MATCH REPORT - SELKENT LEAGUE (Spring): Petts Wood Kestels vs JR Spartans - 13th Jan 13 (Away)
Our second game of the Spring season saw us travelling back down to the Biggin Hill area to face Petts Wood Kestrels. This team came down from league C (West) and were an unknown quantity to us. However looking at their league position it was clear they didn't appear to have an out an out goal scorer as they only scored 12 goals in the Autumn season, but they did have one win, which was against JR Athletic.
The team was set up in a 2-3-1 formation with Taran acting as a defensive midfielder and William as the sole striker with Shemar and George in defense and Jack and Lovell on the right and left of midfield repectively.
The game started fairly evenly with both sides having an equal amount of posession and attempts on goal, it looked by all accounts it was going to be a close game. Shemar and George were looking really strong, tackling hard with plenty of support from Lovell, Taran and Jack. After 10 minutes Jack brought the ball out of our box and played in William who had a great run down the right hand side and fired a shot wide of Petts Wood goal. Shortly after William had another great run on goal but unfortunately his shot went to the right hand side of our opponents goal. With 15 minutes gone of the first half, Callum came on for William as the lone striker and Finlay on for Lovell in the left midfiled postion. Within minutes of the change we won a corner from which Jack drilled a shot into Petts Wood goal. Callum then had a great run on goal and from the resulting shot the ball fell to Taran on the edge of the box who saw his powerful shot just go wide of the Petts Wood goal. Jack then again had a strong run down the right hand wing and pulled the ball back for Callum who's shot just goes wide. Petts Wood did catch us on the break which saw their striker blast a shot high towards our goal, but Ben clawed the ball away for a corner.
Half Time Score: Petts Wood Kestrels - 0, Junior Reds Spartans - 1
We began the second half with Ugo on for Taran and Kaci for George. Ugo went into the midfield and Finlay dropped into the defensive midfield role, Kaci was a straight swap into the left back position. The boys continued the way they finished the first half piling on the pressure onto the Petts Wood goal. Callum went close within the opening 2 minutes after chasing down the Petts Wood defence, but his strike goes just wide. 9 minutes into the half, Jack receives the ball on the right hand side and dribbled into the box and put a beautiful ball into the path of Callum who's shot smashes the back of the net. A couple of minutes later we got another counter attack opportunity with Callum and Ugo down the left hand side which results in a corner. Jack and Finlay work a short corner but the resulting shot from Finlay went wide for a goal kick. Finlay and Kaci both had long range shots from outside the box, but unfortunately neither resulted in a goal but both were terrific attempts. Lovell then came back on for Jack. Petts Wood started to get back into the game but Shemar and Kaci with great support from Callum and Ugo put strong blocks in, to prevent our opponents getting any shots on target. With 19 minutes gone Lovell receives the ball on the left hand side and runs down the wing. He then passes the ball into Callum who's shot is parried by their keeper only for Ugo to follow up and slot the ball home for his first goal for JR Spartans (Well Done Ugo). With 20 minutes gone Taran comes on for Finlay, George on for Shemar and William goes on for Callum. Petts Wood show great spirit and put us under pressure from several corners during the last 5 minutes of play but the boys hold firm to maintain the win and importantly a clean sheet.
Full Time Score: Petts Wood Kestrels - 0, Junior Reds Spartans - 3
Managers Comment: This was a great victory, given that I was unsure about the ability of our opponents, as they had come down from Selkent League C - West. We had plenty of shots at goal and some great play down the wings. Throw-ins were good based on what we practiced at training and there was some great passing. The defense showed strong tackling and prevented very few opportunities from Petts Wood Kestrels. Myself, John and all the supporters really enjoyed the game as I hope did the boys. It was brilliant to get a win under our belt. Lets hope we can progress from here with further wins. Myself and John will be working on shooting, corners, positioning at goal kick and again looking to firm up some keys positions and general fitness / stamina.
Thanks goes to Sukh for helping with the match card signtures and William for assisting warming up the boys prior to the match.
Captain - Ben
Man of the Match - Jack