Aston Clinton tournament, Sunday 26th June 2011

08/07/2011 at 11:10 am | Posted in Match Reports, Under 8s | Leave a comment

We took two squads of 7 players to the Aston Clinton tournament, our last tournament of the season. We have sent 11 teams to 8 tournaments this summer giving everyone the chance to play some end of season football.

Our squads were equal strength and played in separate divisions.

Group One
Aston Clinton A, Aston Clinton B, P&TG, Bletchley, Risborough Rangers A

Squad: Aaron, Sam, Charlie, Matthew, Rishi, Robert W, Jacob,

Report to follow.

Group Two
Aston Clinton C, Hanwell Town, P&TG, Samba, Risborough Rangers B

Squad: Luke, Charles, Milan, Lucas, Gabriel, Christopher M, Arjan

This looked the tougher group including two teams we haven’t played before, Hanwell Town (who had just won the U9s section, beating our own very strong U9s, who had won all their group games, in the U9 semi final) and Samba.

We opened with a fine win through an excellent hat trick from Luke and a terrific low strike into the bottom corner from Charles. Gabriel was very lively from the start, winning tackles and moving the ball on in midfield and Christopher, Arjan and Lucas at the back were very solid without coming under too much pressure. Milan came on up front in the second half and settled into the game straight away with several purposeful runs at their defence.

Second up were Samba; a strong side in the recent Flackwell tournament, but we were soon 3-0 up through a fine poacher’s hat trick from Luke and despite a consolation goal (Gabriel had no chance in goal) we cruised to our second win. Christopher had a rare chance to play up front and proved very effective in his simple execution of receiving the ball and moving it on quickly to our oncoming midfield players before moving forward himself into dangerous positions.

Christopher was back in more familiar territory in goal for our most challenging match, against Hanwell Town who had won their first two games at a canter. They were strong and physical and out muscled us for the first two goals although the two finishes left Christopher with no chance in goal and then added a third in the second half. We lost a bit of composure but rallied through another goal from Luke and with a bit more luck could have scored again when the rub of the green went against us. This was an important lesson for the boys in that we will come up against teams playing a physical game as we move up through the age groups.

The final two matches were more like normal South Bucks league fixtures against first Risborough Rangers and then Penn & Tylers Green, teams we had met at their respective tournaments. The Risborough game ended all square; they equalised Milan’s piledriver of a shot into the far top corner fairly late on. The final game of the tournament and our season ended with a win against P&TG, goals from Luke and Charles proving decisive.

Overall, this was a fine performance from the boys; so that’s the end of a very successful season. I will post a summary of our season in due course.

Well done to all the boys today!

Ian and Paul

St Josephs Tournament, Sunday 19th June

21/06/2011 at 11:56 am | Posted in Match Reports, Under 8s | Leave a comment

This was our penultimate tournament of the season and we took a team to this tournament for the third year running. The hosts play in the Harrow League and we always get to play against sides we don’t normally come up against in the main season.

Squad:
Charles, Alex, Luke, Milan, Christopher P, Aaron, Rishi

We were scheduled 4 matches in a very strong group against Acton Ealing Whistlers, Parkfield, St Lawrence and Cafe Bulls.

Acton EW were first up for us and a close game was decided right at the end by a fine finish from their forward after some hesitation in our defence. We definitely deserved a draw after an evenly contested match of few clear cut chances. Luke had a good shot saved by their keeper and another effort blocked. Alex was tidy in goal, Milan and Christopher very solid at the back, while Luke, Charles and Aaron couldn’t quite break them down going forward.

Parkfield were next and we fought out the first of two 0-0 draws with them. This game had plenty of chances for both sides; they are a strong side in their league and this was a creditable result, although it was a little disappointing that we could not score, as we tested their goalkeeper with several attempts on goal but just couldn’t apply the finishing touch.

St Lawrence came next and we came very close to securing a draw after being 2-0 down as a result of goals scored in quick succession either side of half time. With a minute left, Rishi scored, finishing good work from Alex, Milan, Charles and Luke, setting up a grandstand finish but we were unlucky not to equalise. Well done to Aaron, who volunteered to go in goal and made a stunning save in the very first minute.

Our final match should have been against Cafe Bulls but they did not turn up so we arranged an extended 15 minute additional match against Parkfield. Once again this finished 0-0 but was probably the best 0-0 we have played all season. The game was end to end; Luke smashed a shot at their goal which hit their goalkeeper and bounced away while Alex made save after save. Alex’s performance in goal was a fine example of all aspects of goalkeeping from shot stopping to clean catching and ball distribution.

Overall, we performed better than the results we showed. Well done to all the players who battled throughout, especially Christopher, Milan and Rishi who were tireless in defence and midfield and Alex in goal.

Ian and Wayne

Wendover Tournament, Saturday 18th June

18/06/2011 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 8s | Leave a comment

Several drop outs in the week leading up to the tournament meant that we travelled with a squad of 7 but given the weather forecast of heavy rain I didn’t want any extra subs on the sidelines anyway with all matches played as 6-a-side. The team performed admirably in the conditions, never complaining about the inclement weather.

Squad:
Daniel, Robert W, Luke, Toby, Christian, Adam, Joe

Once again in a tournament we found ourselves up against Flackwell Heath and once again we went down by the only goal. This time however it had more to do with our slow start than their excellence but they did score with a fine strikers finish into the bottom corner; Daniel in goal had no chance.

The next games were Wendover, where we came back from 1-0 down to draw with a fine solo goal from Luke, and Marlow United, where Luke’s solo run and finish was the only goal of the game. Their goal came as a result of some indecisive distribution at the back and we probably deserved to win this game on chances created.

Our first ever game against Bucks CC from Stoke Mandeville produced our best overall display of the tournament; a left foot shot from Luke and a good finish from Toby, after a move involving Christian and Joe, proved decisive.

Our last game proved that we can come back from being behind; at half term we trailed to a good team goal from a team playing excellent passing football but came back with great determination and 2 Luke goals.

Despite the weather the boys performed very well. We passed the ball very well and despite the players being asked to play in several different positions over the course of the afternoon we never lsot our team shape.

Robert’s fine saves against Bucks CC and tireless work as a forward were a highlight. Luke scored 5 goals, all good finishes with one lob from the half way line and one after a mazy dribble being the best. Christian was all energy in playing his best group of games of the season and took up several good attacking positions without reward. Daniel was assured when in goal and defence and tenacious going forward while Toby’s determination and endeavour in midfield and defence were rewarded with a goal in the fourth game. Joe toiled hard mainly in midfield, putting in tackle after tackle while Adam was a revelation in defence with his anticipation and tackling, often as the last man, and worked hard up front when he had the opportunity.

Well done and thanks to everyone, not least the parents who also battled the elements in their support of the team, and special thanks to David for his help on the sidelines.

Ian

Flackwell Heath Tournament, Monday 30th May 2011

11/06/2011 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 8s | Leave a comment

This was our first visit to a tournament at Flackwell Heath; they are good friends of ours, playing in the same league division, a very strong club and our “buddies” next year when we will field a third team each fixture weekend along with one of their teams.

Squad:
Aaron, Charles, Daniel, Jude, Lucas, Luke, Robert, Toby

We were in a strong 6 team league, including the hosts. Unfortunately the weather was poor; the first matches started in a steady drizzle and that continued for the duration of the afternoon. However, despite this, the squad were focussed and determined and played good football throughout. We were rewarded with some good goals and some good results.

First up were Marlow United and a game which we dominated territorially ended all square; Charles scoring with a strong shot to equalise their equally fine opener. Despite having the majority of the posession, Marlow almost won it with a cross shot just flying wide of the far post.

Widmer End were next; we’d played them at previous tournaments and won relatively easily. However, today was different and needed Luke’s good finish to take the spoils.

Bourne End play in a league below us so we weren’t familiar with them but they proved to be strong opponents. Playing a more direct game with 2-3 players left up front ready for the long ball out of defence, they attacked dangerously as several time we found their players in behind our defence and only a great save by Aaron saved the draw; Daniel scoring our only goal.

Our fourth match was against Flackwell Heath who have recently added players to make them the strongest side in South Bucks. They had won their first 4 matches by a minimum of 3-0 and so presented the strongest opposition. We asked the players to defend strongly and attack in numbers when we won the ball and that is exactly what we did backed up by good goalkeeping by Daniel. Flackwell’s play was, as usual, neat passing with attacking intent but we defended well; Jude was very disciplined as a sole defender with Toby and Charles helping him out with timely tackles and holding their positions very well. Luke and Aaron (then Lucas) tried to move the ball forward quickly when we won possession and Robert, despite a lack of opportunity, stuck to his task really well, learning that sometimes as a striker your effort and good movement
doesn’t always result in many chances. The game was decided by an excellent corner which Daniel almost saved but couldn’t quite prevent the ball crossing the line; a very creditable result against very strong opposition.

Finally, we played Downley Dynamoes against whom we had struggled in the league. However, despite using rolling subs throughout the game, we kept our shape and scored 3 good goals, holding out under late pressure to win. Jude scored twice, both excellent finishes, with Luke adding the third.. This was just reward for his sterling defensive work earlier in the day.

Summary:
Aaron worked as hard as I’ve seen him this season, constantly tracking up and back when in midfield and holding his position very well in his game in defence. Added to this, was his exceptional save onto the cross bar against Bourne End.

Charles was as busy as ever; tricky twists and turns in tight spots are his speciality, often coming away with the ball just when I think he’s about to lose posession. He added a fine strike for the goal in the first match and tackled strongly when asked to play in defence.

Daniel played 2 games in goal, having no chance with the goals scored by Marlow and Flackwell Heath. When in defence he was our most disciplined player.

Lucas played in three different positions and was determined in all three. Defensively solid in the tackle and plucky in midfield, he also had a spell up front and was very unlucky when a snap shot from a poor defensive clearance was ruled not to have crossed the line.

Luke had games in defence and midfield and as usual got past players with ease when attacking in wide positions. One or two crosses just eluded his colleagues and two goals completed a fine day.

Robert also played all over the pitch. Up front against Flackwell Heath must have been a little frustrating as we had few attacking opportunities but he stuck to his task well and his sense of when to come out of goal stood him in good stead in the final game against Downley as he successfully closed out their only chances. In between, he was effective in the tackle in midfield.

Toby is so strong in midfield, winning most of his tackles and was unlucky not to score with several last ditch challenges preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Jude played a game in goal, keeping a clean sheet and two games in defence. The game against Flackwell Heath being his best as he followed his instructions to the letter maintaining his defensive watch throughout. The final game saw him playing up front and his two goals proved what a versatile player he is.

Goals: Luke (2); Jude (2); Charles and Daniel

Ian

Risborough Rangers tournament, Sunday 15th May

20/05/2011 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Match Reports, Under 8s | Leave a comment

We took a squad of 9 players to Risborough Rangers last Sunday afternoon to play in their annual 7-a-side tournament. The squad was:

Charles, Robert W, Alex J, Alex W, Luke, Milan, Aaron, Christopher P, Joss

Once again we tried to give all the players experience in different positions, with all playing in at least 2 different positions, with 4 players experiencing 3 or 4 positions.

Our first match was against Haddenham, who we had also played at the Penn tournament. Another close game remained goalless with Alex W in goal, and Alex J and Christopher solid at the back while Milan worked hard as striker without seeing too much of the ball.

Second up was Chinnor Youth, and this game was decided by a fantastic strike into the top corner of the net by Luke, after several fine saves from their keeper. Milan also weighed in with two blocks in one on ones with their strikers.

Marlow United, old friends from the last league season, were next and another close game ended goalless as neither side could break down the opposing defence.

Our fourth game, against Hemel Athletic, a new team for us looked to be our most difficult after they had easily beaten Chinnor in their first game, scoring almost at will. They looked a fine passing side and so we set up slightly differently with Robert as a permanent defender, and Luke and Charles just in front of him as defensive midfielders. With Alex W in goal, this was a very strong defensive line up, designed to prevent them passing the ball around and to the great credit of all the players it worked very well, although Alex W had to pull off two or three very good saves to keep the game scoreless.

Our last game, against one of the host’s teams was also a tight affair, with few chances created. Robert had one save to make in goal but had no chance when their biggest player hit a free kick into the bottom corner from distance. We rallied though and a shot from Aaron was heading towards the goal before Alex W diverted the ball past their keeper.

Overall, this was a fine performance from all the squad, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament, Christopher showed what a good and patient passer of the ball he is; Luke drove forward and made several excellent low crosses from wide areas, with both left and right feet that just eluded the attacking efforts of our strikers. Joss got stuck in as usual, taking what are becoming his trade mark blocks with his body to prevent goals. Alex W scored a goal and saved a few more; Aaron was busy and especially effective as striker while Milan ran and tackled throughout. Robert W was a rock in defence in the Hemel game, holding his position really well and was unlucky not to score against Marlow United when his snap shot went just wide. Charles tackled, dribbled and passed really well in midfield and Alex J was dependable, mainly in defence, but also in the one game he played as striker.

Ian & Nick

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