U10s 2 – St Mary’s Bulldogs 2

25/04/2009 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

With the league title won and an earlier rain storm making way for a sunny yet fresh Spring morning, the stage seemed set for Westwood Park to deliver a celebratory victory lap to their league winning season. A perfect day to showcase a year’s development that had seen the team gel into a solid defensive unit with potent attacking flair in midfield and attack. What a shock it was then to find the game was to played on a rock strewn pitch of Subbuteo dimensions deeply scarred by a random network of old line markings. There was no place for champagne football now, instead the team were to show us the deeper virtues in their characters, giving a performance of gritty determination and justifying their new title of “The Invincibles”.

Both teams started very brightly but the size of the pitch meant that box to box clearances were the norm and the game rapidly degenerated into a game resembling ping pong. Within a couple of minutes a Westwood Park clearance to the half way line was volleyed straight back and looped into an unguarded goal; 1-0 Bulldogs. Rohan, Magnus and Joe were now in no doubt that they would be facing this dangerous aerial barrage all game. How would they cope? The midfield of Joseph, David and George battled to find space among the swarming blue shirts, managing occasionally to release Tom who was looking increasingly threatening. After four minutes the pressure paid off as a loose ball on the left was picked up by Tom who turned infield and smashed it into the top corner with his right foot; 1-1. The game then settled into a pattern of Bulldog bombardment one way being countered with the Westwood passing game going the other, Magnus and Rohan responding well to the long ball challenge and the few half chances that came fell to the more constructive Westwood Park. Late in the half a mazy run from Rohan starting deep in his own half carved through the congested blue midfield, his cross shot found Tom who laid it back to Joseph only for a bobble to S***W the shot just wide. More strong tackling in the midfield from David and Joseph plus a long shot from George that went just wide saw out the half.

Arun and Euan replaced George and David at the interval and the same pattern of play resumed. Graham Taylor would have been proud of the Bulldog’s tactics as after 3 minutes the long ball ploy finally cracked the Westwood defence, a rare lapse leaving Joe exposed to a one on one which was duly dispatched. 2-1 down, the pressure was on. Showing great inner belief the Westwood team stuck to their game plan. Disciplined and solid at the back, robust tackling in midfield, passing their way up field and building pressure from both flanks. A cross from the left by Tom found Euan in his customary far post position to slot home, but this time his shot was blocked on the line and turned away for a corner. From the set-piece the ball ricocheted around the box and fell to Rohan who calmly put it in the back of the net. 2-2 but could they press on to complete the perfect season? The game was now totally open and there were chances at both ends. A good save from Joe was cleared by Euan. A cross from Arun brought a double save from the keeper first from Tom and then by Euan. In the final seconds a long goal kick from Joe reached Tom in the opposite goal mouth but his headed flick sent the ball just over the bar. The final whistle blew bringing the season to a close. A fair result on the day and a great result for the season. Invincible!

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