Home cup match played on 30 September 2023.
Kicked off at 12:15 PM

Not too hot, not too cold, no rain, in fact finally some decent enough weather to enjoy the game today! This opener about the weather really does make me very British!!

A couple of injured players and luckily Wyatt lived close enough to have his kit on and be back not long after we had kicked off!!

Chayley stepped in to the injured Reece’s position at left back, who was stepping in for the injured Sofia! Hope your knee and fingers are better respectively!!

We were treated to our visitors being much more awake than we were! And hit us quickly on the break to slot home for a quick start, 1-0 down inside 3 minutes.

Whilst this was disappointing, George and I know the depth we have in this team, the middle 3 of Harrison, H and Pheen are there for a reason, to give us a solid midfield, working together as a 3 and feeding through to the our strikers.

Keeping the back 4 as close to last weeks as possible, should start to bring in the consistency we crave and excel with as a team. Despite the shaky start, we were pushing as we should, playing some decent football, nice passing and pressing into their box!

When would you have it a ball comes out, and Bradley protecting that back 4 latches on to it, hitting it on the half volley, lobbing the keeper scoring an absolute worldy of a first goal for us!! The club chairman even saw that one!!

That wasn’t the end though, the visitors fought back and quickly took the lead once more, before making a mistake in their own box leading with an arm, Harry (ref) blew his whistle awarding the penalty!

Who should take, it was 50/50 between H and Harrison. Both boys looking at me asking me the question, I think both of you would have put that away no problem! After pressing the goal the last 3 weeks I felt a goal would lift H to another level, so gave him the honours. A perfect penalty, didn’t open his body up too soon, but hit it home to the right of the keeper sending the keeper to the left!

We reached half time at 2-2, it was seemingly like the game where we played 3 weeks ago. But we knew we had more to give. Queue the half time changes and plans all being changed - I don’t know why I make plans as I rarely get to stick with them.

Kept the back four the same for the entire game, giving them game time together, keeping us as a unit as solid as possible!

We hit two goals to no reply, 2 fantastic free kicks from similar positions towards goal, but different distances. H using power and precision for the keeper to stand little to no chance just a few yards outside the box! Then Chayley after taking a free kick deep in our half I could see he was on good form. A free kick on the edge of the halfway circle, and H was eyeing it up, I asked Chayley to take it, just wanted the same kick he had done before - and deliver he did!! 4-2 to the bees!

This riled the away team and they fought back with a goal that was a little scrappy on our part, getting in each others way and no one committing to make a challenge.

Up until then we had been kept in the game by some fantastic saves from Luke, being brave and a superb double save too! Really frustrating the visitors. They kept and kept pushing, the back line got a little wobbly, but they held it so that 2 goals from the visitors were both deemed correctly offside!

The tie was definitely on an edge 4-3, a goal from them would see penalties, we had seen off two scares! We needed to have one final push as a team to put the tie to bed! We had several fantastic runs forward, working the midfield hard today, and were unlucky to not be 4 or 5 goals ahead. Just waiting for Ollie to find his shooting form as the rest he has Nailed! One thing is for sure, he will keep going and keep trying! This lead to a bit of a scramble within the box that fell to H and some quick footwork he spotted a gap and completed his hat-trick!!!

It was a busy day of great performances across the team! Alex and Chayley both strong on the right and left, great throws from you both and supporting your midfield too, to work with them whenever you could.

Alex walking through tackle after tackle and working up the pitch brilliantly! Chayley a fantastic free kick and great attitude at the game today!!

Matthew and Cristiano - both solid as ever, Cristiano you had a superb few runs and tackles going forward and stands you in good stead to try the CDM role too, especially as we should have Jacob back very soon! Matthew as soon as you cleared from one of Luke’s many saves in the first half, you settled down, seemed nervy to start with today, but you show us every week why we need you in that position!

Bradley and Wyatt - our CDM duo who play it sooo differently, Bradley you protected the back 4 well and positionally were exactly where you needed to be for corners/goal kicks and loose balls to hit them goal bound. You showed us what you can do at training and from bee of the week to your first goal, what an excellent week you have had! Wyatt - so thankful you live close by and didn’t go with your parents today (sorry mum and dad) you brought fresh legs for closing down and a strength to the position pushing forwards. Don’t be afraid to shoot!!! It worked wonders for Bradley!

Pheen and Harrison - some really good cover work today working the midfield as a 3 is a lot of hard work! Harrison, so many CJ Allen he’s and partnered excellently with Alex time and time again today! Unlucky not to score! Pheen, you beat the keeper, obviously inspired by Bradley, but alas that cross bar came to the keepers rescue. The footwork and technique you apply, shows how you can hit them so well from so far away! Keep on pushing as we know you can both score goals!

Ryan and Leo big shoes to fill taking off Harrison and Pheen, and you both did really well, Leo you listened to Goerge and I brilliantly, helping out with the defending when needed and some clever touches going forward. You are standing up to players more and more and I can see your confidence growing too! Ryan, another half on the wing today and some of the crosses you put in were exactly what we worked on in training!! The more of those you can put in, the more chances we have to score!!

H - stands for Hat-trick this week!! 3 goals in 3 different ways taken brilliantly. I was hoping giving you the penalty to take, you’d push on to lift the team and maybe get another - but a hat trick which shows the hard work from the last 3 weeks is paying off. You are working really well with the team, always looking to get your pass to a green shirt and then working to help us get the ball back when we lose it!

Harry - a really good game for you today too… came close to scoring and came on to the pitch with the right attitude after we had to take off an injured Fin. You started on the front foot and supported Ollie brilliantly. Some fantastic vision and cross pitch play of balls today too!

Fin - unlucky to get injured today, as when you hold up the ball and use your body, you bring a different strength to our team up front! Remember to keep going to close down that keeper with the ball and anticipation of where the ball may go from a throw is you next one to learn!

Ollie - back to one Ollie now, and you show week in week out a turn of pace and strength to skip through what essentially are some really bad challenges, they have to hold on to you, quite literally, to stop you! This tenacity thought won us free kicks, and we scored from 2 of those today!! Now if we can find those shooting boots……

Last Luke - I always get to the end of these reports and count up the kids making sure I have the right numbers etc and I admit it’s always you I forget! Despite the excellent commandment of your box, the comms with defence, and the 4 fantastic saves today, you also had multiple other saves you had to make!! The double save today frustrated the opponents on a whole other level! Keep it up!

Watching the boys celebrate with Bradley today and almost every one of our team going over to this beaming face was a moment I will remember for a long time!!! He took training to the match and went for it!!

Massive thanks to Sofia and Jacob for coming to support the team, despite their injuries!! Also to Reece for supporting from the sidelines with your swollen knee! Chris for running the line brilliantly! And all the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends for their support today!

We honestly played some fantastic football today and showed how far we have come in the space of 3 weeks. The closing down and pressure and the change in our attitude towards those has been a breath of fresh air from last week that carried in to today. Let’s keep working for each other!

Together Everyone Achieves More

And you guys showing that today on play safe weekend!!

Be very proud of yourselves!!

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