U10s Red A v Cookham Dean; 9th February 2013

11/02/2013 at 12:12 am | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

Squad; Aaron, Archie, Alex Walker, Charles, Charlie, Chris Parsey, Milan, Wil

Paul was head coach for these matches. Due to the games being played on a Saturday, we had half the normal squad available. To get us to 8 players, we were joined by Charlie, Milan and Archie. We’ve had all kinds of weather this weekend. I’m blogging as it’s snowing outside, but for these matches we had a strong cold wind and light rain to contend with. The pitches were marked out a little strangely as well and were probably the largest our boys have ever played on!

Match 1

Archie started off the game with a rasping shot that went just over the bar. This was followed up by a trademark dribble and shot by Charles that was well saved by their keeper. Shortly before half time, Aaron capped off a lovely move and sent us in at 1-0.

Not long into the second half and it was all square. A poor clearance fell nicely to their midfielder who coolly lobbed Alex in goal. This spurred us and Wil firstly took a good quick throw to Aaron that ended in us getting a corner; Wil delivered a perfect corner which Archie just headed over. On the rare counter-attack, Milan was expert in his cover tackles. Soon afterwards both Aaron and Archie went close to scoring. Finally, Charles set off down the middle on a counter attack of his own and squared it to Archie who put us in the lead. We then pressed their defence and a misplaced pass was seized on by Archie to give a final score of 3-1. Two excellent halves of football.

Match 2

Wel,l some other bunch of players turned up for the next 15 minutes! We were totally awful. Nothing to blog other than they scored 3 goals (no defence) and they also skied over a penalty.

Paul then produced the Fergie hair-drier team talk and that kicked the boys back into action. Wil scored a quick goal to make it 3-1, but a defensive error quickly lead to it being 4-1. To their credit the boys pushed on and a good interchange between Charles and Archie, finished with Archie getting our second and his third of the day. Aaron had a couple of long shots that went over, but we created so many chances that just missed the final ball. Unfortunately, we finished losing 4-2.

Lots of attacking talk, but some of the stars of the show were defensive. Milan never missed a tackle and worked well with Chris Parsey. Both are small players, but they mixed it well with their larger opponents. Charlie played a couple of halves and grew into the games. Alex really didn’t have a chance with the 5 goals he conceded. His distribution from hand was excellent, getting us moving swiftly downfield. Archie was excellent throughout with his surging runs and great finishing.

Overall, we played three excellent halves of football and one nightmare! The conditions were not great but the boys should be pleased with their performances.

Paul, Wayne & Nick

Yellow; Flackwell Heath (friendly)

10/02/2013 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

The match today was supposed to be against Aylesbury Town and Downley Dynamoes. Unfortunately Aylesbury could not raise a team for this but we thought we would go ahead with the fixture anyway with the three teams. 15 minutes had passed the kick off time and no sign of Downley. We decided that the buddy teams would play against each other in a friendly as the boys were keen to play a game of football.

Squad: Adam, Alex J, Antonio, Charlie, Fionn, Gabriel, Kaushal, Matthew & Christopher M

We decided to play three 20 minute matches. The boys were under a fair bit of pressure from the start from a good passing Flackwell team. But our defence was strong as I started with Kaushal in goal protected by Alex J, Antonio and our ever present left back Arjan! We did manage to break away a couple times with Gabriel, Fionn and Matthew pressing forward to get the ball to Christopher. Matthew was making some great runs pressurising their defence. Unfortunately after several great saves from Kaushal the deadlock was broken. 0-1.

In the second game we seemed to find our feet a bit more and started to use the pitch. Adam was on and made some great mazy runs. Our defence was again strong and Gabriel controlling things from what should of been the middle of the field but he seemed to be everywhere (that boy has some energy)! The game was played mainly in the middle of the park but Charlie and Fionn played well down the wings and Alex J played some real intelligent football not letting a player past him. Deadlock at the final whistle. 0-0.

The third and final match saw Antonio have a go in goal using my gloves as none of the others fitted him! Antonio made some great saves so hopefully this will encourage him to play more in goal because I think he could do well in this position. Unfortunately he could not stop all the shots and a couple crept passed him. I think this was down to the boys getting tired legs as the pitch was heavy.

Although I think we only managed one or two shots on goal overall the boys played well especially in their defensive duties.

Thanks to Ian and Paul (Flackwell Heath Red Division Manager) for refereeing the matches for me.

Cheers

Paul

Red A v Marlow Youth; Sunday 3rd February 2013

08/02/2013 at 9:24 am | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

Red A:

Squad; Alex Walker, Robert Worthington, Aaron, Chris Parsey, Rishi, Charles, Wil, Guy & Sachin

Despite the bitterly cold wind blowing across the park the pitch was in pretty good condition and was set up for a good passing session. Wayne called the boys together and set them up in a 3-2-1 set up, with the back two wide players acting as wing backs. The boys have really taken to this set up as it gives them all a chance to get forward.

We played on the top pitch first, which is somewhat flatter than the bottom pitch. The boys were eager to play with all the games and training they have missed over the month. In fact the hardest bit of the warm up was calming them down to play!!!

Match 1

Marlow were a big physical side that played quite a bit of route one football. They weren’t afraid to shoot either. The boys were very quick at blocking shots and then getting the ball down and playing some nice passing football. It wasn’t long before Aaron (our lone striker) cooly beat their goalie from close range. That looked like being the score until just before half time, when Marlow had a shot from the edge of the box that nestled in the bottom corner. Straight through a crowded box. Alex never saw it. Not a bad first half, but we needed a lift.

The boys were up for the battle in the second half and almost straight away we got a free kick. Say 20 yards out. Nick told Robert to shoot and he did. A peach of a free kick went soaring past the goalie for 2-1. The boys were now playing lovely passing football. Great interchanges with Charles, Aaron and Guy, resulted in a second goal for Aaron. After that, Charles went close from a lovely free kick from Robert. Then Rishi stepped forward. I think the whole team had a touch in the attack. Rishi pushed forward from his left wing back role and stretched to put away a fine finish after a great cross from Charles. Soon afterwards, the final whistle went. 4-1 was a well deserved score. It could have been more and has certainly been coming from the previous performances. Happy faces all round!

Match 2

Now could the boys put two impressive performances together??? The answer was yes. This time Marlow were more of a threat and it was a cracking match. Alex hardly had a thing to do in Match 1, but was kept busy this time. If I could give a goal to the person who tackles the most in a match then step forward Sachin. He was tenacious in the tackle, but also has quick feet. He scored a lovely goal early on in this match which set us on our way. Again though we conceded just before half time. We’re not the biggest team around and Robert (our tallest player) was sub and a perfectly flighted corner came in and was headed past Alex for 1-1. The equaliser was deserved as they had come close before. One shot against the crossbar and one stunning save by Alex from a flick on at a corner. Saying that our passing game was creating lots of chances as well.

The boys were stronger in the second half and pressed for a winner. After several near misses, Charles dribbled past a couple of players and passed the ball into the net. There was no way back for Marlow from that. We were winning all the tackles. Chris was his cultured self, working well with Wil down the left. They bonded well and always seemed to know when the other was making a break. Guy was winning every tackle at centre back and always seemed to have that extra bit of time to start us moving forward. It was one of those games that you didn’t want to finish, but finish it did with a second victory for the boys.

This was probably the best performance from the boys this season. I seem to say this each time, but they are really growing into a very good team that works for each other and celebrates with each other. Their passing today was far too good for a strong Marlow team. Great defending and attacking. They listened to instructions. Wil was exceptional at that (learning to stay or go forward).

Thanks for the encouragement from the parents. I think they enjoyed it all as much as the boys. Thanks also to Paul for being the ref in the second match.

Well done boys!

Wayne & Nick

U10 friendly v Flackwell Heath

14/01/2013 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 10s | Leave a comment

On a freezing Sunday morning we took a squad of 11 players, a mixture of Red A, Red B and Yellow team players to Flackwell Heath for a friendly fixture to start the second half of our season.

Match 1:

We agreed to play 3 matches of 20-25 minutes, two 7-a-side matches and one 9-a-side match. Given the cold weather, rolling subs were the order of the day as with 11 players we didn’t want any players spending too long on the sidelines.

The first match started with Flackwell playing their trademark passing game, excellent first touch and control complemented by good movement off the ball and we struggled to get much of the ball in the first 10 minutes. Indeed, almost the whole of the first 10 minutes seemed to be spent in our penalty box but a combination of good goalkeeping from Rishi and defensive efforts from Charles, Akshay, Milan and Kian in particular prevented more than one goal being scored. Gradually we worked our way back into the game but conceded a second goal before Sachin made a strong run through the middle of the Flackwell defence and drilled a low shot into the goal. For the last few minutes of the game we had 2 or 3 half chances to score, but couldn’t quite manage an equaliser.

Overall, the first game was a bit of a game of two halves; for the first 15 minutes we struggled to keep the ball and had to defend resolutely. We competed much better for the final 10 minutes, deserved our goal and could have come away with a draw but on balance Flackwell were well worth their 2-1 win.

Match 2:

The second game started where the first game had finished; end to end football with Flackwell showing a bit more patience and passing the ball better while we showed a bit more defensive organisation and urgency in moving the ball forward. We took the lead about half way through the match; Will stabbed the ball home after a goal mouth scramble; their keeper was very unlucky having made two excellent blocks, Will was just more determined than their defenders to get to the loose ball. The second half of the match had plenty of chances, with Luke probing down the left, Sachin starting to dominate the midfield defensively and our defenders (Archie, Milan, Kian, Akshay, Robert O & Charles) were all outstanding while Rishi was as solid as a rock in goal. He was confident coming out to meet the ball, his handling was good and most importantly, given our ability at times to give away soft goals through poor decision making at the back, his distribution was very good. We held out for the 1-0 win; a much improved performance overall from the first game.

Match 3: 9-a-side

Part of the logic of this friendly was to give the players a first taste of the 9-a-side football they will play next season so we moved over to Flackwell’s big pitch for the third game and had a 20 minute 9-a-side match. I thought the bigger playing area might suit Flackwell more than us but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Flackwell play a fluid passing game, requiring a good first touch and more measured build up. Our game is more dynamic, relying more on pace and good defence and the bigger pitch certainly gave us the opportunity to play our own game. The game was end to end and Flackwell certainly had chances to score but our defensive line was excellent, showing great discipline and intelligence. Several speedy breakaways down the left by Sachin and Luke, produced corners delivered expertly by Luke into the box but we couldn’t quite get a finish despite the best efforts of Archie especially to get on the end of them. Flackwell had several chances, more from open play, but again our defence and midfield were their equal and Rishi’s handling stayed solid throughout. After 15 minutes we built another attacking break and Will burst through the Flackwell back line. Just as he entered the box, a Flackwell defender made his tackle but caught Will before the ball from behind; penalty. Will stepped up and duly despatched the ball into the net; 1-0. The game carried on in the same vein and we agreed to extend the game to 25 minutes. The last 5 minutes saw chances at both ends before, with seconds remaining, Will again beat the last defender and was brought down in the box. Penalty? Alas, the tackle happened just after time was up according to our referee!

This was a very useful friendly against very strong opposition and we improved as the matches went on. I believe we were a little fearful of the opposition in the first game but once we realised that we could hold our own against them, we grew in confidence and consequently played better football. Overall, Flackwell played neater more controlled football but we were better organised defensively and showed more pace going forward. In the 9-a-side format, we showed real pace and energy going forward and equal determination getting back to defend. The other major factor was that Flackwell were managing a squad of 15 against our 11 and the regular substitutions did disjoint their play a little.

There were excellent games from all the players. Rishi was excellent in goal, Sachin equally good leading the attack, breaking up play in midfield and bursting forward when required. Luke’s set piece delivery and eye for a pass stood out while Charles is really growing into an all round player, comfortable in defence or midfield, and starting to become a real leader on the pitch. Archie, Aakash and Will, after slow starts in the first game, grew in stature as the games went on, especially effective going forward while also working hard tackling back and breaking up their attacks. Our main defenders were Akshay, Kian and Milan, although they all had spells in midfield or up front, and they dealt really well with all that Flackwell threw at them, judging when to tackle and when to close down very well. Robert O worked hard in midfield and didn’t look out of place even though he has played all his football so far this season in the Yellow division.

Well done to all the players and coaches Adam and Paul who ran the games from the side, constantly supporting and encouraging the players on the pitch and making sure that the players on the sideline did not stay there too long in the freezing cold.

Ian

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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