MATCH REPORT - SELKENT LEAGUE (Spring): Hillyfielders JFC vs JR Spartans - 28th April 13 (Away)
Our eighth game of the spring season saw us travelling to Honor Oak to face newly formed side Hillyfielders JFC. With a few finding the ground difficult to find, we finally kicked off the game approximately 5 minutes late. The starting squad was Ben (Goalkeeper), Finlay (Left Back), George (Right Back), Lovell (Left Midfield), Jack (Centre Midfield), Taran (Right Midfield) and Callum (Striker & Captain). Hillyfielders took the kick off and for much of the first 5 minutes the game was played very cautiously by both teams with a lot of the match being played in and around the midfield area. The first opportunity fell to our opponents, who broke down the right hand side and looked sure to fire a shot at goal, only for Finlay to put a last minute tackle in to avert the danger. With 10 minutes gone, Hillyfielders had a corner which resulted in a high looping attempt at goal which went over Ben's head, only for George to clear off of the line (great defending George). We had plenty of possession with Lovell, Jack and Taran battling hard in the midfield which resulted in several chances for Callum, but unfortunately we struggled to find that elusive opening goal. On the 13th minute Hillyfielders broke down the right again, following our corner and fired a shot right across our goal, which just went wide. Following a hand ball we were awarded a free kick which Finlay took but this was blasted into the side netting. From the goal kick Hillyfielders collect the ball following a mistake. The ball was taken into our box and the resulting shot hit Ben’s right hand post and was cleared by George. Shortly after we caught them on the break and Callum got a chance on goal, only to see his shot just go wide of the post. The boys began to put more pressure on Hillyfielders which resulted in a number of corners seeing both Taran and Callum going close. On the 23rd minute following another corner, taken by Lovell, the ball was cleared by Hillyfielders, straight to Finlay positioned on the edge of the box. Finlay gathered the ball and powered a brilliant left foot shot into the net for our opening goal (great strike Finlay). With the last minutes of the half ticking away Hillyfielders got another break down the right, with a one on one situation, but fortunately the danger was seen off by George for a goal kick to us.
Half time score: Hillyfielders – 0, Junior Reds Spartans – 1
The second half started with some changes to give everyone a run out. Callum was replaced by William, Lovell was replaced by Ugo and Jack came off for Kaci. Within the opening minutes Ben was called straight into action making a great save to his left, from which the ball broke out to their striker, but Ben managed to get his hands back on the ball to stop it from being scrambled in to the goal by the post (brave goalkeeping Ben). With 4 minutes of the second half played, William collected the ball on the right hand side and crossed the ball into the box for Ugo, whose powerful side footed shot, was terrifically saved by their keeper (unlucky Ugo). Shortly afterwards Kaci looped a high ball in to the Hillyfielders goal area, their defender misjudged the bounce and William latched onto the ball and thumped the ball home for our second of the game and Williams second in two matches (terrific anticipation and finish William). With 18 minutes of the second half gone William went close again, with a great shot that was just tipped over the bar, by another player in goal for our opponents. The boys continued to try to put passing moves together, but began to sit deeper and deeper, which allowed Hillyfielders to put more pressure on our defence and allowed them to put a lot of play down the right hand side through their fast winger. On the 21st minute they finally got a goal back following a shot from the right hand side of the box. The boys continued to play well but the final minutes were a bit edgy for the players, manager and parents / guardians alike, but we kept our composure and got the 2 points we so richly deserved.
Final Score: Hillyfielders – 1, Junior Reds Spartans – 2
Managers Comments: Given Hillyfielders previous results and being a newly formed side this always looked like a winnable game on paper. However this proved to be a tougher test than I initially thought. Yet again the result was positive and you all worked hard to support the defence. You used the wings really well in terms of getting passes through to Taran / Lovell / Kaci and Ugo. We need to work on our finishing as I believe we could be winning these games by 3 or 4 goals rather that 1 or 2. Still saying that, we have achieved 10 points in the league, which is now four points more than we had in the autumn season with two games left to play. This puts us sixth in the league. Let’s work hard to get at least 3 points out of the remaining 4.
Captain – Callum
Man of the match - George