Wednesday evening’s 2-1 loss to District 5-AAA rival McMinn County, on the other hand, left Blackmon feeling anything but proud.
“This was an ugly (performance) by both teams,” Blackmon stated. “Hats off to McMinn for winning an ugly game. If we had won, I still would’ve been upset — now I’m upset and bitter. That’s the first 80-minute, horrible game that we’ve played all year.”
Esteban Beltramin found the back of the net at the midpoint of the first half, which gave Bradley (7-2-1, 2-2) a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the final 40 minutes of play were enough for the Tribe to stage a come-from-behind win.
Just five minutes into the second half, McMinn was able to work past Bradley’s defenders and get the game-tying goal.
“There is a difference between good intensity and bad intensity. We had bad intensity — my team gave effort, it was just channeled in the wrong direction,” Blackmon commented. “They worked really hard at not playing smart. It was frustrating and I just couldn’t get them out of the funk.”
The Cherokees took advantage of the Bears’ ‘bad intensity’ one final time, and in the final minutes got the game-winning second goal.
“We didn’t play in our system anywhere on the field. Defensively we didn’t rotate, we didn’t talk and we didn’t do the simple things that we always do. It looked like we were out of control, ‘clear happy’ and swinging away, looking very uncomposed. In the middle, we dribbled way too much. Our whole team couldn’t move forward as a unit. It was ugly and it’s the whole team that deserves a trashing, except for Joey (White, Bradley goalkeeper),” Blackmon said.
Bradley will have the chance to snap out of its two-game slump this evening, as the Bears travel to Englewood to take on McMinn Central at 5:30.
CHEROKEES 2, BEARS 1
Halftime score: 1-0 BC. Goals: Esteban Beltramin (BC). Record: Bradley Central 7-2-1, 2-2 District 5-AAA; McMinn County 3-5-1, 2-2.