The Pics


Home | 06 January 2018

Holiday Training Pays Dividends for Pics

On a bitterly cold, blustery morning, Rushall adapted well to this hastily rearranged fixture on an artificial surface to claim all three points against a very decent Tamworth side.
With the home side tasked with being patient in possession, and similar instructions barked from the visiting coach, both sides were clearly trying to keep the ball and build from the back. However, the opening 20 minutes proved to be quite frenetic, with most of the play in the middle third and possession changing hands regularly.
Tamworth were well drilled, confidently playing out from the back with well weighted passes. Both full-backs were using the width of the pitch well with central defenders and goalkeeper joining in to regularly switch the play across the back line, although the home defenders were untroubled by the Tamworth attack. However, the introduction of Simcox and Mason for the Pics midway through the first half changed the shape of the game. The pace and desire of the two forward players immediately forced errors in the visitors’ back-line and it was Mason who opened the scoring, sliding the ball past the advancing keeper in the 21st minute.
As the game started to open up, the visitors worked the ball well down the right wing and when the ball across the box fell to their left winger on the far pos,t he looked certain to level the score but his shot flew well over the bar.
Minutes later, Mason and Simcox combined again and this time it was Simcox who rounded the keeper to finish from close range to make the score 2-0.
Growing in confidence, Rushall started to dictate the play. Birch and Bishop began to retain better possession in the middle third, switching the angle of attack and causing problems for the visitors forcing a series of corners. Under pressure from both Rushall centre-backs, the Tamworth keeper failed to deal with Simcox’s near post corner but the ball was fired over from close range with the goal gaping.
Half-time: Rushall Olympic 2 – 0 Tamworth
Tamworth were quick out of the blocks after the break and missed another glorious chance to reduce the arrears when the left winger was again profligate in front of goal.
The visiting keeper was again busier than his opposite number, saving well from Simcox and again from Birch. At the other end, Hillback dealt confidently with balls into the box and was quick off his line to clear a through ball as the Tamworth striker raced through. However, it was the visitors’ keeper who, after a string of fine saves, allowed Birch’s low shot from 18 yards to slip through his fingers to make the score 3-0.
Rushall were now in control of the game and Busher did well to retain possession on several occasions, travelling with the ball before laying it off and drawing fouls in the final third. Simcox continued to rampage down the left wing, knocking in several inviting crosses which the Rushall forwards failed to convert.
On 56 minutes, Wytton challenged for the ball inside the Rushall penalty area. The Tamworth player seemed to kick the back of Wytton’s foot as he swung a leg at the ball but as he tumbled to the ground, the referee awarded a penalty and the visitors converted the spot kick to make it 3-1.
There were a few nervous moments for the Pics as Tamworth sensed a route back into the game and the home side passed the ball (and responsibility) backwards, eventually all the way back to Hillback who was forced to clear under pressure.
However, the additional training sessions over the Christmas period were well attended and proved to be worthwhile, as Rushall’s energy levels were maintained and the visitors seemed to tire. Mason, running down the channels did well to shrug off his marker to cut back for Hutchins and again for Simcox as the hosts sealed a convincing victory which was probably a little harsh on Tamworth who had competed well for most of the game.
Moving into the next block of training, the Rushall coaching team will be looking to build on the ‘through, over, around’ message that the players have taken on board in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see the next phases of individual and collective development in the second half of the season.
Full time: Rushall Olympic 5 – 1 Tamworth