A blue, sunny sky and a pristine pitch welcomed Colts to the Sports Village. All was not perfect though. Colts were missing Cole and Jacob – their impenetrable wall at the back. Everyone was going to have to be at their very best today after word had spread round that Lions were a very useful outfit.
Colts started very brightly though. In the 9th minute, Freddie hurled a long throw forward from left back position. George came out of a group of players with the ball and played a through-ball to Matty who hit it first time from distance only to see it tipped over the bar from the keeper.
In the 12th minute, Zen launched a long goal kick forward and the defender’s clearance landed at the feet of George who ran down the left channel and fired a left footed shot which the keeper blocked. The rebound came back to George who turned inside and struck a good shot into the net with his right to make it 1-0.
A couple of minutes later, Matty won a free kick after being stopped in his tracks running from midfield. His right-footed free kick was lifted over the wall and bounced before hitting the post.
Matty came close again just before the end of the quarter with another shot which went just past the post.
5 minutes into the second quarter, Lions cleared from the back and their striker took the ball on the turn and lobbed it over Zen from long range to equalise – a great goal. (1-1)
Colts almost regained the lead a couple of minutes later after Matthew struck a shot just past the post after good work down the left from Ryan.
Finn went even closer the following minute after his fierce right-footed shot bounced off the post after Ryan’s free kick was cleared.
Lions created pressure of their own and were foiled on a couple of occasions by good goalkeeping and defending by Zen and Finn respectively. A great long range shot from Lions also went narrowly over the crossbar.
Just before the interval, Colts ended a tight quarter on a high. Ryan ran on to Will’s chipped through-ball and bided his time before smashing a left-footed shot past the keeper to make it 2-1.
Lions almost equalised from the kick-off of the third quarter as their striker intercepted a pass and run purposefully down the left before hitting a strong shot just past the far post.
George went close after the keeper made a sharp near post save after a strong run down the left wing.
Colts continued to pile on the pressure. George and Matty both had another couple of efforts each saved by Lions’ impressive keeper. Colts efforts were rewarded in the 31st minute after Ryan received George’s corner and took it to one side of the defender before smashing it into the right corner to make it 3-1.
A couple of minutes later, Colts went 4-1 up after Freddie controlled Ryan’s corner at the near post and smashed it past the keeper.
Less than a minute into the final period, Colts increased their lead. Matthew won the ball with a strong tackle in defence before Ryan fed Matty down the right. Matty chopped inside to create space and then curved the ball into the far corner with his right foot. A lovely goal and well deserved after working so hard for the team. (5-1)
Matty almost scored again a minute later, hitting the post after good work by George down the left.
Zen made a trio of terrific saves to maintain Colts’ lead. The third reminiscent of Gordon Banks’ save against Pele in 1970 as he dived down low to turn a shot around the corner of the post.
In the 53rd minute, Colts went 6-1 up after Will sneaked a left-footed shot through a crowd of players after George had played a long free kick from the right into the mixer.
Colts pressed really well from Lions’ goal kicks and this strategy paid off three minutes from the end as George won the ball, dribbled past two men and slotted past the keeper with his right foot to make it 7-1.
A minute from the end Lions got one back after their No. 9 received the ball inside his own half, brushed aside a challenge and finished with his left at the near post. (7-2)
It was a great performance from Colts. Everyone was on their game and their was an extra determination to overcome the loss of their two defensive lynchpins. Special mentions to Will, Matthew, Finn and Freddie who were all composed and solid in defence.