Match Report
Shrewsbury International School, Riverside Varsity Boys Football vs  Bangkok Patana School
On: Monday, 02 Nov 2020
Venue: Away

Heroic rearguard action sets platform for impressive draw with Bagkok Patana

What a fantastic game! A very impressive performance from the Shrewsbury boys who (despite missing a couple of key players), have hopefully now proven to themselves that they can mix it with the best teams on the circuit when we play to our potential. The game began in quite stifling heat and took a while for the tempo to get going. Shrewsbury managed the first third well, restricting Patana to long-range strikes and keeping possession well at times, posing them some real headaches when we advanced into their half. The 2nd third saw a mixture of some excellent defending coupled with some excellent chances for the Shrewsbury team. Euro, Pan-Pan and Sage were aggressive when necessary, doing especially well to keep Patana’s Thailand international player quiet, limiting his space and scoring opportunities. Game, Pind and Tan did not renege on their defensive responsibilities either, tucking in out of possession to compact the space in the middle of the pitch and keep Patana at bay. Saxon was called upon at least twice, making some excellent blocks and saves and through sheer heart and determination we weathered the storm. Our best chance came when Tan did brilliantly on the counter-attack to beat his man down the left-hand side before cutting in and smashing a shot agonisingly past the post.The score was 0-0 after two thirds, and the contest certainly came to life in the third as the game opened up for both sides. Yet to witness a goal from a direct free-kick in 7-a-side (largely because the wall positions itself only 7 yards away), I was treated with two fantastic strikes. The first from about 20 yards, when a Patana player let one fly. I was fearful that that might spell the end of our resistance, however, the reaction from the Shrewsbury boys was exceptional. Patana, determined to kill the game off and seemingly annoyed at our ability to play out from the back, pushed two up front to try and prevent us switching play through our two CB’s. Saxon’s distribution is excellent and he was able to clip the ball in behind as Patana pressed higher, which led to our first goal. Patana struggled to reorganise in defence and committed a foul near the edge of their box. Pind’s first attempt was blocked illegally and at the 2nd attempt, he smashed one into the bottom corner. Morris had spoken too soon by saying that we had done an amazing job keeping their international superstar quiet. Shrewsbury continued to defend well, putting pressure on the ball around the edge of our box. Unfortunately, we allowed him to cut inside on his favoured left-foot before letting off a thunderbolt into the top corner from 25 yards leaving Saxon with no chance. Sometimes, you just have to stand there and applaud. With two minutes remaining, I feared that we had just given them the game, however, we were not finished yet. In the dying seconds, Tee (who again had a massive impact) won an excellent flick-on from a throw-in and Game (who had made yet another lung-busting run) popped up from nowhere just inside their box to finish brilliantly on the half-volley. The final score 2-2 and nothing less than Shrewsbury deserved. Now much fitter, we are able to react to transitional moments much quicker, getting up the pitch in support of counter-attacks and also recovering quickly to get bodies behind the ball as soon as we lose it. Couple this with sheer determination and sprinklings of some quality football in there too, we are hopefully now a match for anyone. An early morning training session on Wednesday was well attended in preparation for the Thailand Invitational Open at Patana this weekend.