I’ve got to admit, August was a bloody great month. After a shaky July start to life in Poland, we picked up 9 points from a possible 12, including a win over the Champions and the thrashing of a pretty good team. I’ve been awarded 3rd place in the Manager of the Month award behind Lech’s Nenad Bjelic and Lechia’s Waldemar Fornalik, which is excellent. Everything’s coming up Franjo.
Anyway we kick off September with a visit to Wisła Płock, and having studied their start to the season, it seems that they play a very solid looking withdrawn 4-2-3-1 with defensive and wide midfielders. In most of the matches they’ve lost so far, their opponents lined up with a 4-2-3-1 with defensive midfielders, leaving Płock’s attacker and number 10 isolated and outnumbered. This makes sense, so I’ll do the same. I withdraw Hurley from the starting line up and bring Bart back in following his suspension to form a defensive midfield partnership with Mario Gregurina. Danny Wilson takes a seat on the bench.
In under 5 minutes, Reca’s low cross bounces off Olivier’s shin and Basca thumps the loose ball into the roof of the net.
We go on the counter after half an hour, and then on the attack after an hour, but both sides struggle to create quality chances. With 15 minutes to go, I bring on Kwarko and Hurley for Janga and Gregurina and tell the boys to be more direct. Hurley will add some good passes from deep and Kwarko will be a target to aim at further forward.
Thankfully, that does the trick. Hurley passes to Kevin, who puts a good ball into the path of Goncerz, who in turn slides the equaliser into the far bottom corner of the net.
I throw Amonike on for a cameo appearance, but the only other “decent” chance comes a couple of minutes later, when Szewczyk gets behind our defence and literally hits the corner flag with his shot. This has not been a great match.
I then get another one of those “Wow, I’m at a big club” reminders, as the International break actually disrupts our schedule. None of our players are internationals though, so we just get a 2 week rest.
Our next match is Lechia away. I had planned to bring Hurley back in and give Mandrysz another chance to impress on the right wing, but they both pick up knocks just a few days before the match. They’re still lacking fitness when I pick the team, so Gregurina stays in and Amonike makes his full GieKSa debut on the right.
Just over 10 minutes in, Goncerz lays the ball off for Bart, who drives it left footed from the edge of the area and into the bottom corner of the net.
We don’t get to hold the lead for long though. Only a few minutes later, Olivier fails to properly clear a Wolski cross and can only bobble the ball away as far as Gajos, who hammers it over Nowak and in.
Not uncommonly for one of our matches, everything dies down until just after the hour mark. I bring on Kwarko for Amonike, who’s been quiet today. I’ll put it down to the fact that he’s still settling in. Not long after the sub, Gregurina chips the ball onto the left wing. Kevin rises well and nods it perfectly onto Goncerz’s left foot, and he unleashes a thunderbastard of a volley – That smacks the top of the bar and balloons away.
With under 20 minutes to go, Kupisz lays the ball off for Kadlec, who lashes his low shot against the foot of the post. I decide to bring on Tarnowski to see if he can get another late goal, and Abramowicz as Garbacik has made a few mistakes today.
In the 82nd minute, the woodwork is struck once again when Takacs’ free kick cracks against the bar. This time though, Kadlec is there to follow up and puts the rebound away. I feel sick.
To add insult to injury, the goal goes down as a harsh own goal for Alan Hutton. If the ball touched him, it must have grazed his shorts and it was on target anyway.
The goal only spurs my boys on though. Straight from kick off, Tarnowski plays a good ball through for Kevin – Who hits the bar. Ever get the feeling that it’s not your day?
A couple of minutes later, Gajos’ ball over the top is nearly converted by Kadlec, but he puts it just wide. Gajos tries again instantly though, passing it through for Makuszewski, who rolls the ball into the bottom corner. GG WP, Lechia. For fucks sake.
Look, we’ve been here before. This isn’t new territory. “The Gods of Football blah, blah, blah”. We came close a few times to scoring more, but so did Lechia. In the end, they finished their chances, and although I think we played well, we didn’t finish ours. Today hurts. Luckily I know a place that serves pints of draft Wodka.
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