A rare defeat for the boys: a lacklustre warm up and distracted team on soaking Sunday morning found themselves 2-0 down in 15 minutes, then 3-1 in 20 minutes, giving them a mountain to climb. The boys held a defensive line that was too high and were undone by 2 identical goals with the pacy Harnham forward breaking through onto long balls and slotting past an isolated Zac in goal. The boys despite now realising what had happened and why tried to fix the problem and started to control the game in phases but things were rushed and a disjointed at times. The boys had lost their composure by desperately trying to win and fix the poor start, they started going a bit direct which suited Harnham. Numerous chances were created by the boys but their keeper had a great game but we rushed and snatched at chances, crosses and shots. Full credit to West Harnham they counter attacked with pace and defended well when they needed to. Sam M scored 2 good goals in this game including a sublime lob towards the end to make it 4-2. There were some positives and plenty of effort but the boys paid the price for a poor start and possibly complacent attitude. A disappointed group but we used this as an opportunity to learn from and were constructive with our debrief. A calm and reflective approach was needed at the end and the boys understood why they had lost, how they had lost and we learn and go again. We agreed we had lost the game before it had even started. These boys are not used to going behind let alone losing but they will bounce back and be stronger for it.
South Wonston Swifts 0-7 Downton U12
Saturday 22 September, Testway League Division 1
The boys were eagerly anticipating this match having lost to them last season 3-2 in last minutes the Lion Cup from being 2-0 up. The boys were focussed, enthusiastic and very up for the match. As a result they were straight out the blocks and moving the ball at a good tempo. The play was built from the back with Robbie, Sam M-S, Charlie and Harry distributing well, offering great support play and defending intelligently when needed. Ollie and skipper Elystan notched before the break. Sam M was constant threat from the midfield along with Jake. Blake and Joel came on at HT and provided good depth, pace and width. Joel was unlucky not score with an audacious ‘scorpion kick’ from a corner that would have been a contender for ‘goal of the season’. Scoring aside the boys continued to move the ball quickly and use the width of the pitch. Overlapping and underlapping runs from the wing backs were also high quality as were the support runs, decision making and composure from midfield. Sam M-S also kept his cool to score a penalty to round off an excellent display from the MOTM. Special mention to Robbie in goal making 2 fine saves, one point blank, on the few occasions he was troubled, a big reason for the clean sheet along with the back 3. This was a good performance but the boys know they can still play better. Full credit to them though for a good level of performance. South Wonston were excellent hosts and both teams showed good respect towards each other.