Our Under 8s were away to Rowhedge having had their confidence seriously battered in the last couple of weeks. However they put up a good show this week, only conceding a couple of goals. Hopefully these experiences will enable them to become stronger next season.
By contrast, our Under 10s are sitting quite happily in mid-table and were away to the league leaders Clare Town Lions today. Although it was a fairly even match, especially in the first half, Clare eventually got on top and ran out 3-0 winners.
The Under 14s played the second of their two Cup semi-finals, this time in the league cup, against Notley Youth at Halstead TownFC under the floodlights on Friday night.
Bergholt started this semi-final with a quick tempo, but looked quite nervous in possession at times. Both sides were working hard in midfield, and it took a while for either side to really settle. Bergholt’s first chance came when a cross from left broke to Ciaran 20 yards out who looked to place a curling shot, but it didn’t curl enough to threaten the goal, however generally Bergholt lacked a bit of communication and struggled with some balls played in to our penalty area. A Notley free kick from the left was missed by everyone and was turned goalwards by an attacker, but ‘keeper Connor blocked well with his legs. A minute later another deep cross again evaded everyone but the Notley frontman sliced his shot wide at the back post.
Midway through the half Bergholt won a throw in down the left of the Notley area and Ollie got the ball to Jake who put a perfect cross to heart of the area. Ben timed his run in to perfection and with a free header found the bottom left corner, where the tall Notleykeeper could not reach. Soon after Ollie looked to have put Bergholt 2 up with a great shot into the bottom left corner, only for the keeper to get down and at full stretch turn it round the post. An outstanding save. James Holden had a powerful volley that went narrowly wide and Sam was unlucky to see his header from Ollie’s free kick drift narrowly wide. Bergholt couldn’t increase the lead and 2 minutes before half time a cheap corner was conceded and when it wasn’t cleared a bit of a goalmouth scrabble led to Notley poking the ball in to send the teams into the interval at 1 all.
At the start of the 2nd half Bergholt shuffled the formation to 4-4-2, and tried to use the width more. It did create a little joy but failed to create a clear chance as Notley’s back line defended really well. The Bergholt back 4 also looked solid when they were together as a unit, but when they were drawn out and failed to win the first tackle Notley looked as though they might get in behind with their speedy frontmen. Bergholt coped with them though and looked to counter quickly and but for a few wayward through balls might have made some really good chances.
One of the Notley boys went over a challenge from Sam and landed awkwardly on his shoulder, causing what seemed to be a broken collar bone. He was having a good game in the midfield so it was a bit of a blow for Notley and everyone at Bergholt Heath wishes him a speedy recovery.
Bergholt switched back to 433 for the last 17 minutes to regain the midfield security and that seemed to help win more challenges there and gave the team extra cover when they broke forward. It worked out well as soon after the changes Mickey and James Hirstcombined to set James Holden away down the left. He beat a man and cut along the byline jinking past 2 more defenders. With 2 strikers looking for a square pass James only had eyes for goal and fired past the Notley keeper, despite the narrow angle, to put Bergholt back in front.
From here in, Notley gave everything to find another equaliser, but the work the lads put in to keep them at bay was terrific. Despite a couple of edgy moments Bergholt stopped them getting a clear shot and Connor comfortably mopped up most balls that came into his area (one was a real heart in the mouth moment but the boys got away with it).
Thankfully the last few minutes flew by, and the final whistle blew – much to everyone connected with Bergholt’s relief. Bergholt Heath Under 14’s now find themselves in the final of both cup competitions, to be played 12th and 19th May.
Man of the Match was James Holden, but again, every player worked hard and contributed to the win.
Next weeks fixtures – Sunday 5th May:
- Long Melford vs Under 8
- Under 10 vs Stanway Villa Greens, KO 10am
- Under 14 vs Bures, KO 10.30am
- Under 18 – No game