PREES JUNIORS FC TOURNAMENT
Played at Prees Recreation Club on 12 June 2016
BAYSTON HILL JUNIORS 1
SAHA COLTS 2 – OG, Matty
A year on from Colts’ second tournament outing, the weather at Prees was a startling contrast from the sun-baked pitches that the lads played on last June. Colts were down to a squad of eight with two of their regulars – Finn and Jack – being unavailable for selection.
The format was two groups of seven teams, five-a-side played over ten minutes with the top four going through knockout rounds.
Colts faced Bayston Hill Juniors in a tough first game. Colts had previously been beaten convincingly by this strong side in league and Futsal fixtures.
Colts passed the ball neatly in the early stages and created a good chance after George drifted in from the left and struck a good right-footed shot that unfortunately rebounded back off Matty. Freddie followed up but was also blocked by a defender.
By the fourth minute, Juniors had started to build up some pressure and won a free kick on the right side, a few yards inside Colts’ half. The free kick was well struck and bounced through a crowded penalty area into the left corner. (0-1)
Juniors broke down the left again and hit the side netting after breaking through Colts’ defence.
In the sixth minute, Colts won a corner after good pressure down the left from Matty. Freddie’s drilled in right-footer was turned in by a Juniors defender a couple of yards out for Colts to equalise. (1-1)
A minute later Colts almost took the lead. Cole made a strong run down the right and crossed into the box for George, who saw his right-footed shot sneak just past the post.
Colts then had a blatant penalty appeal turned down after George broke through on the left and was bundled over in the box when he was about to shoot.
In the final minute Colts won a free kick on the left hand corner of the box after George was pulled back after breaking through. George’s right-footed shot was parried by the keeper but the ultimate predator, Matty, was on hand to tuck it away to win the game 2-1 with virtually the last kick of the game. A great start to the tournament for Colts.
MARKET DRAYTON TIGERS B 0
SAHA COLTS 3 – Ryan, Will (2)
Colts couldn’t have got off to a better start in the next fixture against Tigers. Ryan took the kick-off to Freddie who passed out wide to Will. Will played a slide rule cross to the back post and Ryan couldn’t miss from a yard out. The clock had barely made it to seven seconds! (1-0)
Matthew was sweeping up any danger at the back in a commanding way ably assisted by Freddie, who after one such challenge played a lovely one-two with Will before seeing his effort turned around the post for a corner.
Another sharp exchange of passes between Freddie and Ryan led to Freddie being put in. His right-footed shot was saved low to the keeper’s left but Will pounced on the rebound to get a well-deserved goal. (2-0)
A minute later, Will intercepted a ball in midfield and played a lovely through ball for Freddie to run onto. The keeper came off his line to beat Freddie to the ball but as it broke out Will was on hand to chip it back into the goal. (3-0)
Ryan almost made it four after winning the ball on the halfway line and hitting a strong, low shot from the wing just past the post. A minute later Ryan had a great chance after receiving a cross from George but the keeper made a miraculous save on the goal line.
Colts camped in Tigers half for the rest of the game with crosses and shots raining down on Tigers’ goal in a convincing 3-0 win for Colts.
WORTHEN WOLVES 1
SAHA COLTS 3 – George (3)
The change of pitch had no influence on Colts’ impressive march forward as they took another early lead within twenty-five seconds. Cole played the ball first time from the right into the path of George, who took it on the half turn, drove into the box and side-footed it with his left into the right corner. (1-0)
A minute later, Colts went close again. Zenden passed it out to the George on the left. He beat his man before playing a cross to Matty, who poked the ball just wide of the post.
Colts created lots of pressure, with crosses zipping across the box and almost made it two after George went just wide after being played in by Will.
George had the goal at his mercy again after beating two men from the left wing but lofted his right-footed shot over the bar.
Colts kept knocking but the goal wouldn’t come. Then came the inevitable equaliser. After Matty and George had produced a double-save former SAHA Creche boy, Marcus, he launched the ball forward to the right-winger to strike into the left corner to make it 1-1.
Colts didn’t panic though and went straight on the offensive with Cole striking a right-footed shot that squirmed under the keeper and looked suspiciously over the line before being clawed back by the keeper.
After yet another wave of attack, the ball broke free to George on the left corner of the box. He dragged the ball past his man with his left before calmly slotting into the corner with his right to regain the lead. (2-1)
With two minutes to go, Matty pressed from the front and deflected a clearance to George on the edge of the box. George bought it down, took a touch to get it out of his feet and struck it left-footed into the right corner. (3-1)
Colts kept attacking until the end in a one-sided game where they could easily have scored seven or eight goals.
PREES PUMAS 0
SAHA COLTS 1 – Freddie
Prees looked a different proposition to Worthen and attacked Colts’ goal from the kick-off. Heroic defending from Matthew, Freddie and Will resulted in the ball breaking out to the right wing where Ryan held off his man before playing a terrific reverse pass into the path of Freddie, who waited for his moment before smashing the ball home. (1-0)
In the second minute, Colts produced another penetrative move. Zenden passed to Freddie who played a lovely ball down the right to Ryan, who was just unable to get the cross in as Matthew made a strong run into the box.
Freddie was full of energy again today and hit the post with another long-range effort with his right foot. Pumas hit the post themselves a minute later to demonstrate that they weren’t going to lie down.
In the fifth minute, another interception and pass from Freddie put Ryan in until he was fouled on the right corner of the penalty area. A goal for Ryan from the resulting free kick looked inevitable but the ball crashed into the side netting. Freddie pressed and won the ball again from the goal kick and Ryan was desperately unlucky to go wide with a half-volleyed bullet from outside the box.
Ryan continued his run of near misses in the following minute after his shot went just over after being put through by Freddie’s throw-in.
Prees remained a threat and went close in the ninth minute following a goalmouth scramble. Zen’s clearance found Ryan who produced another defence-splitting pass to put Freddie though but the keeper foiled him on this occasion. Ryan went close again in the final minutes as his shot hit the post after cutting in from the right wing.
Colts closed out the game to keep up their 100% record.
SAHA COLTS 4 – George (2), Freddie, Matty
Cheshire side, Bunbury, were an unknown quantity but Colts didn’t give them time to impose themselves on the game as they took another early lead within twenty seconds. A great pass from the left from Freddie gave George a great opportunity inside the right corner of the box. George struggled to control it initially but got a fortunate ricochet, which allowed him to strike a right-footed shot into the left corner. (1-0)
Cole and ‘midfield dynamo’ Freddie were snuffing out any danger from Bunbury and it wasn’t long before Colts carved out another opportunity as George’s left-footed shot was saved at close range by the keeper after a great pass from Matty on the right wing. George returned the favour to Matty moments later but he got caught in two minds between a shot and a cross. The ball broke to Freddie who hit a great shot just wide of the post.
In the fourth minute, Freddie played a corner out to Cole on the edge of the box. Cole’s side-footed attempt was going wide but Freddie managed to retrieve the ball on the touchline and cut inside before hammering home a right-footed shot from an acute angle. (2-0)
A minute later, Cole played the ball to George on the left, who cut inside and passed to Matty within a few yards of the goal but his first time shot went just wide.
Matty’s persistence soon paid off though as he raced onto a ball over the top past his defender and beat the keeper to make it 3-0. Colts exuberant celebrations demonstrated their appreciation of their teammate’s efforts.
After another couple of near misses, George pressed the defender from a goal kick on the left and ran in to slot past the keeper off both posts to finish the game 4-0.
RANDLAY COLTS 4
SAHA COLTS 1 – Will
Colts had already done enough to get through the group stage but now faced much tougher opposition in the form of Randlay Colts. The Telford outfit started strongly and took the lead in the second minute after a speculative shot, which was going wide, was headed in on the right side of the box. (0-1)
Colts almost replied immediately as Ryan’s shot from close range was saved well by the keeper. As the ball broke free, Will’s outstanding shot with the outside of his right foot was spectacularly headed off the line by the defender.
In the fourth minutes, Randlay doubled their lead after their big Number Eight pressed Colts hard from a goalkick and struck a powerful shot past Zen. (0-2)
In the sixth minute Colts were back in the game. Ryan played a good pass down the left to George, who turned his man before sliding a cross to Will to tuck away on the back post. A well-earned reward for Will, who had played very well at right midfield. (1-2)
George won the ball from the kick-off and almost carved an opportunity to equalise. Ryan also went just wide with a good long-range shot. Will had a great opportunity but couldn’t get the connection he wanted on his left foot in front of goal.
The game slipped away in the eighth minute after the keeper launched the ball into the Colts penalty area and, after a scramble was passed into the net. (1-3)
The following minute Randlay went 4-1 up after a shot from outside the box crept under Zen, who injured his leg as he dived.
Colts had finally been defeated but had fought back well in the middle stages of the game and shown that they could compete with Randlay if they were to meet them again in a later round.
SAHA COLTS 1 – George
SAHA RAPTORS 0
There was a sense of tension in the air in the build up to this local derby. Raptors had struggled at the start of the season, but by the time they played Colts in the Spring demonstrated that they had made huge progress. Some of Colts’ scouts had also watched them in the group stage and reported that they had performed very well. More importantly, they were very competitive and were desperate to earn the bragging rights over Colts!
Raptors attacked from the kick off but Cole cleared to George in midfield, who drove forward but was stopped in his tracks by Sean on the edge of the box. As the ball broke free, Ryan took an ambitious shot from just inside the half way line. The ball was going just wide but George managed to take it on the half-turn inside the box and tucked it away with his left to give Colts another lead within thirty seconds. (1-0)
A minute later, Colts almost made it two. Under pressure in the right back position, Cole played a composed pass to George, who turned and played Matty clean through. Matty raced free of his defender but had his shot saved by the feet of Jack in goal. Colts continued to create pressure and from a throw in by the right corner flag, Ryan and George exchanged passes before Ryan unleashed a wicked bending shot, which was saved well in the top right corner.
Following a stoppage for a rare Cole injury, Colts found themselves under renewed Raptors’ pressure. Ryan worked back well to clear up the danger and passed to George on the right. George looked up and played a great ball into the box, which the unmarked Matty was just unable to bring under control.
Colts won a free kick on the edge of the box, which they worked beautifully. George ran over the ball and took one of the two-man wall to the right allowing Ryan to hit a clean shot which rattled against the crossbar before being headed away by the keeper.
Ryan tested the keeper with another stinging shot in the sixth minute after Matty won the ball well in midfield. Soon after, Ryan made a strong run down the left wing before threading the ball into the box. Matty and George looked at each other but neither put their name on it when the goal was at their mercy.
George set up Matty following a jinking run on the right but his shot was charged down by two defenders, Ryan was on hand to strike another great shot from outside the box but again it was saved by the keeper.
Colts were unable to kill Raptors off and their local rivals always posed a threat on the break. Following one corner, a block on the near post bounced out to their Number Four, who struck a good shot just wide of the post.
Colts created another good chance as George played the ball into the feet of Freddie in the box but his shot was saved well by the feet of the keeper.
Colts rode out the last couple of minutes. They had created a large number of chances but failed to put them away and were relived to make it to the semis.
SAHA COLTS 3 – George, Ryan (2)
RANDLAY COLTS 4
Colts had shown in periods of the group game that they could compete with Randlay. Within ten seconds they almost took the lead. George dribbled from the left and had his shot saved by the feet of the keeper. Will pounced on the rebound from a few yards out but the keeper turned and dived quickly to make an unbelievable point blank range save. From the breakaway, Randlay’s huge Number Eight made a strong run forward and hit a firm shot into the side netting.
Most of Randlay’s chances came from incredibly quick pressing from Colts’ goal kicks as Colts tried to pass the ball out of defence while Colts continued to create opportunities through great passing moves.
In the third minute, Cole sent a throw-in down the line to George, who dribbled his way forward before cutting inside to feed Ryan. He played it across the goalmouth to Will, who floated a ball to the back post for George to get on the end of before the keeper made another terrific save. The ball bounced out to Ryan, who sidestepped his man before hitting a snap shot just wide of the post.
In the fifth minute, Colts almost scored again as George cut in from the left side of the box and had a right-footed shot saved by the keeper. From the breakaway Randlay’s striker was put clear through and side footed into the corner of the net to give them the lead against the run of play. (0-1)
Within a minute, Colts scored an equaliser that had quality written all over it. Zen passed out to Freddie, who played a lovely one-two with Will, before supplying George with ball on the left edge of the box. George came inside and hit a right-footed shot into the bottom right corner of the goal. (1-1)
The following minute Colts had a golden chance to go in front. Ryan’s corner from the right slipped through the keeper’s hands and all George had to do on the back post was to get a firm head on it but he could only manage to head it wide.
Colts soon went close again. Zen played a long pass to Ryan, who passed out to George on the right. George dribbled past a couple of players before passing to Ryan on the edge of the box, who then hit a good shot just wide of the post.
In the ninth minute, Colts took a well-deserved lead. George won the ball in midfield and slipped a pass with the outside of his right foot to Ryan who took a few steps before finishing calmly past the keeper with his left foot. (2-1)
Randlay piled on the pressure but Colts almost sealed it in the twelfth and final minute. George ran across the pitch from left to right before checking and playing a diagonal left-footed ball across the penalty area to Ryan, who put it just wide with his shot.
Thirty seconds before the end, Randlay’s right back played a ball through the middle which split the Colts defence and was put away by their striker to equalise at the death. (2-2)
Extra-Time followed and Colts lifted their heads up and took an early lead after Ryan chased down a lost cause up front and poked home a left-footed finish inside the box. (3-2)
A minute later, George almost gave Colts a two-goal lead after winning the ball on the left wing and beating two men. However, the keeper came of his line and made a brave stop at George’s feet as he was about to pull the trigger.
Ninety seconds before the end, Randlay won a free-kick just inside Colts’ half. Zen made a good stop before the rebound hit the post and was finally kicked out to safety by Will. The crowd erupted believing that this was going to be Colts’ day. However, from the corner, the ball was whipped in, slipped through Zen’s hands, and was hooked in at the back post. (3-3)
It was all Randlay from the kick-off and with thirty seconds left the ball broke out to the right and was put away well by their striker. (3-4)
There was no time for a Colts’ comeback and Randlay went through to the final where they were beaten 4-3 by Prees Sabres.
Colts were devastated. Their hard work and brilliant play deserved to be rewarded with a trophy. Manager, Mark, sat the boys down and told them how they should be proud of their performance. Over recent weeks they had beaten Bayston Hill Juniors and narrowly missed out on penalties and Extra –Time to Meole Brace Colts and Randlay Colts – teams that were far superior less than twelve months ago. Colts quality of play had been recognised by a scout from an Everton FC Development Centre who had invited Colts for a match against his team – a huge testament to the lads’ development in recent months.
Finn was unavailable for this tournament.
Freddie producing another all-action display in midfield linking up play well and getting back to make vital tackles in defence.
Matthew looking composed at the back with good positioning and making some good interceptions.
Cole organising from the back and starting off moves with composed passing.
Jack was unavailable for this tournament.
Matty working his socks off up front and being rewarded for his persistence with a goal against Bunbury.
George supplying lots of good chances for the team with some incisive passing.
Ryan constantly knocking on the door with great shot after great shot and never giving up to score two goals in the Semi-Final.
Will being at the heart of many of many good Colts’ passing moves and being rewarded with a few goals.
Zen with some great distribution from the back.