Under 8 vs Rowhedge (Home)
Our Under 8’s were at home to Rowhedge but unfortunately lost their way a little, losing 6-0 after a 7-0 defeat last week. The boys are lacking a little confidence at the moment.
Under 10 vs Layer Colts (Saturday) & Bures United (Sunday) (Both away)
Our Under 10’s played both Saturday and Sunday this week to play ‘catch up’ on all the games postponed due to the weather this season. The first game on Saturday was away to Layer Colts, where they won 3-1.
The second game, also away, was on Sunday when they drew 2-2 with Bures United. In fact they nearly made it two wins in a row but Bures scored with almost the last kick of the game.
Under 14 vs Stanway Villa (Open Cup Semi-Final at Wivenhoe Town FC)
The Under 14’s were playing the first of their two cup semi final dates vs Stanway Villa in the Open Cup at Wivenhoe Town FC.
It was a warm sunny afternoon and when the match got underway both sides started with a fast tempo, although neither side could string many passes together as the pitch was a little bumpy and it caused lots of passes to be miss-controlled. There were not too many clear chances, but it was nice to see our boys have a shot at goal from distance when the opportunity arose. Max hit one shot a few feet wide of the right post, and Ollie’s effort from 20 yards was straight at the keeper.
Both sides were working hard to close the other down and Villa often had 2 or 3 players snapping at our heels when we had possession, but midway through the half we found a breakthrough. Mickey stole the ball just inside their half and played a 1-2 with Ollie, then another with James and found himself in the Villa penalty area and then he guided the ball past the keeper and into the far corner. There were 3 teammates all waiting for the square pass and I’m sure he was trying to set them up, but he tells me he meant to shoot. Either way it was brilliant play and we were glad to have taken the lead.
We continued to mount some pressure on the Villa defence with James dominating the aerial challenges and causing the Villa defence all sorts of problems, but we couldn’t make a clear opening. Ben caused their keeper a moment of concern though when the ball was cleared to him about 25 yards out and he had a lofted shot that almost bounced up and over the Villa ‘keeper.
It wasn’t all one way though and Villa often counter-attacked with pace, but our defence held firm and stopped the forwards getting any shots at Connor. Their best chance actually came due to ‘keeper Connor taking a drop kick over the 18 yard line before releasing it so a free kick was awarded. The referee should have awarded an indirect free kick for hand ball, but allowed the Villa forward to step up and have the shot, but thankfully it went over.
In the last few minutes of the half a cross-come-shot from the right corner of our 18yard line looked destined to sneak into the far top corner, but Connor was alert and turned the ball away to send us into the half time break with the slender lead.
The start of the second half saw us very disjointed, quiet and really sluggish. Villa were on top for a good 10 minutes before we got going again, with our back 4 again standing fast. There was one good effort of note though when a clearance fell to a Villa forward who hit a 1st time lob that had Connor beaten, but landed on the roof of the net.
We got ourselves back on track with Mickey, Leo and James working hard together to keep the ball and ease the pressure on our defence and when they could bring the midfield into the game too we looked very good in possession.
Ollie made another great chance for Mickey with a perfect pass and although it was well struck, Mickeys shot was well saved by the keeper. Not long after that Mickey and Leo combined well to set up James, but his shot was wide and we wondered if we would rue those chances being missed.
The last 10 minutes saw Villa give it a good go to find an equaliser, but each of our players dug in and worked so hard to close them down and try to stop them playing that Villa couldn’t get a sight of goal.
So the match finished 1-0 and we can look forward to the Open Cup Final next month.
Man of the Match was Ollie Sanderson who worked tirelessly in the middle of the pitch and was the main player that looked to get us passing, but every player deserves a lot of credit.
The Under 18’s have finished their time in youth football, so no more reports from them!
Next weeks fixtures – Sunday 28th April (unless stated otherwise):
- Rowhedge vs Under 8
- Clare Town Lions vs Under 10
- Notley Youth vs Under 14 – League Cup Semi Final, Friday 26th April at Halstead Town FC, kick off 7.30pm.
- Under 14 vs Bures United, kick off 10.30am (subject to final confirmation)
- Under 18 – no game