U10 Red; v Flackwell Heath; Sunday 3rd March

05/03/2013 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

On a fine almost spring-like morning we lined up against Flackwell Heath for our first matches for 3 weeks.

Red A:

Squad; Aaron, Alex Walker, Robert Worthington, Rishi, Joe, Chris Parsey, Wil and Charles

Flackwell Heath were always going to be the toughest opposition that we were probably going to play all season. They have a very skillful team, with very little weaknesses. We knew we would be in for two tough matches. Unfortunately, we lost Sachin and Guy to injury a few days before the match, but Joe kindly agreed to move across from the other Red team to give us 8 players.

Match 1

This was the most even of the two games. We matched Flackwell for the whole game. We didn’t create an awful lot of chances, but we made our tackles and kept our shape really well. Our defending at corners was the best it has ever been. Charles guarded the front post and Robert/Rishi headed every cross away. If they weren’t involved Alex took control with some excellent punching, getting the ball well out of the area. The remaining players marked their opposing numbers tightly. In fact, our marking throughout the game was very good. Unfortunately, just before half time, we conceded the only goal of the game. A well struck shot leaving Alex no chance.

The second half was very much counter attacking football from our boys. We created a few chances and right at the end, Rishi met Wil’s corner on the volley and smashed it straight at the keeper’s chin. Amazingly, the keeper kept it out and the ref blew the final whistle.

We kept battling throughout this match, but to be fair, we could have lost by 2 or 3 goals, had Alex not had his best performance ever between the sticks. He saved shot after shot, including a few really top saves.

Match 2

We thought this might be the tougher of the two games. We must have conceded the first goal within a minute. An unfortunate deflection off Wil. The next 14 minutes were a nightmare. 3 more goals and half the team falling out with each other. The main reason for the fallout was the frustration that their opponents were just so good. It was total defence. At half time, our lone forward asked to be moved as he was bored!

To their credit, the boys calmed down and matched their opponents in the second half. Although we went 5-0 down, we produced a lovely counter in which Rishi released Wil who coolly beat their keeper. With the smiles and celebrations that followed you would have thought we were 5-1 up. Shortly after that Aaron delivered a diagonal ball to Wil who crossed with Charles just out of reach. It was a classic counter attack and warranted a goal.

The final whistle went shortly afterwards.

For 45 minutes of the 60 minutes today, the boys were excellent. They were really up against it and battled hard, but played as a team. A tremendous defensive showing and great team work. I think they will probably learn quite a bit about themselves on the other 15 minutes.

Thanks to Joe for helping out. He played his part in making several important interceptions. Well done to Wayne for being the ref in the first game. Here’s to the next match!

Nick & Wayne

Red B:

We were missing Chris, our keeper, out through illness, and as the A squad were short of players, we moved Joe over to their squad, leaving us with 8 players.

Squad: Aakash, Akshay, Archie, Joss, Kian, Luke, Milan, Sam,

Match 1: Bottom Pitch.

Joss took the gloves, with Akshay and Milan at the back, and a midfield of Sam, Aakash and Luke with Archie up front. Kian started as sub.

We started playing down the slope and the first few minutes were competitive with Flackwell’s neat passing style working quite well without really opening us up at the back. We worked hard to contain them, pressing them well and limiting them to a few chances, mainly shots from distance. Joss was neat and tidy in goal, well protected by Milan, Akshay and Sam. We were a bit more direct, using long passes out of defence to avoid their pressing midfielders and we opened the scoring with a truly brilliant goal, involving all the players. From Milan and Akshay at the back, the ball was moved to Luke on the left, his first time long diagonal ball allowed Sam to move the ball quickly on to Aakash; his first time ball into the box from the right side found Archie, who took a touch before sliding the ball in to the corner of the net. This was quickly followed by a second goal, a well crafted move with a scruffy finish from Luke after a goalmouth scramble; two Flackwell defenders had the chance to clear Luke’s first effort but got in each other’s way a bit and in the confusion Luke poked the ball home. Half time 2-0.

Matches on the bottom pitch tend to be games of two halves and this was no different. We knew that we would have to defend well to contain Flackwell. Their main danger came from crosses from the right and several corners from both sides. Several of these were expertly delivered but either found Sam and Archie in commanding form or were slightly overhit. Kian had replaced Luke for the second half and was playing very tight on their midfield players, limiting their space. Milan, Sam and Akshay continued to play well under pressure at the back but we couldn’t prevent Flackwell from creating several good shooting chances. However, Joss was in top form in goal and made 2 or 3 genuinely great saves, diving full length to frustrate the opposition. Archie made way for Luke halfway through the half and we created one or two chances ourselves, mainly from long clearances to clear our lines but we couldn’t add to our tally. Final score: 2-0.

Match 2: Top Pitch.

We started the game well against a Flackwell side with some very skillful players and they had more of the early play. Joss was called into action a couple of times and Flackwell hit the post at least once. However, we were putting together attacks of our own and from one break Sam finished well. As in the first game, we soon followed up with a second goal. This time Archie put the finishing touch to a good move. Flackwell moved up a gear and their tricky left winger was causing all sorts of problems, beating our first defender almost at will and we had to defend in numbers to protect our lead until half time. Even then we had a run of corners as Flackwell struggled to clear their lines but we couldn’t force another goal. Half time 2-0.

The second half was equally well contested. Archie added another soon after the restart; Sam putting in a great low cross from the right and Archie twisted his body to turn the ball in from close range. 3-0 but still Flackwell Heath kept coming at us and a fine strike from their centre midfielder put them back in the game; he’d had several shots already which Joss and Akshay had saved or flew just wide and he deserved his goal. Soon it was 4-1 though; Sam scoring his second goal of the match when his cross from the right flew direct into the far corner of the net. 4-1 almost straight away became 4-2 with a slightly soft goal from a scuffed shot but by this time Akshay, who had taken over from Joss in goal, had made three or four excellent saves, including one catch from a corner which a regular keeper would have been proud of. We were now into the final minute but another Flackwell Heath attack brought a third goal for them. There was just time for Flackwell to mount another couple of attacks but we held out for well-deserved win. Final score: 4-3.

This was probably this squad’s best performance of the season against the team I consider to be the best in our league and they were rewarded with two wins. Everybody played their part. Joss, for three halves, and Akshay for one, were excellent in goal with both boys making save after save both proving to be quality understudies to Chris who was absent ill. Akshay was his usual cool self in defence while Milan was outstanding in defence throughout both games, drawing huge compliments from the opposition managers. Kian played in defence and midfield and was a real terrier harrassing their players into mistakes while Luke, Archie, Sam and Aakash passed the ball well creating chances for each other in the process.

Well done everyone

Ian, Adam & Martin

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