On Sunday 29th January we played our second game in the 2023 AFL Men's league with our opponents being Attackers FC. Although we went on to lose this game there were plenty of positives to take and build upon which bodes well for the remainder of the season.
We made a confident start to the game but fell behind in only the 5th minute when Shaquoy Reid cut in from the right flank and beat Darian Carty with a well-placed finish at the near post. After this early setback, we dusted ourselves down and very nearly levelled the game moments after falling behind. An almighty goalmouth scramble in the Attackers box ended with our opponents somehow clearing the ball to safety.
Uprising continued to apply the pressure and again went close when a long range shot from Sepron Lowe was tipped over the bar by the Attackers goalkeeper. This was quickly followed by a Jordan Deans effort which was again well saved. In an entertaining period, Attackers then went on the attack, and we had Antoine Fleming to thank for an excellent last-ditch tackle to prevent a good opportunity for our opponents.
In the 26th minute our goalkeeper Darian Carty produced a fine save to keep the score at 0-1. Ten minutes later, Jordan Dean's beat his man to find himself clean through on goal, but his right foot shot went over the Attackers bar. Uprising Player/President Tré Gumbs then had an effort saved before our talented centred half, Asharn Hodge, prevented Attackers with a brilliantly timed tackle.
In the 41st minute, Defari Francis went on a powerful solo run down the left flank before cutting in and firing a shot just wide of the target, an excellent piece of individual play. This was the last piece of noteworthy action from an entertaining first half of football.
We made a positive start to the second half with Jordan Deans shooting wide of the target moments after the restart. Jordan then had another attempt well saved in the 49th minute before we went 2 goals to 0 down, totally against the run of play, this time with Sean Isaacs scoring the goal for our opponents. Moments later our centre half, Antoine Fleming was forced to leave the field due to an injury, this was a real shame as Antoine had played very well and we wish him a speedy recovery.
On 57 minutes we were denied what appeared to be a stone wall penalty when Delani Francis beat the keeper to the ball and was up ended, however the referee deemed it to be a fair challenge and our appeals were waved away – a huge moment in the game! Moments later, Denny Derrick cut in from the right wing, but his shot was comfortably saved by the Attackers goalkeeper. The game then went through quite a quiet period until fifteen minutes from time when Darian Carty produced another trademark save and quickly followed that up with another one to keep the scoreline the same.
Unfortunately, and not due to a lack of effort we were unable to create any scoring opportunities in the final minutes of this encounter which meant we fell to a second successive defeat. However, the improvements made were there for all to see and we go into our next game with renewed optimism!
POTM – Darian Carty, a second POTM award in a row for another display of excellent goalkeeping.