Aston Clinton tournament, Sunday 1st July 2012

11/07/2012 at 12:33 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 9s | Leave a comment

We took one team on our annual trip to Aston Clinton for our last tournament of the season. As usual we were in a group of 6 teams, giving us 5 matches before a possible semi final.

Squad: Aakash, Akshay, Alex W, Charles, Chris M, Kian, Luke, Sam

The group contained three teams we hadn’t played before, Watford Youth, Chesterton Juniors (from near Bicester) and Southall Youth. Our first match was against Watford Youth and after a slow start we got into our stride with some good flowing passing football. This was rewarded with a fine goal from Alex, who was enjoying a rest from goalkeeping duties with Chris taking the gloves for all bar one game. Charles then converted a penalty awarded for handball; a rising drive into the roof of the net which gave the Watford keeper no chance. Finally, a passing move involving all the players was finished well by Luke. Despite our dominance, they had a couple of chances and from one of them Chris made a fine reflex save to keep their score blank. A great start.

Next up were Chesterton Juniors and once again, despite a slow start we improved as the game went on; Luke scored 2 early goals either side of a goal from Aakash; 3-0 up after 4 minutes allowed us to make a change or two and play the game out easily.

Our third match was always going to be the most difficult, against Southall Youth. They play in the Harrow League which is full of strong and physical teams; it would be a good test of our progress this season. The game itself was a cracker, full of end to end attacking football. We had a chance to score in the first 3 minutes when their keeper miscued a clearing kick straight to Luke who shot over the bar from 10 yards. Alex gave Chris a rest in goal and kept a clean sheet, including a couple of smart saves. A 0-0 draw was a very credatable effort against the side who would eventually qualify top and win the final.

Matches 4 & 5 were against Risborough Rangers and Aston Clinton. After two wins and a draw with no goals conceded we were expecting another couple of wins but Risborough came out strongly and after a defensive mix up they took the lead. This would test the team, who had not yet been behind in the tournament. Our patience was rewarded when Aakash, after a period of sustained pressure and several close calls from our corners turned at the far post and hit a shot into the far top corner. A 1-1 draw was a fair result. Aston Clinton proved to be one of the the weaker teams in the group and we cruised to a 3-0 lead with a Luke hat trick.

Finishing second to Southall Youth in the group, who were unbeaten, meant a semi final against the Group A winners, Southall Town. Their team is full of academy players and play a very quick passing game and would prove to be strong opponents. By this stage Alex was injured, reducuing our squad options. However, we had our best start of the tournament so far and quickly put them under pressure. In the 3rd minute, Luke scored with a great right foot shot across the keeper and into the far corner. They were certainly rattled and we won two corners in quick succession but sharp clearances and good goalkeeping combined to keep us out. Then Luke was taken out just outside the box and the resulting free kick from Luke was brilliantly tipped onto the post and away by their (U8) keeper. Soon afterwards with a lightning quick counter attack, Southall equalised; despite Chris’s great save the ball looped up and just under the bar. Half time: 1-1 and all to play for. Southall started the first half much better than they had the first half and we were soon under pressure. We held them for a while but when one of our rare attacks broke down, they broke quickly and with a 3 on 2 scored their second. We then had to attack to try and get the equaliser and conceded again to put the result beyond doubt. A really good performance from all the team against very strong, and sometimes over robust, team.

Well done to all the boys.

Ian and Adam

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