Rowhedge Juniors FC U9s 7 - 0 Halstead Reds U9s
Team Captain: PJ
A great day for a game of football; slightly windy but the weather was not to the extreme the team had played in over the past month! Halstead Reds have a core of technically astute players who were able to have some short spells of play; this was Halstead Reds’ second 7 aside pre season friendly and our sixth. The experience showed during the game.
We kept to the same formation as we used against Cornard Dynamos Reds; utilising and rotating Bobby, Will, PJ, Oakley and Thomas over the back three. They were all excellent, protecting Logan who rarely had to make a save. When he did, he was quick to respond and engaged with distributing the ball quickly.
Halstead kicked off and immediately Harry, Alfie and Jacob were set to pressing players and forcing errors. Having won the ball down the left, Alfie assisted Oakley with the opening goal 5 minutes into the game; Oakley made a run on the inside of Alfie to strike the ball beautifully across the goal into the bottom corner. For the next 10 minutes Halstead appeared to have stopped playing football and the boys took full advantage scoring another 3 times from Alfie and Harry (x2) with Jacob and Oakley grabbing assists.
In the 2nd quarter, Will (RB), Thomas (LB) and Roman (CM) came on for Bobby, Oakley and Jacob respectively. More high pressing from the team with Thomas providing an assist for Roman who superbly struck the ball into the bottom corner - excellent strike!
Rowhedge leading 5 - 0 at half time.
With the score line as high as it was, the boys were told to focus on keeping positional play and using the width of the pitch I.e utilising the LB/RB for offensive play - this worked really well. Will moved to the sweeper role and Bobby came on at RB. Bobby made some really positive runs down the right hand side and provided some testing crosses for the defence to deal with; one of which forced a corner. Oakley took another excellent corner with his left foot and a Halstead defender handled the ball in the box. Thomas stepped up to place the ball in the top left corner.
For the final quarter of the game Halstead Reds played with 8 players (borrowing Alfie for 7.5 mins to test our defence). This tightened up the game with a lot of play down the left from Halstead. With 5 minutes left and PJ and Will continuing to provide cover at the back, Thomas was able to quickly break and play a through ball to Harry who ran on to score his well earned hat-trick.
Whilst this was not our best technical performance, it was in terms of pressing. The high intensity play from the team forced errors and enabled chances to be created. An excellent result which will the boys will take with them into the next game.
Areas for development: communication between players, looking for a player before releasing the ball, positional discipline/awareness.
Improvements: using the width of the pitch I.e LB/RB pushing forward with the ball, crossing and set pieces.
Alfie x 1 Harry x 3 Oakley x 1 Roman x 1 Thomas x 1
Alfie x 1 Jacob x 2 Oakley x 1 Thomas x 2
Players’ Player - Harry Parents’ Player - Oakley (joint with Harry) Managers’ Player - Harry