Boreham Wood v Bishops Stortford. Tuesday, March 19, 1991, 7:30 pm. Broughinge Road, Borehamwood. Weather: cool, drizzly, very strong, gusty, swirling wind. Pitch: wet & heavy. Score: Boreham Wood 1 Bishops Stortford 1.
Obviously the scoreline shows that this was a big improvement on our last three matches (ed-we'd conceded 2, 3, and 3). It was horribly windy, and I had it coming more or less toward me in the first half, only to have it change direction and come directly at me in the second half as well! That's not the first time that has happened this year.
I wasn't terrible busy in the first half. Once again, though, we let one of them clean in on goal right down the middle. I came out and he shot wide to my left. I had to really chug to get down to a diagonal through ball on the right side of the box, taking it off the foot of a forward. That one felt really good. Then Jason R was comically short with a backpass and I came out and whacked it a hell of a long way first-time.
We scored 15 minutes into the second half, and predictably came under some pressure afterwards. I was very quickly out of my box to send a left-footed clearance over the away stand. I was pleased with that one because if I hadn't come for it, the guy would have been in on goal. Soon after that one of them was clean in on goal, but as I came out, he shot over the bar. Then another through ball, down the right side, and one of them was right behind it. We got to it at the same time and I got my right foot to it and it went into touch off him for our throw.
We held out for 75 minutes, but they equalized from a corner. It was driven low towards the near post, towards Rob F. I shouted 'Away!' but it got caught in a mass of legs, dropped perfectly to their #9, and he rammed it in low to my left. Damn. Then the same player drilled a 25-yarder right at me, face-height, and I caught it cleanly. At the other end, Jason and Steve P had good chances but couldn't finish, and it ended 1-1.
Oh I forgot, I did really well with a swirling cross in the first half. It came from my right and I stretched for it with my right hand and flicked it firmly out of trouble toward the left touchline. That one was tricky.
My rating: 7. Good off my line, comfortable handling, good kicking considering the conditions. Not too many actual saves. Cumulative rating (19 matches): 6.66.
Okay. Not a very thrilling match. I picked a short one on purpose. Also, the writing isn't great. That's something else I was still learning. But you get the idea.
Broughine Road, 1990. Just like the San Siro.
I did this after every game and found it very valuable. First, it made me think consciously about what had happened in the game, and honestly appraise my own performance. Second, it helped me identify trends. If I found myself writing "I was a little slow off my line" or "I came for the corner but got bundled off it" more than a couple of times, I knew there was something that needed to be addressed.
I wish I had done more, though. A lot more. I wish I'd jotted down a few notes before each game, noting how I'd slept, what I'd eaten, how I was feeling, and how confident or nervous I was. I wish I'd been a little more insightful about my confidence levels during the game, knowing that 'surface' confidence can fluctuate greatly during the course of a game. But mostly what I wish is that I'd done this for every game of every season, not just this one. I did it only sporadically prior to 1990/91, and never again afterward.
So the practical value in keeping a journal is that it forces you think think hard about every game you play, honestly analyze your performance, and identify trends. There's more, though. Take it from a man pushing fifty (sort of): no matter how good your memory (and I can remember a lot from a very long time ago), not everything stays with you forever. Write it down. Or, if you don't like to write, turn on your webcam and keep a video journal.