2 May 21
Bergholt Heath Blues U9s 2 Vs 4 (delete) 3 (insert) Rowhedge Juniors FC U9s
A bright Sunday morning; today hosted by Bergholt Heath Blues. Having never played this team before we knew we would need to be at our best to adapt and learn. Bergholt have an excellent reputation for being established, developing players and producing results week in week out. Having ‘dropped down’ to the Weller Development league from the Andrews Development League we knew this was going to be our toughest game to date.
Despite our run of results the boys have been slow to start; given the calibre of the team we opposed, a strong positive start was required. Having tweaked the warm up and team chat Rowhedge were ready to play….
Goal!! 2 minutes in, Oakley plays a lovely through ball, Isaac rolled the defender and the Hedge were 1 goal up. Bergholt proceeded to apply pressure down their righthand side probing and pressing but the defence soaked it all up. 8 minutes in and a quick counter down the left and lovely first time cross by Jeff was again found by Isaac - Bergholt could not contain our tempo of play! Another free kick, this time in a precarious position; time for Oakley to show his composure……a superb left foot saw the ball hit the bottom right hand corner – simply, simply lovely!
12.5 minutes in and it was time for our first change; Frankie for Isaac, Roman for Will and Bobby for PJ. Rowhedge grew and grew in confidence but the quick feet of the Bergholt players were impressively. Particularly their No7 and No10 and after 19 minutes they were able to showcase some trickery and skip through our defence and place the ball tidily into the bottom left hand corner. We knew more of this was to come.
Half time, a quick team talk and some more changes: Isaac for Frankie, Will for Roman and Alfie for Jeff. Direction – not to jump into tackles and to keep pressing their No7 and No10.
28 minutes in and Bergholt scored, their No7 showing his quality. Bergholt giving a great example that you keep on fighting until the final whistle and with the game poised at is was, the next 22 minutes were going to be intense for both teams. The next 10 minutes flew by; Bergholt pressing and Rowhedge playing on the counter, both teams utilising the full width of the pitch. 37.5 minutes, final changes for Rowhedge to keep the tempo of play; Roman for Will, PJ for Bobby, Jeff for Jacob and Frankie for Isaac.
Bergholt continued to press for the equaliser; the defence and midfield holding them at bay and any shots that passed, parred by Logan. They continued with ‘short play’ corners utilising their No7, but Jeff was now tasked with preventing him play along with Alfie cutting out their No10. Game plan, soak up the play and press on the counter and win a corner to relieve the pressure. We did exactly that; Oakley playing the ball to the front post, Frankie turning and shooting – GOAL!!! Oh no wait, the referee did not see it. 3-2 it remained – thankfully we have our own VAR to the side and a video to watch for you to make your own mind up. the goal that never was... 2 minutes left and Bergholt pressed one more time, a spectacular shot that was pushed onto the post by Logan and cleared by PJ and Roman.
Honestly it was really hard to single out any player today, all the boys played above expectation. Again, Oakley showing his class with set pieces bagging a goal and another assist.
I feel it really important to highlight Logan’s performance in goal. Time and time again he makes critical game changing saves – really impressive and his Parents’ Player is truly deserved. Isaac, wow, excellent, linking up with midfield and that ruthless ‘never say never’ approach to his game picking up Players’ Player. Finally, with Christian picking Managers’ Player today, Jacob was acknowledged for his relentless work ethic, breaking down the opposition’s play and supporting our defence and attack.
Today both sets of spectators were presented with some excellent football and both teams entertained and delivered. But today the better team won; we played as a team and won as a team. These boys have demonstrated time and time again that there may be teams with incredible individual talent, but Rowhedge is about playing as a team and not being a one trick pony. As our page states “a motivated team will always accomplish and achieve more than anyone individual” and that was a reflection of today.
That is 14 games on the bounce and 19 in 21; keep this going boys. No sign of fatigue here!!!