It had been 245 days since the CTYFC U14 Rebels began the 21-22 campaign with their first pre-season friendly, and the long season was concluded on Sunday with the Surrey Youth League - League Cup Final. In a repeat of the Surrey County Cup final we locked horns again with Leatherhead - with both teams looking to end the season on a high. We were looking to secure the double having already won the league and going unbeaten in the process. The Westfield FC pitch was dry and lively which didn’t really lend itself to the style of play we would have liked to adopt so as always a game plan was formed and the game was soon underway. It was apparent early on the game would be a battle of attrition with both sides looking to gain the ascendancy. We settled well though and looked solid, Freddie, Isaac and Josh DK protecting Dom well, who’s positioning and command of his box was first class. Kris and Erim along with James and Hayden were battling hard in the midfield - refusing to give an inch, whilst Zahir, Oli and Mikey were prowling for the slightest of openings. We were creating some good chances, Zahir shooting just wide from 20 yards, Freddie shooting over from a long range free kick and Kris also just off target. Twice we got in behind down the right with Mikey and Hayden but couldn’t find the quality with the final ball to convert the chances. HT 0-0. We again pushed throughout the 2nd half, creating several more attacking situations. Luca DM came on and was positive, winning a couple of quick corners, one of which was nearly turned in by Luke at the back post, who had also come on. Lewis provided fresh legs in the middle of the park as we kept probing. Late in the half Mikey got in behind and flicked on past the on rushing keeper for Oli who looked certain to score a tap in into the empty net - but a defender came from no-where with a desperate - but excellent last ditch sliding tackle to deny him. As the game became stretched we stayed alert to see off the Leatherhead attacks as both sides looked for the a winner, but neither side could break the deadlock. FT 0-0 So it was again to be decided on penalties. Lewis, Isaac, Erim and Oli bravely stepped up and all found the net superbly with our first 4 spot kicks, as did Leatherhead despite Dom getting agonisingly close to 2 of them. However, Dom did then produce the decisive moment - standing tall and brilliantly palming away their 5th penalty. This paved the way for Freddie to cooly and fittingly slot home the winning spot kick to spark wild scenes on the pitch and in the stands. MoM: There were some excellent performances across the whole squad but Hayden did some great attacking work in the first half and moved seamlessly into defence in the 2nd half - he also set the tone with a crunching tackle which galvanised the team. Kris also takes the award for yet another tireless, battling display. He covered every blade of grass and gave was a constant thorn in the side of the opposition. Well done boys. The ‘Double’ was ours and the celebrations continued long into the afternoon and evening where the whole Rebels community were able to reflect on and enjoy the achievements of the squad in what has been an amazing and unforgettable season for everyone involved.
A massive thank you to everyone who has supported the squad this year in some capacity, and we look forward to next season and doing it all over again!