Basking in Glorious sunshine with a slight dew, Oxon School pitches looked perfect for a game of footy.
The Colts all arrived early and keen to start and engaged well with the new warm up routine, led by the newly qualified Level 1 Coach, Kev Jones!!
Many of the lads remembered playing Bayston Hill in one of the summer tournament and word soon spread that they were a good team. This was to be the Colts first real test.
James joined the squad for his first game.
The players soon searched for the illusive team sheets, all now knowing that Mark and Ian had set out the teams for each quarter. With 10 players, rotation is getting harder and harder but each player knew that it would be fair and not one moaned about their anticipated game time.
Ian made sure we kicked off on time and with the tuck shop up and running the match got under way, under brilliant blue skys.
It was soon evident that this in fact would prove the Colts biggest test. Bayston Hill were a strong team and were very organised.
Finn started in goal and had to be quick of his line on more than one occasion as Bayston Hill attacked again and again.
A goal mouth scramble led to the Colts going one down. Going behind is something that has happened to them before and as ever, they didnâ€™t drop their heads and within minutes Cole had passed to Jack whoâ€™s shot went just wide.
Colts continued to attack and a trade mark shot form George was saved by the keeper. First by his hands, then his chest and finally his face. A great save.
It was a tight game and the Colts had to defend well and did so. Finn again being the last line of defence.
Following a great clearance and a superb cross field pass by Freddie the Colts were denied by an advancing Bayston Hill keeper. A great move. A clear sign that the Colts were learning to lift their heads when they had the ball.
Further evidence came moments later when Ryan and Freddie combined with a 1-2 before the shot was cleared off the line.
The Colts were well in this game.
A Bayston Hill corner was turned in by Cole who was defending the near post. OG. The Colts were 2 down.
Into the 2nd Quarter and Matthew was now following Finn with some great saves to keep the Colts in this game as Bayston Hill continued to attack.
Finn now playing out took the ball just inside the Bayston Hill half and struck an ambitious shot towards goal. It was too much for the keeper and despite getting a hand to it he could only parry it onto the post before it crossed the line 2-1. His planned Sturridge celebration was forgotten as he turned and sprinted away in celebration. Chuffed to bits. (shame the coach/dad missed the goal as he was talking to the subs)
Again the Colts passed the ball well. This time William and Cole linking up well.
Bayston Hill broke and made it 3-1.
James making his debut went on a brilliant run but was tripped in the box. Penalty.
Matty was keen to take it but under instruction, happily stood aside to let James take it. He won it. He should take it was the Coaches call.
James shot cleanly but it struck the outside of the post. Gutted. Would have made a great debut.
This match was going to test the Colts defending. Between George, Finn and Matthew they were able to keep another attack at bay.
4-1. A great individual goal by Bayston Hill.
George continued to get forward and another individual goal made it 4-2.
The Colts continued to press forward. Great running, Great communication. Great team work. They were able to support each other in attack
Bayston Hill continued to press. The Colts at times, lost a little shape and with 2 onto 1, conceded another to make it 5-2.
Another quick goal made it 6-2.
Colts kept driving forward. This time a save from Matthew led to a break and within 2 passes Cole struck just wide.
Again, the Colts broke free, this time Freddie was stopped by some great tracking back and defending.
Another counter attack gave Bayston Hill a 7-2 lead.
From the resultant kick off, again showing great commitment and fight to the end, Freddie and Ryan combined well again to force a great save.
The final whistle blew. The Colts had tasted their first defeat of the season but not one seemed bothered. They had had fun. They had scored 2 goals and each had a chance in the penalty shoot out.
For those who had basked in the sun, they could be proud of the Colts here. The score line did not do the match justice. This was a tight game. The Colts will be back, for sure.
1.Finn scoring from range
2.Freddie and Ryan playing a 1-2
3.Matthew making some last man tackles
4.Cole listening carefully to his instructions and defending well.
5.Jack nearly scoring again
6.Matty stepping aside to let James take the penalty
7.Will linking up well with others
8.George making some great runs forward
9.Ryan combining with Freddie
10.James making his debut and wining a penalty
NOTE - All the subs were terrific on the line. Cheering their pals on.
Things to work on for next week
Keeping a player back in defence
Played 20 in goal
Continued to close the angle down and made some good stops in an advanced position.
Scored his 2nd goal in as many games. A super strike from distance. Loved it.