Home league match played on 18 March 2023.
Kicked off at 9:15 AM

Was it a wet and muddy affair - yes!! Did we play our hearts out - yes!! Did we play some nice football - yes!! Did the last 7 minutes feel like an hour - oh my good god yes!!

But the biggest yes for me, was how the boys listened before the game, at half time and during both halves! I asked them to shoot - 3 different goal scorers and 3 potential Goals of the season!! I asked the defence to step up quickly, which they did, being rewarded with offside decisions (correctly - I may add) Chayley was asked to use his pace and voice, which I felt he did brilliantly today - I made changes based on the way partnerships are developing at training, and a brave move to re-position our top goal scorer away from striker! He worked harder and deserved his goal too!!!

We have really been working at training at making our throws count for possession, our marking and what it means to press or get to that ball first, and I saw this constantly time and time again across all areas of the pitch today!

Did we defend deep and invite pressure the last 10 minutes. We did, but upon reflection this showed me how much the team wanted that win today. You came back 3 times, and finally got the break through we needed to go one goal ahead. Next thing I see is us with one man upfront and 10 back behind the ball, trying to cut out crosses, shots and passes as much as possible. It felt like an eternity, but you ground it out for such a well deserved win! The muddy smiling faces were actually awesome!

Completely agree with team spirit and parents award going to all players today - picking out anyone for their total performance was impossible! As a coach, I chose to split the award for man of the match between Harry (2 weeks in a row) and Archie for their goals scored - worldies all 3 of them!

Harry was impeccable up front, working superbly with his brother and scoring a perfect left footed, well controlled and timed strike - the player who came to us as a left midfield player is definitely a striker in my book! Harry was constantly helping out in the midfield even in the centre at times, applying pressure anyway he could and linking superbly with Leo!

Archie - I asked for shots outside the box, and after doing it once in the first half at a key time, you decided to do it again second half!! You found your place on the right working superbly with Caiden to cover each others runs, and push forward with run after run at their defence! So unlucky with the handball, last week that wouldn’t have been given - the luck of the draw maybe? However, The reward of 2 goals was completely justified, and I’m not sure who’s smile was bigger out of yours and your dads at the end!!

Harrison - a captains performance for me. Did you have a couple of loose balls and wobbles which we don’t normally see - yes. BUT the difference for me was you not letting your head drop, you kept going, you picked yourself up, and the runs forward we have discussed, came through plentiful today, you were a complete handful, bossed the back line and switched the play up when asked!

Leo - your first Full 70 minutes of a match, and the thing that impressed me the most today, was despite the knocks you kept receiving, you kept going. You turned the ball cleverly and linked with Harry and Tom and Fin brilliantly today. This left wing position definitely suits your style of football, and you kept winning key tackles in the midfield and working back to help Harrison as much as you could also!

Bradley - you seem to have a knack of we put you on and within 3-5 minutes we score our opening goal. Two weeks in a row now. What I will say is you stick to your position well, and in doing so you create space for the rest of the team to run into, you don’t crowd the ball, you make yourself an option and made key interceptions and tackles to get your pass away too!

Tom - a different position for you today. You showed excellent strength, awareness and true grit and determination in the middle of the pitch, great runs forward, your comms and linking with Harry were superb, and working with chase in the second half too, we saw you working the hardest I’ve seen you work all season and rewarded with a very well taken goal - latching on to an excellent through ball from Reece and slotting home superbly!!

Reece - we spoke about confidence being the key to unlocking the Reece we have at training for matches. There were pockets of this and you shone during those. You made key challenges, read the game and mopped up loose balls through the middle and helped out in defence when needed too! Second half was very much the same, and saw you making your passes count more as the game went on!

Fin - a strong first half, giving chase to through balls and applying pressure on there defence when needed. Some great touches today together with more movement from you, saw us with more of a presence up front. Let’s watch that offside and we will work more and more on how you hold up the ball for the team too!

Chase - a brilliant second half performance - and my god did you cheer the boys on the first half!! You become that 12th man when you are sub that we get from the parents one side, we get from you the other! You were completely unselfish today and laid off a great through ball that Harry latched onto and he hit that home superbly!! A new partnership forming maybe?!!

Chayley - you grew an extra foot on more than one occasion today and made some fantastic shot stops too! You listened superbly and played a sweeper keeper style that helped out the defence on a multitude of occasions. Great kicks from your hand and ground kicks today too! You have a way of keeping your head and still making your voice heard. Commanding those balls and doing it superbly!

Matthew - an utter force in defence - a small error today which lead to a goal, but I had forgotten about that by the end of the match and could only remember the countless times you tracked the play superbly to make challenge after challenge and then Get the ball back up the pitch. I asked for a little bit more of Matthew pushing the ball forward and saw several runs from you today - people don’t expect it from a centre back, but I say let’s keep going, I love the surprises!

Cristiano - a fantastic full game for you too today, much improved partnership with Matthew and read of the game and covering positions to stop people shooting. You made some key tackles today, and read the overhead balls so much better this week!

Caiden - we spoke at the end about your role at right back and how your vision of the entire pitch helps the whole team. You link effortlessly at times with Archie, and as soon as I spoke about switching the play, you were on it! Pushing forward with every chance you had, and quick feet to try and bring the ball under control from the air time and time again!

Phoenix - the best sub - it was the right decision to rest that knee of yours. I’d rather have you fighting fit for the last few games than have you completely miss them due to injury!! I think you were wise to rest your knee as you were spotted with a hobble when the game started. I’ve got my spies!

Overall it was a day where we started out playing in green and ended up playing in brown! The boys put in a tremendous performance coming back 3 times to secure a well deserved win. The fruits of weeks of training including the boring laps, showing through in the fitness across the entire team! We have a few things and partnerships we can improve, but this weekend is yours boys - dine out on that team performance and enjoy it!!

Darren - superb running of the line - thank you! Parents for putting up the goals - thank you again! And for all your support on a very wet day - it really is massively appreciated by me!!

Lastly I wish all the mums a very happy Mummys day tomorrow - can’t believe the boys gifted you all with the most beautiful brown football kit!! Sorry!

Let’s go bees!!!

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