The Under 8’s closed their season with a “double header”, playing both Saturday and Sunday this week: On Saturday they hosted Great Bradfords and despite dominating a lot of the game they could not get the ball into the net and the visitors punished them with their only two real chances of the game, running out 2-0 winners.
On Sunday they were also at home, this time to Oyster Youth from West Mersea and a keenly contested game saw the visitors take the lead but Bergholt battled back to score a good equaliser to end their season with a creditable 1-1 draw that bodes well for their next campaign at Under 9’s starting in September.
Under 10 away to Great Cornard & home to Bures United
Following on from their first ever friendly at the new 9 vs 9 format away to Gt Cornard during the week (which Bergholt won 2-0), the Under 10’s we also playing their last game of the season at home to Bures United. However the visitors seemed to be up for this game and attacked the home side from the first whistle, and Bergholt soon found themselves 2-0 down. Despite huffing and puffing, the home side couldn’t seem to get a clear shot on target in the first half and the whistle went with the scoreline unchanged.
The second half started with a slight changes to the personnel and Bergholt rolled up their sleeves and gave it a real go. Within a couple of minutes a good move saw Tyler receive the ball back from a corner and hit a powerful shot to the ‘keepers near post which flashed past him before he had seen it to bring Bergholt back into the game. Suddenly the home team’s tails were up. A few minutes later, and it was Tyler again breaking forward to score the equaliser. However the well organised Bures team were not going to take these setbacks laying down and they again got onto the front foot to score a good goal from a run, cross and first time shot. In the final minutes as Bergholt pressed hard for another equaliser, the visitors hit them more to make the final score a rather flattering 5-2 win to Bures.
Open Cup Final – Under 14 vs Bures United
It was the Open Cup Final for the Under 14’s this week where we faced Bures United, the team we had beaten in our last league match of the season last week. This week was always going to be different, as cup finals are usually really closely fought matches with both sides giving their all to win the trophy.
Both sides were missing key players through injury (James Holden was the unfortunate one for us, and we hope he’ll be OK to take part next week) and it took 10 minutes or so for either side to really get to grips with the game.
Bures have some quick forwards and our defence did well to reduce them to one effort on target, which Connor saved easily, and one that went wide in the first half. We had a couple of speculative shots from distance from Max and Ollie that didn’t trouble the Bures’ ‘keeper. For the last 20 minutes of the half we were the better side and with a little less weight on a couple of through balls we might have made a few more chances. However, midway through the half a clearance from Jamie was well controlled by Ben and he laid the ball off to Ollie who ran it from the centre circle towards the right corner of the 18 yard box. As no Bures defender closed him down he took the chance to hit an unstoppable shot over the keeper and into the top left corner to put us into the lead. Cue rapturous cheers from the Bergholt players & supporters as Ollie soaked up the adoration!
Soon after Bures conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area inside the “D” and Max stepped up to fire a well struck shot that we all thought would nestle inside the right hand post, but it was unfortunately just a whisker wide. Sam had one of his trademark headers from Ollie’s free kicks, but it was cleared off the line by a well-placed defender. Owen and Mickey had shot each that were under hit and comfortable for the keeper and from another Ollie free kick, Max ghosted into the 6 yard box at the far post, but the keeper was in the right place to block his effort and grab it at the second attempt. The half time whistle sent us into the break with a 1-0 advantage and we hoped that we could continue in the same manner and maybe grab another couple of goals in the second half.
We did indeed play the same for the first 25 minutes with some excellent football being played at times, especially as on Wivenhoe’s large bobbly & hard pitch. With Owen giving us a little more width we got into some good areas and made a few early half chances, but we just couldn’t get that perfect strike on goal. Bures were plugging away, but had little penetration upfront and Jamie and Sam were clearing any danger. The main worry we had was from corners and set pieces as Bures could fill the box and try and find the equaliser. Thankfully that did not come and we extended our lead with 20 minutes to go. A neat bit of football down the left between Ollie and Leo led to Leo shooting and although the keeper made the save, the ball fell kindly for Mickey and he side footed the ball into the empty net. Cue the rapturous cheers again and Mickey’s strong-man salute to the crowd! We were well on top now and Max went close with another long shot and Ollie hit a curling free kick a bit too close to the keeper who saved comfortably. Max crossed a ball into the box, and Owen appeared at the far post, but as he stretched he couldn’t quite divert the shot on target. Another good passing move led to Mickey setting up Ben whose shot was tipped by the keeper who had rushed out to block it and time stood still for a second as the ball curled goal wards, but clipped the outside of the post.
With 10 minutes to go the boys seemed to realise that they were in a good position to win the game and as Bures pushed men forward each attack saw our defending become a little more erratic as some nerves crept in. We virtually stopped them having any clear sites of goal, but with a couple of minutes to go we were almost caught out. Jamie cleared a ball just in our half and a Bures defender returned it with interest and as the ball flew over Jamie’s head the quick Bures forward was clear. Sam chased him down and just as he caught up at the edge of our area the forward lifted the ball over Connor and into our goal, but the celebrations were cut short as the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside. That was a let off, but from then on the boys all worked their socks off to stop Bures getting another chance and the referee blew the final whistle to send us into wild celebration.
2-0 was a fair result as we made the clearer chances and more of them, but the Bures players should be commended for their attitude and effort as they kept going right to the end.
There was no Man of the Match vote by the parents this week and it would have been difficult for them to choose 1 player as they all played well, but if it was me picking my vote would have gone to Max who, despite having an injured toe, he had a great game along with Ollie & Ciaran in the midfield and was unlucky not to score.
Simon Ashurst – a proud manager!
Next week’s fixture, Sunday 19th May:
- Under 14 Vs Wivenhoe Youth – League Cup Final – Wivenhoe Town FC, 2pm kick off
Can they do the double??