Sunday 9th December under 10s Red division v Downley Dynamoes

11/12/2012 at 12:23 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

Red B:

For the first time this season we had a full complement of 10 players to select from which meant that the players were going to get a bit less football (2.5 games instead of the usual 3). Downley are one of the two best sides in the area and we knew we were going to have tough matches against them so we prepared the players well, especially as a cold wind blew across Westwood Park taking the effective temperature way below the reported 6 degrees. We explained to the squad that they needed to play their natural passing game, support each other and work hard off the ball to beat Downley and that proved to be the case, as, with a little luck, we could have left the park with two wins.

Squad:

Chris M, Aakash, Akshay, Archie, Joe, Joss, Kian, Luke, Milan, Sam

Match 1: top pitch
We started very brightly, showing Downley that we could pass and move as well as them, with Kian in goal, Joe and Milan at the back, Sam holding the centre, Joss and Aakash in midfield and Archie up front, looking to add to his four goal display against Penn in our previous match. However, it was Downley who drew first blood with a fine goal; Kian left with no chance. Sam was very influential, tackling like a lion in centre midfield while Joe and Milan were solid behind him. Joss tackled and prompted our attacks from the right while Aakash did the same up the left flank. Archie worked hard with little service up front (his moment was to come in the second match). Half time: 0-0.

The three subs waited patiently for their chance and were duly introduced at half time; Chris in goal, Akshay into centre midfield and Luke in left midfield. Before long, Luke made a trade mark dribbling run into the box and was brought down for a penalty that even his Dad, as referee, had to give. Luke smashed the penalty low to the keeper’s right; 1-1. The game ebbed and flowed throughout the rest of the second half with both sides creating chances, but both keepers had good games to prevent any more goals and at the end it was all square. Joe and Joss shared right midfield duties, while Akshay distributed the ball really well in centre midfield, prompting several half chances for Luke, Aakash and Archie. Chris, despite the best efforts of Kian and Milan in defence, had to be alert several times to block Downley shots.

Match 2: bottom pitch
Once again, we started off as we had finished the previous game, passing the ball and moving well off the ball. Playing uphill we knew we would have our work cut out to keep a clean sheet. However, it was Luke who opened the scoring with a fine cross shot but Downley soon hit back with two quick two goals, the second of which was bundled over the line after Chris tipped the ball onto the bar. At this point it looked as though Downley might run riot. Chris made one excellent stop, coming out sharply to block at the feet of the onrushing forward. However we knuckled down and gradually got back into the game and Archie finished off a good move with a confident finish. Half time: 2-2.

We probably thought we had done the hard work, playing uphill and turning round all square and this thought was reinforced when Archie put us in front with 5 minutes left. After a good move, which resulted in Luke breaking clear on the left, beating his marker and striking the ball against the bar, Archie was alert to the rebound, shot against the keeper, who made a good block, but the rebound fell back to Archie who ran the ball into the empty net However, Downley had played good football throughout and weren’t going to give up without a fight. With little more than a minute on the clock, Downley moved the ball from back to front in 4 crisp passes, broke clear on our right flank and they scored with a cross shot into the far corner; 3-3. The last minute was evenly contested before the final whistle went.

Without a doubt, Downley are a good side and there was very little coaching needed from the sidelines as the players were bright enough to play their game so overall, these were two really good performances against quality opposition. We played the passing football the coaches want to see with a lot of confidence and, as the Downley managers said after the game, with a bit more luck we could have won both matches. All the players worked hard in whatever positions we put them in, kept their team shape and took their chances well. A little more composure and confidence on the ball, especially with our first touch in possession, will see the results improve into the second half of the season, matching their performances. Nevertheless, the Red B squad finish the first half of the season with four wins, three draws and five defeats, scoring 25 goals and conceding 22 goals. Roll on the second half of the season.

Ian, Adam & Martin

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