U9 Red v Flackwell Heath; Sunday 1st April

04/04/2012 at 9:30 pm | Posted in Match Reports | Leave a comment

Top Pitch:

Aakash, Akshay, Archie, Joe, Kian, Luke S, Rishi, Robert W

Match 1
With Kian starting in goal, Rishi, Akshay and Robert looking after the defence, Luke and Aakash in midfield and Archie up front we started really well against a strong Flackwell Heath side and dominated the first half. Midway through the half, the ball came to Robert about 15 yards out and his first time right foot drive found the far bottom corner of the net. What a goal! A few more half chances came to nothing and Kian had little to do so we reached half time 1-0 up.

We switched Rishi into goal at half time, with Kian filling in in defence; Joe came on for Aakash. Flackwell were a much tougher proposition in the second half and we had our backs to the wall from the kick off. We defended well and Rishi made two excellent saves but Flackwell were not to be denied and their main striker plundered three quick goals, the best of which was curled left footed into the top corner. We made 2 or 3 half chances but couldn’t score before Flackwell secured the win with a tap in from a precise pass/cross from the left.

Match 2
Archie became our third goalie of the morning for the first half. The second Flackwell side started the game very well and scored a fine goal after 6 minutes with a hard low shot. However, we had by then already had a couple of good chances from goalmouth scrambles that we couldn’t quite convert so we were confident that we could fight back. Robert worked hard up front and came close to scoring a couple of times but Flackwell held firm though with a couple of stops from their keeper.

The second half was mainly one way traffic as we laid siege on their goal. Akshay was in great form, playing right midfield and from his runs we won 5 corners in a row but couldn’t find the breakthrough until Luke ran through a couple of tackles and finished well with a low shot. We upped our game again, and hit both posts and the bar; when we did beat the woodwork their keeper made an outstanding full stretch save. Back came Flackwell and Robert, by now taking his turn in goal, had to be alert with two really good saves; for the first he was sharply off his line to block at the forward’s feet, and the second was a reflex block with his outstretched left hand.

Overall, this was a good performance against two strong Flackwell sides and a draw and a defeat was a bit harsh on our boys as they had enough chances in the second game to win two games. Well done everyone on what was one of our best performances of the season especially to our four goalkeepers.

Ian, Adam & Martin

Squad: Aaron, Alex W, Luke B, Charles, Sam, Joss, Charlie & Milan

Match 1 (Westwood Park 3 v 1 Flackwell Heath)

Paul was the lead coach for these two games and we knew that we would have to play some good football to match up to Flackwell who are a very good side. Alex W played in goal for the entire match and Paul pretty much kept the outfield players in the same formation/positions throughout. The first half set the tone for the entire two matches. Both sides tried to play flowing football, with lots of passing. It’s true that kids don’t really learn to pass a ball in a match situation until they reach U9s (don’t ask me why!).

Westwood were soon ahead, when a four man move was finished off by a clinical finish from Aaron. Most of the remainder of the half was spent on the attack. Milan and Joss were great at winning their tackles and then making telling passes to our front 3. Sam sat in the middle of the park and orchestrated most of our best play. He was strong in defence and surged forward when he could. Flackwell are a good side and just before half time they equalised with a shot which Alex W couldn’t quite keep out.

The second half was just Westwood attacking. Just when it looked like the game was going to be a draw, the boys produced a great goal. Alex W’s long goal kick was worked by Milan to Charles on the right wing, who easily beat his man and delivered a fantastic cross, which Luke B expertly volleyed into the back of the net! Just to finish things off, and give a true reflection of the game, Aaron latched on to a loose ball and coolly finished off a one on one with the goalkeeper. A very well deserved win.

Match 2 (Westwood Park 0 v 1 Flackwell Heath)

Our second game was just end to end. Westwood had several near misses and Flackwell hit the post twice. In between, Alex W produced a few trademark saves, including once destined for the top corner. I’m not really sure how it ended 0-0 at half time! Not a lot changed in the second half, Charlie came on for Joss and Sam went in goal with Alex W aking up his position. The boys continued to play with great energy and their passing was top drawer. Sam was very secure in goal, catching everything without a fumble. Unfortunately, there was a sting in the tail. A long shot from wide on the right flew over Sam and into the top corner. A fantastic goal!

The boys continued to press, but could’t quite get back into the game. No special mentions this time to any individual as this was a collective effort that really showed how much the boys are coming on. Thanks to Martin for being the ref in our first game.

Paul, Wayne & Nick

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