On Sunday 22nd August the 2021-22 season got underway for the CTYFC U14 Rebels with a pre-season friendly in a local derby against Farnborough U14. Despite being a friendly it was likely to be competitive. Both teams had agreed to play 4x 20 minute periods.
The first 20 minutes flew by with both teams settling into the game. We were dominating possession and creating some half chances but seemed reluctant to shoot when in good positions – and our crosses were all a bit one-dimensional. We did however break the deadlock shortly before the end of the period when a lovely floated through ball from Erim found Oli through on goal. Oli did really well to knock it over the on-rushing keeper and kept his cool to nod the bouncing ball into an empty net under pressure from the scrambling defence.
Into the 2nd period and a change in personnel saw the boys adapt well to a new formation. It was soon 2-0 when Luca powered a low cross in from the right that found Freddie J arriving late at the back post. His first touch was good and allowed him space to find a right footed shot that found the bottom corner. Oli grabbed his 2nd with a powerful back post header soon after following a great long range delivery from a free kick from Freddie J. Luca made it 4-0 having been found with a raking diagonal cross field pass from Kris. Luca cooly controlled and beat his man before finding the net high over the keeper. Following some good pressure by the forwards on the opposition defensive line Luke pounced on a loose ball to find himself one on one with the keeper and finished well with a controlled left foot shot into the bottom corner. HT 5-0
More changes and another formation into the 3rd period saw a another goal from Freddie J to make it 6-0. He calmly slotted over the keeper having been found with a lovely through ball from Joe Scanlon.
Into the last quarter we swapped it all round again and found another 3 goals. Zahir was found by Lewis with a lovely pass down the inside right position and he finished well across the keeper into the far corner for 7-0. Oli got his hat-trick following some lovely build up play that found Kris on the by line and he fired a cross in which Oli did well to control his first time finish on the volley to make it 8-0. Oli completed the scoring with his 4th goal of the game after picking up the ball down the left flank having been found with a good ball from James Rai. He cut inside and found a good low finish under the keeper. FT 9-0.
It was testament to our defence and midfield who dominated that allowed our forward players to express themselves and create numerous chances. From the first whistle Hayden and JJ did their jobs very well – heading away the long ball threats with authority. It was good to see Josh DK displaying good strength and tenacity to win his battles and distribute the ball well. Erim and Freddie both made their first appearances for the club and looked assured. Lewis made some typical bursts from midfield and used the ball really well. Kris played some lovely passes in midfield and deserved his 2 assists. We also had Joe Scanlon and James Rai showcasing their skills on the day. It was a quiet day for Dom in goal who didn’t have to make a save but was assured when called upon with the ball at his feet – and distributed the ball very well. Dom was also a constant source of verbal information to his teammates – encouraging and guiding them all game. Full credit should also go to Farnborough who battled right to the end.
Overall a pleasing 80 minutes that allowed for some experimentation and valuable game time.