SAHA COLTS 3 (George (2), Cole)
BAYSTON HILL JUNIORS 9
Played at Sports Village on 21 February 2016
Kick-off at 12:00
In the lead up to this fixture, a few of the Colts boys had been joking that that they were about to play the team sponsored by ‘McDonald’s’ who would have ‘hamburger bodies, French Fries for arms and legs and Chicken Nugget heads’. After going face-to-face with Bayston Hill Juniors during the pre-match pleasantries, it became clear that some of their opposition must have been fed on a diet of prime steak rather than fast food!
Colts were put under intense early pressure from a strong Bayston Hill side and Matthew did well to palm away a strong shot. Colts continued to play the ball out from the back in contrast to Juniors more direct style of play but soon went behind after Juniors’ tricky No 10 slotted home.
Colts attempted to respond quickly and Ryan had two good attempts saved after industrious play in midfield from Finn. Birthday boy, Cole, was putting in a Captain Marvel performance with his stoic defending and drew grimaces from the crowd with a scything sliding tackle to stop the Juniors’ left winger in his tracks.
A Colts challenge under pressure in midfield led to a free kick from just inside the halfway line. Juniors’ big No 8 stepped up to take it and almost broke the net to make it 2-0 to Juniors. Some of the Colts fans speculated that the lad had come straight over from a morning fixture for The Beeches Public House judging by his size and strength! Soon after, a goalmouth scramble led to an unfortunate own goal for Juniors to go 3-0 up.
Despite flashes of good play from Colts, including a good long-range shot from Ryan and composed play at the back by Matty, Juniors continued to pile on the pressure. More good defending from Cole and a great double save from Matthew could not hold them back for much longer as a good finish made it 0-4.
Colts fought back and for a 20-minute period demonstrated that they have the ability to go toe-to-toe with any of the top teams in their division.
Colts found some joy on the left side of the pitch with James and George combining well to carve out a few good opportunities. Freddie made some brave saves and James defended well down the other end to keep things tight. Despite a period of good pressure for Colts, Juniors made it 5-0 with a breakaway goal.
Colts continued to press and George made it 1-5 with a right footed shot after Will had made a good interception in midfield. Will continued to probe in midfield and was unlucky to have a good shot saved while George hit the post with another attempt as shots rained down on Juniors’ goal. Just before half time, George won a tackle in midfield and slotted home with his right to make it 2-5.
Colts started where they left off in the Second Half with a good spell of early pressure. Ryan performed a lovely drag back before hitting a toe-poked shot just past the post. Another great Colts move culminated in Ryan going narrowly wide after being put in after composed play by Finn in midfield.
Colts got the goal that they deserved after a whipped in corner from Ryan was met by Cole who stole in at the back post to make it 3-5. Cole almost put Colts within touching distance after a great half volley was tipped onto the crossbar by Juniors’ impressive keeper. Freddie also drew a great double save after a lovely first touch in midfield was followed by a rasping right-footed shot.
Matty was enjoying an outstanding spell in goal and after drawing smiles from the crowd for one of his trademark ‘Rene Higuita’ runs, made a series of impressive saves to keep Colts in the game.
Juniors were clearly rattled by Colts fight back until there came an incident that was change the course of the game. A suspicious false fire alarm brought a temporary halt to proceedings and after the re-start Juniors rained shots down on the Colts’ goal, quickly increasing their lead to 9-3.
Colts never gave up with Jack having a good shot saved after a nice square pass from James.
It was not to be Colts’ day but they could all be proud of their performance. For Juniors it was the Real Deal rather than the Happy Meal.
Finn demonstrating a combination of industrious play and guile in midfield.
Freddie with a great first touch and terrific right footed shot from midfield.
Matthew filling the goal and making some brave saves in the first period.
Cole sliding in to let the Juniors’ left winger know he was in for a battle.
Jack defending from the front and playing with lots of energy.
Matty making great save after great save in goal and playing with a lot of composure in defence.
George keeping possession well and posing a threat going forward.
Ryan with a lovely feint and turn on the right wing to lose his man.
Will with some great link up play in midfield.
James showing strength when defending and some lovely close control and dribbling down the left wing.
Reported by Mike Cruise.