Match reports – Mini Soccer U7-U10 – Latest

10/03/2019 – Junior Red Star Tigers vs Leigh Ramblers Leopards

Team: Danny, Charlie, Archie, Henley, Callum, William, Georgie and Bobbie

Back to league matches this week and a full squad again (giving us the headache of 1 sub!), decisions were made during the week to keep up the goalscoring hunt and in doing so keep players to familiar positions.  We also though decided to only play one at the back to give Nails the opportunity to play on the right, something he hasn’t done nearly enough this season.  We also opted to play William behind Bobbie to utilise his strength in the attacking third.

The conditions were horrendous with a really strong wind blowing along the pitch meaning one half the ball was going to fly away from the attacking team and the other half the kids would struggle to get themselves through the wind let alone the ball.  We were to kick into the wind for the first half.

Right from the off Archie made a really good tackle to set us off on an attack, Callum, Bobbie and Will battled through the wind, made a nice interchange of passes before Callum’s shot completely held up in the wind and the keeper gathered it.  A good start though.

We were having the better of things and the wind was forcing us to play short one and two touch passes that were creating lots of opportunities for us to attack, it was when we tried to carry the ball too much that the Red Star defence were able to get back and challenge.  Defensively Henley was offering excellent support to Archie, the majority of the Red Star attacks coming through their centre midfielder who like Henley starts in a deep position.

We defended a Red Star attack well, Archie and Callum combining to win the ball near the left corner flag, Callum played the ball to Will who looked to get it forward to Bobbie, his first pass was cut out by the defender but came straight back to him.  Unfortunately his second pass was slightly off and another defender won it before playing a really good ball forward to their central attacker.  A couple of quick passes saw them through on goal and the striker made no mistakes with a good finish.  It was a good goal from their point of view.

Some good defending from Archie set us up on another attack, he cut out an attempted through ball before playing the ball forward to Bobbie.  Bob turned on it just on the half way line, and was looking for a runner, Georgie made the break through the middle but could quite get the ball under control, Callum though kept it alive on the opposite touch line, going past his player before cutting it back into the area.  After bouncing about a bit and none of our lads being able to get a clear shot at goal, Red Star managed to clear their lines.  Archie picked it up again and played it to Silkz in the centre of the pitch, he was under pressure from two players but controlled the ball and chipped a pass between the 2 for Bobbie.  Bob turned his man, knocked the ball out of his feet and unleashed and excellent shot (all laces!) that flew into the far corner of the goal.

We had a throw-in on the half way line, Henley threw it in-field to William who took it past two players before hitting a shot, the shot was quickly shut down by a defender but the ball ricocheted to Bobbie on the edge of the area, he leaned back just too much and saw his first time strike fly over the bar.

Red Star created the space for a good snap-shot from the edge of the area which Danny had to be really focussed to save well and turn it behind for a corner.

The Red Star centre midfielder cut out a cross field pass by Nails and ran strongly through on goal.  Archie came across and made an excellent tackle, unfortunately the follow up was won by them and another snap-shot from the edge of the area was again well saved by Danny.

From a goal kick, Danny played the ball out to Nails who controlled it and played it down the line for Will, the ball held up in the wind meaning Will had to control it facing his own goal, he turned the defender, moved away from him before playing a good ball in field to Bobbie.  Bob opted not to take the defender on this time but instead squared it to Callum who’d made an excellent supporting run and was screaming for the pass.  The defender managed to just get a touch on the ball, enough to make it impossible for Callum to connect with.

Next Silkz played a good ball forward into Bobbie, he held it up and laid it off for Will who just couldn’t manage to get the ball into position for a right foot shot that would have tested the keeper.

Henley won a 50/50 in the middle of the pitch, took an extra touch and played a lovely ball through to Bobbie.  Bob out muscled the defender and played it on to Will before turning and making an excellent run into the box.  Will took the ball past one defender then delivered an outstanding cross which fell between Bobbie and the goalkeeper, unbelievably the two lads seemed to put each other off and the ball squeezed between them and out for a throw-in.

And that was half time.

We talked about the impact the wind would have on the second half but other than that the only thing we asked of the boys was to look to spread the ball wide to Nails as he’d been in some excellent positions but wasn’t being used enough.  Other than that we wanted more of the same for the second half and lots of shots.

The half got underway and very quickly Will attacked on the left and was caught by a defender – it felt a bit of a soft freekick but we’re not often on the right side of those decisions.  Will took it himself and thundered the shot into the crossbar, it was so well struck that the ball bounced too far out for any of our lads to get on the end of the rebound!  Callum won the follow up and put another good ball into the box that the keeper done well to come out quickly too and challenge Bob as he looked to finish.

From the resulting corner, Red Star hit us on the attack and it took an excellent covering challenge from Archie to stop them from shooting from inside the area.

We were having plenty of the ball but passes forward if they didn’t go to feet tended to run out of play, that wasn’t the case when Nails won the ball on the half-way line and played and excellent pass into Bobbies feet on the right hand edge of the box.  Bob turned his man well and fired his shot just wide of the near post.

The game by now was end to end with us having more possession but neither keeper was really being tested.  There was some excellent football being play through the midfield and some top notch defending from both teams, just those clear-cut chances missing.

From a Red Star corner, Nails headed out well, the ball though fell to one of their players on the edge of the area.  Cal hunted him down and forced him wide where we ended up with four players around the ball to deal with 2 Red Star players, some how Red Star managed to come away with it and ran towards the centre of the box.  From there we backed off and allowed him the time and space to pick his spot, he finished right into the corner giving Danny no chance – the good thing is I get to make my point again that we need to stop the shot and should be putting players under pressure in that area of the pitch!

We continued to put the pressure on, Red Star continued to hit us on the break and both defences continued to play really well.

And that was that, both teams deserve huge credit for the way they played football in those conditions, not only did they keep trying to do the right things but they managed it consistently.  Some really good individual performances from our team but more importantly another very good team performance.

Well done to both teams.

Danny – Not a great deal to do on a day when the conditions made it really difficult for the keepers.  Made a few good saves and distribution was excellent.  Some good calls to defenders at times which was really good to see.  Reluctant to put his hands on the ball a couple of times but overall a good game.  DEVELOPMENT – command that area, don’t stand on the line but in front of it so that you’re ready to cover more of your area.

Nails – A really good game and none of it in defence!  Was really nice to see Nails with a bit more freedom to play today, in the first half particularly got into some really good positions and we spoke at half time about the need to get the ball out there quicker.  Second half was a different game where Nails really used his defensive skills to ensure we stayed tight, still pushed on well at every opportunity. Played some excellent passes, both short and longer, outstanding headers and proved again what a good leader he is with his talking.  DEVELOPMENT – be a bit louder to let team mates know when you want the ball, especially when you’ve got yourself into a good attacking position

Archie – Played on his own at the back and done an excellent job.  Archie’s best game for us and one that will hopefully convince him that he has every right to play in the top division with this team.  Tackled solidly, concentration was spot on all the way through the game and played the ball out to team mates when the option was there.  Showed really quick feet to create space a few times when under pressure.  Well done.  DEVELOPMENT – Believe in yourself and don’t react badly if you make a mistake, mistakes help us learn.

Will – Really enjoyed the roll he had for large parts of the game  today, played off the front man with more freedom to get forward and support the attacks – that said, I’m a bastad and do expect everyone to work their socks off so it wasn’t the free role that Will hoped it would be!  Done some really good things in the middle of the pitch but needed to release it quicker, needs to remember that sometimes the best way of getting into goalscoring positions is to give the ball to someone else and move into position yourself.  Used his size and strength really well at times to support the defence and to bulldoze his way forward.  DEVELOPM£NT – look at your options when in possession, if its too crowded in front of you, pass the ball off and look for the return.

Georgie – A strange game from Georgie this week, was close to doing good things regularly.  Shut players down, but then stopped short of putting a challenge in.  Got forward into good positions but stopped short of getting on the ball at the end.  Just that desire away from having a game like last week.  DEVELOPMENT – desire, got to have it regardless of who the opposition is.

Henley – Played a very deep centre midfield role in the first half to provide cover as we only had one defender, was incredibly intelligent in his game today, breaking up Red Stars play, slowing things down at the right time and showing excellent creativity when on the ball.  Moved out wider in the second half but was still constantly involved in the game, when the ball was on the other side stayed involved by talking team mates through the game and giving good information.  DEVELOPMENT – I’d like to see him develop his striking of the ball with the knee over the ball – very technical.

Callum – Another very good game from Cal.  Had played really well in the wide position, strong in the tackle and lightning at times to get forward and wide, either with the ball or to support team mates.  Was tested by having a run out in centre midfield in the second half and done really well, played a smart game holding a very good position to ensure he was in position to support defensively.  Has started winning headers in the last few weeks which is excellent to see and seems to have helped raise his confidence.  DEVELOPMENT – went through a spell in the second half of swinning at the ball, need to think about what’s happening around you in those situations, because of the wind those wild swings never got to a team mate and so gave away possession.

Bobbie – Excellent as he generally is, an absolute menace to defences, two really good finishes and not a toe in sight for either of them!  Made good decisions when in possession, setting team mates up a number of times but also showing the ability to run at and beat defenders 1 on 1.  Also giving some really good encouragement to team mates which is good to see.  DEVELOPMENT – calm down when you’re in front of goal (I never thought I’d say this), put the toe away more often than not and take your time to beat the keeper – more often than not you will

Thanks as always for your support onwards and upwards

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