DONOVAN Lofters took his Camperdown High team to play against a tough Mona High team on Tuesday knowing that the odds were stacked heavily against his boys.
He went into the match against the group leaders missing his preferred centre-half pairing and his best striker and Team Captain Devante McCrea — all missing the game through red card suspensions — and suffered a heavy 2-9 defeat at the hands of his opponents.
Camperdown got off to a bad start when they conceded in only the fourth minute of play, and things got worse when they conceded two more quick goals to fall 3-nil behind after only 15 minutes.
There was a brief moment of optimism when they pulled one back, shortly after going 0-3 down, but an early second-half blitz, during which they conceded three more goals in eight minutes, put paid to the match as a contest.
Lofters acknowledged the difficulties of the situation even before a ball was kicked in the game, and they were also unprepared for the wet and muddy field as they lacked the required footwear for the soft-underfoot conditions, which only serve to compound their problems.
"It was always going to be a difficult task after what happened [last week] with all the suspensions, with all the weaknesses of the team.
"We tried with the youngsters; it was 3-1 at the end of the first half. The second half we lost it totally, and the conditions didn't help us either. We weren't equipped for the conditions," he admitted.
The Camperdown man is not willing to dwell on that massive defeat and is already looking ahead to what can be achieved in the rest of the first round and beyond.
"This is behind us. We have seven games to go, 21 points to play for. We can't dwell on what has happened so it's up to me now to get them up for Friday.
Camperdown will host the winless Kingston High on Friday, hoping that they can finally secure their first win of the season.
Meanwhile, Mona High Head Coach Craig Butler said "total football" has been a hallmark of their efforts so far this season.
"The last three games we have scored at the same time. It's about playing that game — that is, a pressing game. Total football."
He credits the system and style of play that they employ at Mona for their dominant start in a group filled with top teams in the competition.
"Every player that we had on the pitch played almost every position so we were able to rotate, and we are happy with what we got.
"I think the focus needs to be on proper systems in our country and I think that this is a good example."
Butler was unperturbed by the fact that his team conceded twice in the match.
"With attacking football, you have to be prepared to have a couple goals scored on you if you are going to be attacking and pressing a team high up the pitch. What you need to do is to ensure that you score more than your opponents, and that's what we did," he reasoned.
Mona will be chasing their fourth-consecutive victory when they make the short journey to Papine High on Friday.