleyfc.co.uk on September 8, 2009 at 9:17 AM|
What a week!!
Colin Valley's first week in the Northern Amateur Football League could not have gone much better as the Reserves recorded a magnificent 5-1 away win to Green Island (goals courtesy of McNama2, Wilson2 and Mallon) and the 1st team a very creditable 4-4 draw at the home of a much fancied Portavogie Rangers team.
Spud, Paddy and Dutta couldn't wipe the smarmy grins from their faces all saturday evening - and who could begrudge them?? The management team of Colin Valley had waited a long time for this day and it was plain for all to see the delight on their faces at having finally got the season underway.
With Dutta keeping the gruelling pre-season sprints and ball work going all week in training you could have been forgiven for thinking "we'll all be knackered come saturday if this keeps up" - but that wasn't to be the case at all as the players showed some grit - and something else - that had been missing in recent times. The stamina training introduced by JP Donaldson in pre-season certainly seems to have added something new to this Club and already it was in evidence this week as the 1st team had to draw on all their reserves of energy to escape from Portavogie with a good result.
With a very strong Reserve team loaded with potential 1st teamers playing up at Green Island in their opening game, it was always going to be the 1st team playing down at Portavogie who were to have the harder of the two fixtures - and this certainly turned out to be the case.
Leading 3-1 at half time against any of your rivals you will always expect a certain amount of pressure to be coming your way and Valley almost capitulated under the relentless attacks thrown at them by the big country side. The defence was left reeling in the 2nd half as they saw Portavogie rip their 2-goal lead to shreds within 15 minutes. Things were to get even worse again for them 10 mins later as the physical and aerial onslaught continued gaining the hosts a 4-3 lead and leaving the Valley lads looking like a bunch of Zombies with nothing left in the tank.
In previous seasons this would have been the queue for Valley to wilt and die - letting much needed points against big rivals go without even a hint of a fight - NOT THIS YEAR!!! Something long since dead in a Valley team seemed to regain life on saturday afternoon - call it defiance, call it stubborness, call it FITNESS - but this season things seem to be very different, we saw a hint of it against Soffolk FC in pre-season when down 3-0 and against Portavogie we saw it manifest itself in full.
Instead of failing Valley lifted themselves mentally and physically to claw back the momentum they had lost in the first half, led by MOM McDonald and new signing McDonnell at the back, and aided by the impressive Foster, Skelly and Fennell all coming on from the bench - Valley were able to win back control of the game. A magnificent equalizer by Dunlop late on was almost trumped by Skelly who but for a bigger forehead/nut/dome/nose/eyebrow could have won all 3 points for the visiting team. The evidence was there for all to see though - this Colin Valley team showed there is some long lost character finally finding it's way back into the squad.
With the 1st team looking so strong and players like McNama, McCabe, Farrell, Kelly, O'Rawe and Wilson all doing well and pushing for promotion from the Reserves - and still others such as Fay and Duff returning to the squad, the season is looking very promising indeed for Colin Valley.