The last fixture of January 2022 saw the CTYFC U14 Rebels entertain Leatherhead Youth in another Surrey Youth League Premier Elite fixture. Preparation was again hampered as not for the first time this season we were depleted with news of absences, injuries and COVID as late as the morning of the fixture. We looked for an early fast tempo and just 2 minutes in Oli found himself with just the keeper to beat but his shot was saved. We did however take the lead after 10 minutes. Good play down the right saw the ball centered, Mikey battled in the box and the ball fell kindly for him to poke home under the keeper. The lead didn’t last long though as Leatherhead equalised in the 18th minute. Just 2 minutes later though we re-took the lead. Zahir made a good run from midfield and was slid in but his shot was deflected over for a corner. Quick thinking saw James play the corner back to Hayden who’s touch and cross found Isaac at the back post, but his header and rebound saw the keeper make a great double save, but Isaac would not be denied and poked home at the third attempt. Neither side were prepared to give an inch and strong challenges were coming from all angles. Shortly before half time we made it 3-1. Having timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap Oli was released by Isaac down the inside right channel. Oli showed his electric pace to beat the on rushing keeper to the ball on the right side of the box and get a shot off across goal. Everything went in slow motion as his shot slowly edged towards the far corner and just crossed the line as Mikey followed in to make sure. HT 3-1. George replaced JJ at half time who had picked up a slight knock. With a 2 goal deficit we knew Leatherhead would come out strong so discipline and concentration was key. We were looking comfortable and handling any attacks, Hayden and Josh DK were defending well down the right as was Freddie and George down the left allowing Isaac to handle everything centrally. Kris was covering every blade of grass and disrupting brilliantly whilst James and Zahir were working very hard in midfield too. Dom was assured and showed excellent concentration, even throwing in a spectacular tip over from a free kick - definitely a save for the cameras! We were forced into another change 10 minutes into the 2nd half when Freddie was absolutely clattered whilst defending a corner and couldn’t continue, JJ having to come back on despite his knock. We began to put together some possession and effectively put the game to bed in a clinical and devastating 3 minute spell, Oli scoring in the 48th minute having showed good strength and Mikey scoring again just 2 minutes later. A momentary lapse saw us concede again in the 53rd minute to bring it back to 5-2. The icing on the cake came in the 60th minute when Oli completed his hat trick following good work from Zahir and Josh DK, finding a good finish across the keeper. Luke replaced Zahir late on and we saw out the game. FT 6-2. A super display from all the boys in a very tough and physical encounter. MoM could have genuinely been given to any one of the squad and was a difficult decision this week, but Kris with his relentless work rate and Oli with his deadly finishing get the vote this week. Well done boys.