Frequent readers of my blog may remember that in my new year's goals post, I set a rather lofty target for myself. The day before I wrote that post, I had just played a very casual kickabout with the guys and had scored 7 goals, so I foolishly thought I would be able to score 100 goals in this calendar year.
Check out my goals for 2021
June was a great month for me in terms of football. It saw me manage to equal my record goals per game ratio, and saw lots of all around impressive football.
Sunday June 6th 2021 - 4 goals
The game started out with a bit of a weird tempo, and it took a while for people to settle into the game. This was highlighted a few minutes into the match when I found myself on the left hand side of the box with no pressure at all. When the ball came to me, I put my foot under it and the ball jumped up almost to my head, partly because I miscontrolled it, and partly because I was taking advantage of the free space to showboat. Still I was not closed down, so I let the ball bounce once before striking it to the keeper's near side and into the back of the net.
After a spell of running around like a headless chicken, I found myself playing in a more defensive position. One of the opposition players went to the toilet in the middle of the match, so we ended up playing a rule which said that our team can only score from within the opposition's box to make up for the one man advantage.
We saw a period of domination from our team that saw neither side have any effect on the scoreline. I found myself making a late run from the deepest position to the edge of the box around our midfielder who spotted the run and released the ball with a pinpoint pass. Then it was simply a first time finish to slot the ball in the back of the net.
For my third goal, I made a similar lung busting run from out to in and I would have found myself in acres of space had the midfielder spotted the run. He however chose to pass the ball out to the left wing and the defenders moved out to join the attacker. Our winger put in a first time cross which I tapped in deftly to complete my hattrick.
The final goal of the match was definitely the cream of the crop. I was on the right hand side of the pitch just past the half way line with an opposition defender closing in on me. The ball came to me and there was nobody on for a quick one-two, so I brought the ball in close inviting my opponent to get closer to me. He was exactly where I wanted him.
I quickly feigned left whilst simultanuously chopping the ball behind my legs. The defender fell for it hook, line and sinker, so I turned right and ran on to the ball that I had just put behind him. The finish itself wasn't anything spectacular, but the skill was what made it a special goal.
Sunday June 27th 2021 - 2 goals
This game didn't get off to a good start. I left my boots at home and my wife had to bring them over in the car, resulting in me having to play between the sticks barefooted for the first 30 minutes. Having said that I would go as far to say that this was my best match of the year so far.
Normally, I play with a dogged tenacity for the first half an hour or so before tiring out and walking around the pitch for the remaining hour. However, something was different today, as I was running like a mad man for the duration of the match and should probably have ended with more than two goals to show for my performance.
The first goal, not only highlighted my unusually high work ethic, it also was a good example of the lovely touch and poise I displayed on this fine Sunday evening. Not long after I had put my boots on, I was waiting at the end of the box, the ball came to me from the right and I used the inside of my left foot to take the ball past the opposing defender. This was followed by a cheeky right footed effort with the outside of the boot that somehow managed to wriggle its way past the keeper.
The second goal I scored in this match, is not going to win the Puskás Award anytime soon. I managed to latch on to a loose backpass from the defender that was intended for the goalkeeper but unfortunately for him was too short. With my back to goal, I did a quick spin before doing a first time shot which the keeper managed to save but could only push it as far as my teammate. The goalkeeper closed down the attacker, but the ball got away from him. Now the ball was spinning towards goal on a diagonal similarly to how the Earth revolves about its axis.
Now the race was on between me and the keeper. I was in a better starting position but had to show strength to hold off the man who has been playing rugby most of his life. The determination I showed had paid off as the ball and I both found ourselves at the back of the net.
A good return from two games, and I am particularly happy with both of my performances across the month. Despite only playing twice, I feel as though this month saw the best football I've played this year.
Over the next few months, I expect that my game time will see another drop and the target of 100 goals is looking unlikely at this point. It's not going to stop me though and I'm going to keep on tracking my goals, and I also plan on setting the same target for myself next year.