Sunday 25th March, U9 Red v Holmer Green

27/03/2012 at 10:33 am | Posted in Match Reports, Under 9s | Leave a comment

On a lovely warm spring morning we hosted what was scheduled to be our last game of the season, against Holmer Green who were our first opponents of the season back in September.

Top Pitch:

Squad; Aakash, Akshay, Alex W, Charles, Robert W, Luke B, Gabriel, Kian

Match 1 (Westwood Park 1 v 1 Holmer Green)

Adam took the helm for his first game as lead coach. He’s been chomping at the bit really to get a game!!! Players briefed and formation sorted we were ready to go! Our opponents kicked off, but Akshay was straight into the tackle. Early pressure from Westwood nearly resulted in goals for Charles and Akshay. Charles was constantly taking on the defender and delivered some telling crosses that on another day would have been tap ins for Aakash and Akshay. Shortly before half time, Westwood had a corner that fell to Robert just outside the area. He unleashed a trade mark drive into the bottom corner.

The second half saw more pressure from Westwood and we were unlucky not to score more goals. Unfortunately, we conceded an equaliser with a few minutes to go. A super flowing move, ended with a rasping shot which Alex stood little chance with. The last few minutes were spent camped in our opponents half seeking a winning goal, which regrettably didn’t come.

Match 2 (Westwood Park 3 v 1 Holmer Green)

Alex was in goal again for the first half, before being replaced by Robert in the second half. This time our opponents scored an early goal, which was probably the only time we were caught upfield. A quick counter-attack, left Luke with three attackers to deal with and the final shot left Alex no chance. Westwood poured forward seeking the equaliser, but couldn’t breach our opponents defence before half time. During the half time break, Adam encouraged the boys to keep doing what they were doing. Alex moved into central midfield and he was quickest to react to a parry from the goalie to hit the ball into the roof of the net. That just spurred the boys on even more and Gabriel, who had dropped into right midfield, soon went on a lovely run only to see his shot hit the post. That’s a shame, because he then scored two lovely taken goals which would have given him a hat trick! Kian did his best to score and kept closing down their defenders and came close with a few shots.

In both games, we defended really well. Strong tackling performances from Aakash, Gabriel and Alex, meant our opponents never really put pressure on our defence.
Overall, we passed the ball well and on another day we could and should have won both games. Our team played with pace and drive which in the end was too much for our opponents. A special mention for Luke, who played in defence throughout. He has a fantastic all-round game. He can tackle, is brave and has an eye for a pass. He also shared the bag of donuts that his dad brought along with the squad (not that the coaches saw any!!!).

Well done boys!

Adam, Paul and Nick

Bottom Pitch:

Squad:
Aaron, Chris M, Joe, Luke S, Milan, Sachin, Sam

Match 1:
Our starting line up had Chris in goal, Joe and Milan as the main defenders, with Sachin in the defensive midfield position. Aaron and Luke were our midfield with Sam up front. We played the first half playing downhill and soon got into our stride with a goal in the second minute from Sam; Luke chipped the ball over the Holmer Green defence for Sam to latch onto the ball and score. Aaron made a darting run down the right wing and cut inside before hitting a great shot, which their keeper did well to save, diving low to his left. We added two more goals, one a penalty for Luke, the other a second goal for Sam, before half time but conceded a penalty, which was converted with the last kick of the half.

Chris had had a very quiet first half, well protected by Joe, Milan and Sachin, but we warned him to expect more action in the second half as Holmer Green were playing downhill; how right we were. Holmer Green started the half positively and Chris made three excellent stops in quick succession to keep them at bay. We looked to have held out until late in the half until we were caught trying to play our way out of the area and an unlucky rebound saw the ball creep into the corner, despite Chris’ best efforts. Suddenly from 3-0 up we were pegged back to 3-2 and on the back foot; Holer Green pressed and Chris was again tidy in goal before Luke played a long ball out of defence, beating their defenders for Sam to run on, beat a couple of their recovering players before rifling the ball into the bottom corner to secure his hat trick and the win.

Match 2:
This time we elected to play uphill first half with a much changed line-up in line with our policy of trying players in a variety of positions. Although Chris remained in goal for most of the game, all the other players moved around. The defenders were Sam and Aaron, Luke playing in defensive midfield, Milan and Joe becoming the midfield unit and Sachin up front. This match started with Holmer Green on top and once again Chris was excellent in goal, making one particular top class save, diverting the ball, which was heading into the top corner, over the bar. Two or three more times he was called into action and his handling was impeccable throughout the half. Then against the run of play, we went in front with an unstoppable into the far top corner from Luke. Sam and Aaron defended well, Sam in particular, proving what a good, solid defender he is becoming while Milan and Joe fulfilled their defensive duties when we were under pressure. Sachin had limited opportunity to show what he can do up front but his moment was to come in the second half.

So we turned round at half time maybe lucky to be 1-0 up but quickly came more into the game in the early stages of the second half. We moved Aaron up into midfield, dropping Milan back into defence and soon Aaron made a few incisive runs up the right wing and it was from that area that Sachin scored our second goal with a determined run and finish. Soon after that, Luke intercepted a clearance from their keeper and fired in another long range shot over the keeper and under the bar. At this point, Chris came out to play up front and Luke took over in goal. Despite some late pressure from Holmer Green, we held on for a win.

Full credit to both Holmer Green teams for their part in two really good matches; they played the game in the right way, with some good passing and were perhaps unlucky not to go away with at least a draw, although it was Chris’s goalkeeping rather than bad luck which prevented them getting anything out of the two games.

Well played everyone

Ian, Martin & Wayne

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