3 points…that is what we needed and T&T delivered, in it’s usual heart attack style.
I arrived late for the game, missed the warm ups and anthems and was further delayed by some overzealous food inspectors, who chose to inspect and lock down the vendors while the game was going on. Why this couldn’t be done before the gates opened or earlier on is anyone’s guess, but pullin rank on a beers man telling him the tins in a cardboard tray and wrapped in plastic supposed to be stored on a wooden pallet instead of resting on the ground was the reason for me waiting an additional 5 minutes before I reached upstairs with a warm beer in hand.
The conditions were overcast, a cool breeze blowing and empty seats were all around. After settling in my usual spot, I witnessed T&T professionalism at it’s best with 3 “engineers” trying to hook up two speaker boxes on the running track with much difficulty. Emitting a loud buzzing noise coming out the speaker and disturbing the patrons and more importantly the players on the field, why again this couldn’t be done before the match…ah yes!
A loud roar then made me turn to the field and I looked up in time to see Peltier making a run to goal and shielding a defender in the process….good strength and when he reached near the top of the box he fired a shot which was parried by the keeper. Still holding off the defender he managed to turn on him reach the ball and follow up side footing the ball into the open net. Goal #1 and it was sheer strength, speed and aggression that did it for Peltier…well done!
I then looked at the players and after asking a few questions to my knowledgeable neighbours the line up was as follows:-
Marvin Phillip in goal, Adams , Power, James, Telesford, Daniel, Molino, Hyland,Jorsling and Peltier and Stern up top.
T&T were playing 4-4-2 in the first half and to be honest…you could understand how Bermuda beat us. Shakey, ball watching, unconvincing in the tackle and marking, making unnecessary errors and just looking like labourers…but yet, we were in control…yes unbelievable, we were in control and b’dos couldn’t come out of their half or muster any sort of attack on goal.
After a while, when T&T realized their opponents were not able only then did they start passing the ball around and trying to make some overlapping runs down the flanks, hitting it long for the wing back to run unto or for Stern up top.
Folks Stern had a bad game. He was totally off today and you know when you get a diarrhea…your two options are to take a lomotil and cork it or just sit on the toilet and let it out…Pfister decided to keep Stern on the toilet and hope he would let it out, ketch a length and play himself back into the game.
And he nearly did…showing one or two sublime touches to get past the keeper, trap a ball or flick to a teammate, but he ended up throwing away about 2-3 goals in the process, one being a sitter in a 1v1 situation inside the box. Don’t worry #14, the goals will come. In the meantime, work on your fitness, sharpness and awareness. However, to Stern’s credit he realized he was off, dropped back into the midfield at times and helped to spread the play around and allow Peltier the opportunity to burst forward.
The first half was just many bajan agricultural tackles, with T&T players coming second and crumpling in heaps. When T&T decided to dish it out, the ref would immediately call a soft foul and give most calls in the bajans favour.
We did try to knock the ball around, but jorsling and Molino to me were ineffective. Back passes and errant ones the order of the day, no off the ball runs and no bite in the midfield.
Hyland was the enforcer and he had a better afternoon, getting most things right but losing the ball on occasion, playing with his head down and was guilty of over dribbling at times. But he had a much better second half controlling the proceedings and stamping his authority on the game
The left side was totally ineffective both in attack as well as defence. Keon Daniel looked like the Skilla of old…slow, nashy, uninterested, ball watching and he just looked scared or something. Not a tackle..only covering and pointing, when the ball was there to be won if he only chook a foot.
With that Adams was under pressure right tru and he handled it ok, but he was also guilty of not marking properly, slow to recover and making bad passing choices out of the back…the refrain “to who” a common one from the crowd. Adams was competent to match his opponent but if the quality goes up I am not sure he is up to the task. A better 2nd half but still was a cause for concern in the 1st.
Telesford was the shakiest of the lot in the back, fallin down and slipping, panic when the ball is on him…playing too fast and hurry hurry and making mistakes when composure is needed. Also he does not tackle and rather just jockeys a player running…it upset me to see a him jockey a man and run backward from the half line and have the player reach in the 18 yard box…on 4 occasions….only for James or Power to scramble back and clean up … Yes I count it. Just stand up and tackle the man, chook a foot or take him out far from the goal.
Power had an ok game…but made some errors that could have cost us a goal from time to time. Mistiming a tackle, going to ground too early etc and letting the Bajans go to goal in the second half.
James was solid and did his job well. Only thing is he and Teleford lil shakey when escorting a ball back to the keeper, they have to learn to play it back more confidently or keep the screen up stronger.
Half time 1-0. T&T in control but not convincing.
The second half starts and a sub is made with Tinto coming in and Hughton Hector for Molino and Jorsling I think.
Whatever Pfister told them fellas half time the T&T team looked a totally different unit and started to play fast, aggressive, composed and we looked like Barca for 30 second patches every 10 -15 minutes.
Hector/Hyland/Tinto is a good midfield combo and Hector was the spark, tackling, making the runs for hyland and distributing the ball well across the park for peltier.
Peltier was the recipient of some wonderful through balls from Hector and the 2nd goal came with him beating the offside trap 1v1 with the goalie…hitting a small shot or trying a belt and getting through. Peltier then ran around the keeper and from a tight angle side foot into the net.
Stern got a through ball an missed the chance to go 3-0 up. Turning wonderfully beating the offside trap and hitting straight at the keeper.
From a corner Hector had a header saved and from the rebound a beautiful spell of possession followed with peltier getting into a good shooting position only to hit wide.
Peltier’s hattrick came from a counter attack, with the player taking it down the flank, beating a man, cutting in and slapping a composed shot into the V from the top of the box. Good quality finish and truly deserved, with him tracking back and tackling on the wing and going fwd dangerously.
T&T switched to a 3-4-3 and this caused the Bajans plenty worries and we just took total control over the game, knocking the ball on the ground to feet…1 touch and creating chances galore.
I can’t explain how we could look piss poor one half and like world beaters the next. Them fellas had to be playing to some kinda zone instruction, some kinda long ball strategy or some kinda ting in the 1st half…but I haven’t seen a T&T side knock the ball so in spurts so well in a long time as they did in the 2nd half.
The icing on the cake was the next sub that came on…Jagdeosingh and he did very well, taking on players beating 3-4 men at a time and getting into dangerous positions.
Pfister has the art of substitutions down. In all the games I have seen every one is on point and the correct decision made each time. Every sub is an impact sub, bringing quality to the field at the right time and correcting the problem that is being faced.
The last and final goal was the best of the lot. It came from a counter attack and after a number of good passes…Hector was found along with either jagdeosingh or peltier to his right. Hector then saw the Bajan keeper off his line and made an audacious and disrespectful chip over the keepers head , snug into the goal, quality finish and very composed.
In the 2nd half the 3-4-3 formation was done when we were attacking..... and on defense or when we lost the ball we compacted ourselves to a 3-6-1. Stern going up top to harass the last stopper. Both Hyland and Hector dropping immediately to shield the defence and Tinto was the scrapper to make the first tackle, think of a triangle in the middle of the park
Incidentally Tinto was playing more in the middle of the park and one of the wingbacks was used to push up into the midfield and help stifle the opposing attack.
The problem that I see happening is that we don’t have a fast speedy forward to complement the newfound running midfield and the use of the through balls. Peltier is playing on the wing and Stern is too slow up top. Jones is not a running fwd either. Thus Roberts is the man to try up front when he comes back from injury or if they put peltier up top…we need a good solid right winger.
At the end of the game the score could have ended 7-2 in our favour, if the bajans had capitalized on the mistakes by power or telesford in the back.
I was very very impressed with Phillip…he handled every shot and cross ball perfectly, holding well and commanding his area. He is the outright #1 for the rest of this campaign.
In conclusion if you are a pessimist, plenty for you to say boy them fellas need work…and this is true. But if you are an optimist, T&T is improving and we are getting better. Concentration, stopping the silly mistakes and if we can play like how we did in the 2nd half…we can beat people and reach the hex.
Team Rating - 6 A win, a clean sheet and positive signs.
Phillip -8 Did everything right, superb on crosses and came off his line well. Good holding of the ball and distribution
Adams – 5 Shakey in the first half and improved in the second
James – 7 Solid game
Power – 6 Generally good but made some errors that could have proven costly, moving a bit wild at times
Telesford 5– Needs composure and needs to learn how to tackle properly
Daniel -4 Poor today, something is wrong.
Jorsling – 5 Average nuttin special
Molino – 6 decent but a bit lightweight and was roughed up
Hyland – 7 solid, got better as the game went on worked hard
Peltier -8 Hattrick and was busy and effective, tracked back well.
Hector -7.5 good performance, good goal and was the spark in the 2nd half too bad he only run a 45 min.
Tinto – 7 good showing and workd hard today, was effective in the middle and his dribbles were on today
Stern -4 Not a total write off but he had a bad game. Did show glimpses of skill and tried to distribute the play.
Jagdeosingh –Not enough time on the field for a proper rating but he gets a high mark for his corbeaux sweat.
Till next time!