After our 2-2 draw with Storm on the opening day of the U11's Champions Cup it was imperative we had a positive result against an unbeaten Egerton Youth team that had only joined the league this season after sweeping all before them in the Mid Cheshire League. We received a bombshell before kick off when our inspirational captain Thomas H was ruled out due to an injury sustained in an accident at school. Daniel deservedly took over the armband for the day andf the boys not only wanted to win the game for themselves but also for our missing skipper.
The pitch was in excellent condition even after the heavy downpours throughout the night. We went with a 3-4-1 formation and told the boys they had to improve significantly from last week, we'd had two great training sessions on Sunday and Wednesday and if we took the learnings into the game and showed the right attitude we would win the game. We held a minutes silence, which was impeccably observed, in remembrance of the wonderful men and women who had paid the ultimate sacrifice for us during conflicts around the World.
What then transpired for 30mins was sensational as the boys played a 'near perfect' first half to lead 4-0. From the kick off the captain Daniel, Josh G, Thomas M and Thomas Dy were dominant, composed in possession and positive in everything they did. Nathan, Henry, Ryan and Thomas Da were in total control of the midfield, they won all their battles, moved the ball quickly and accurately with excellent passing, showed great anticipation, awwareness and movement to give the opposition no opportunity to get into the game. Josh S playing the lone striker showed superb understanding, anticipation, movement off the ball, aggression and a clinical attitude to finish what the other boys provided for him. This began in the 6th min when after Ryan again won the ball in midfield he moved it quickly to Henry who played a superb through ball to Josh S who was already on the move and he didn't have to break stride when smashing a wonderful left foot shot past the keeper into the top corner making it 1-0. It wasn't long before we added a second, when again the midfield showed great tenacity and then composure to feed Josh S who again showed outstanding clinical finishing to fire us 2up inside 10mins.
We continued to dominate playing wonderful two and three touch football therefore not giving Egerton any opportunity to get into the game. We had several opportunities with Nathan, Thomas Da and Henry before Thomas M showed great confidence to step into midfield to unleash a wonderful 30yard strike that flew over the keeper into the top corner to make it 3-0. The boys were full of confidence now and continued to move the ball accurately and more importantly at speed. Flynn replaced Josh S and made a fantastic interception as they tried to play out from the back and he played it to an advancing Ryan who played a first time flick to Thomas Da who showed great composure to score with a wonderful strike that gave their keeper no chance. The boys were given fantastic applause by everyone on the ground as they came off at half time 4-0 up.
We told them how good they had played and they said how much they'd enjoyed it. We stressed they had to keep up the workrate, maintain the right attitude, move the ball with the same accuracy and urgency and be just as clinical in front of goal to ensure Egerton didn't get back in the game. The second half began as the first ended with us dominant everywhere, it wasn't long before we added a fifth when after Josh S was fouled 25yards out, Ryan struck a wonderful right foot free kick that arrowed into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. Egerton quickly reduced the deficit with a well worked goal after we lost a little concentration, which was disappointing as the boys wanted to keep a clean sheet. However, we scored soon afterwards after some excellent midfield play Thomas Da was put through and he finished confidently and clinically past the advancing keeper. to make it 6-1. It was great that Josh S completed his hat-trick with our seventh goal again showing great anticipation, strength and quality to finish another wonderful through ball. We changed personnel and formation going to a 3-3-2 and Egerton had some joy in the last 10mins as our boys began to tire and obviously the level of concentration dropped off so Daniel and the three boys at the back made some excellent saves and magnificent tackles respectively to ensure the scoreline truly reflected our dominance. They did manage to add a second goal after another well worked move to show that if you let them play they have some exciting players in their line up. We could and should have added a couple more when from an excellent corner by Ben we failed to convert as the quality of cross had caused chaos in the box and then Nathan grazed the post with a great left foot strike. The final score was 7-2.
Everyone was eulogising about how the boys had played. Andy their coach, was full of compliments for our style and teamwork. Darren, our club mentor, who has travelled the world coaching, commented that was as good a first 30mins that he'd seen for boys at this age, praise indeed ! The boys themselves were so happy with their performance and fully understood why and how it had happened and what they now need to do every week, which is fantastic from a coaching perspective. All the boys played superbly and deserved the massive praise and congratulations they received. As far as Man of the Match went a number of people were in the frame, however, during training this week and then with the loss of our captain before kick off one boy was asked to do a job by the Manager and not only did he do it to the letter he also scored a wonderful goal, so great job and congratulations to Ryan.
Next Saturday 19th November we have another big Cup game against the only team to beat us in 10 months Urmston Meadowside Devils, Davy Lees Playing Fields, Urmston, away kick off 9.30am. We are looking forward to it already.........!!!