Friendly Match vs Moordown and Southbourne U9’S 26/11/2019 at Slades Farm 3G SQUAD; CALEB, HARRY, FRANKIE, FINNLEY, JACK, JOE, CHARLES, CHARLIE, DYLAN, HARVEY, RONNIE & BROOK I’ll keep it short, but it’s important that I continue to record the friendlies as well, to hopefully log, and show the improvements that the boys are making. I organised this match to give all the boys at least half a game and practice some of the things we had been working on in training, hopefully with less pressure in an environment that they were comfortable in. Harry and Caleb go to school with 5/6 of their side and I often see their manager on the school run. We have been talking about this friendly for a while. I didn’t have a great deal of knowledge about their side but this was all about us today! Yes they may be in the league below but they are used to winning games and have won their last 5. I was unfortunately without my wingman today, but please don’t make him feel bad ???????????
I don’t know if any of the parents noticed, but did you see the boys warming themselves up in the circle and playing keep ball, without having a coach near them? They are 8 years old, so fair play to them for doing this, there were 12 of them and there were some clear leaders out there keeping this together. I was beaming with pride, and this was also noticed by their manager. I was so pleased to have Dylan back in the set up after the difficult time that he has had for the past 6 months, and he dealt with it all so well! I had planned on playing 2 very different sides with 5 changes planned for Half Time. I had tried to balance the teams as well as I could and had decided on the following; 1ST HALF - CALEB, HARRY, FRANKIE, DYLAN, FINNLEY, CHARLES, HARVEY 2ND HALF – CALEB, HARRY/FRANKIE, RONNIE, JACK, JOE, BROOK & CHARLIE 1st Half we started really well. I tried a different formation today of 1-1-1-3-1, with Harry playing a lone role at the back with Frankie in front of him, Dylan in the pivot (or number 10 role), Charles on left, Finnley on the right and Harvey up front. We had so many chances, but we also looked a little vulnerable with our new formation so I put Frankie at the back with Harry. We had been caught out once or twice with 3 on 1 and Caleb had to make a smart save up high from his school mate Bentley. Charles also made some great bursts forward and hit some big tackles, which enabled us to break. Harvey then got a break through goal after going close on a couple of occasions after some outstanding play from Frankie, Dylan, Finley and finishing with Harvey. This was 1 touch magic and nearly ended in the perfect goal. Harvey scored on 7 minutes when Harry cleared the ball from the back and the Harvey that we all know so well, ran onto the ball and smashed the ball in the net. On 10 minutes their forward went ?through 1-1? with Caleb, who was on his toes and very sharp out and closed down the angle really well to deny them an equaliser. We then got our 2nd goal on 15 minutes, again with a slightly more measured clearance from Harry which was controlled by Harvey who took on their defender, shrugging them off and finished well to the bottom left hand corner. This was Harvey’s 14th Goal in 12 appearances in all competitions. We had lots of chances to get more goals and played some great football, unfortunately it didn’t get us a 3rd before half time. I made the changes as planned; CALEB, HARRY, RONNIE, JACK, JOE, BROOK & CHARLIE. I thought Charlie did extremely well considering this was the first time he had played in the lone forward position. I thought Joe was ‘bang on it’ and he got a great individual goal after a pass through from Charlie on 31 minutes. Brook then got on the scoresheet on 35 minutes as he is doing so regularly at the moment, after a great interchange of passes with Joe and then smashing home from outside the area. Harry nearly got a goal after bringing the ball out from defence and some great skill enabled him to get a shot off unfortunately being blocked before it could go in. Jack was up and down the right wing, showing great energy, and we also learned that he has a very long throw (fully legal) which eventually ended up setting us up for a couple of chances, with that quick turn of play. Ronnie then got involved in the goals on 38 minutes with a long shot from 20 yards, which their goalkeeper missed his clearance and the ball rolled in.
Frankie replaced Harry at the back and shared his time rotating with Jack on the right side of defence. Charlie then got his first goal on 44 minutes for Bransgore after coming close a couple of times. I could really sense the boys trying to help Charlie to get his first goal, and this was great to see. Unfortunately this wasn’t allowed due to their team making a rolling sub. However their manager said to me he was happy for it to stand and I am more than happy to note that Charlie got his first goal. Brook then finished it off with the 7th Team Goal of the game and his second taking his tally to 12 goals in all competitions in 10 games this season. They also played the last 10 mins with all 8 players on the pitch.
Great practice match and huge praise received from their manager. Something he did say was how great it was that we could put 2 very different sides out on the pitch, and this being such a credit to the boys that both teams were so strong. What a great position for me to be in!!! ?????? He also made comment on how well our boys strike a ball, all 12 of the them from Caleb - Harvey when taking penalties! Looks like all that ‘Lightening’ is paying off!! ?? Special mention to Charlie for his efforts and some great football played, and also as previously mentioned so pleased to see Dylan on the pitch, especially with a smile on his face!!! Cheers all!! ???? UP THE GORE, WE ONLY DO POSITIVE!!