|Redditch United Under 11 Colts||1|
|Sheldon Royals Eagles||0|
The boys returned from the Christmas break to a home game where we were able to play on the first team pitch as there was a pitch marking issue with our normal ¾ pitch, the boys and Sheldon were treated to the full “big match” treatment by being led out onto the pitch by the referee to a great applause from the crowd.
Sheldon Royals were the only unknown quantity left for Redditch as we hadn’t played them so far this season and while our league position suggested we should win the boys would need to play their usual game to ensure the points stayed with Redditch at the end of the game.
The game kicked off with a couple of promising attacks petering out before we got into shooting range as the boys got used to the sheer size of the full size pitch. For the first 10 minutes the boys kept the ball in the Sheldon half without really troubling the goalkeeper, only bringing him into action for routine saves you would expect him to handle without problems.
After ten minutes of possessional and territorial advantage from Redditch, Sheldon came back into the game with a couple of break away attacks one in particular drawing a fine save from Michael with him beating a ball away from close range after closing down on an attacker who had ran through the defence.
Sam was brought on in the first round of subs and made an immediate effect with a great pass to Chad who came very close to opening the scoring for Redditch. The rest of the half for the most part was spent with Redditch attacking, both Ben’s, Chad and Keiron all going close, Ben N was only kept out by some brave goal keeping from the Sheldon keeper and Kieron shaved the bar with a snap shot.
However the half time score at 0-0 was still from the Redditch point of view a little frustrating and while it was difficult to find much at fault with how Redditch were playing I felt I needed to remind the boys that while our present points tally and league position have us comfortably in second place we can’t afford any slip ups or Sporting will start to apply pressure to us so we needed more attempts on goal and the result would come.
Sheldon kicked off the second half with a couple of attacks which were quickly snuffed out by our back line of the “4 J’s” - Jack, Jimmy, Joel and Joe. Slowly I felt the tide was turning towards a positive result for Redditch as on the big pitch it looked like Sheldon were starting to run out of steam it was only a question of getting close enough to score.
It was no surprise after 10 minutes of the second half Ben N continued his fine run of form in recent games and managed to force the ball home from close range after some good approach work from Sam and James. The goal deflated Sheldon and their energy levels seemed to drain further with Sam and Dec dominating in midfield and Kieron using his usual high energy levels to help out wherever needed, be it in attack, midfield or defence.
The game moved into it’s final 10 minutes and Dec and Jack despite having very good games were substituted to bring fresh legs onto help the midfield and defence see out the last few minutes. Sheldon looked a tired side in the last few minutes with the odd attack normally being spoiled by an attacker straying offside, but our defence remained disciplined and saw the game out with confidence and so the game ended with Redditch looking quite comfortable and good value for the 1-0 win.
A well fought battle for the points which saw a great squad performance with every player contributing and keeping cool under pressure proving the boys are beginning to understand that you can’t win all games by a cricket score and that in close game they need to play with nerve and discipline which occasionally means concentrating on keeping the score as it is rather than pushing forward to increase the gap and in doing so giving chances to the opposition.
A big well done goes to all the defenders today Todd, Joel, Jimmy Joe, Jack and Marcel who all contributed to a second half where we defended well enough even when pressed to prevent Michael touching the ball in the second half as he moved to his sixth clean sheet of the season.
It was good for the boys to be involved in a close game to get them in the mood for the next couple of the games, which should give us a good indication of our final league standing as we play the teams above and below us.
The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. Vince Lombardi American football coach
This feature is currently in development but will be available soon.