MATCH REPORT - SELKENT LEAGUE VASE: JR Spartans vs Stamford FC & JR Valiants - 24th Feb 13
Today saw us back in the second round of the Selkent League Vase competition. This time we faced stiffer opponents in Stamford FC from league B and our sister team Junior Reds Valiants from league A. However we have been on a great run and today was a chance to see how far we have progressed as a squad of players and a team.
Our first game was against Stamford FC where we started off well and were not phased by the opposition. The team was set up in the usual formation with Ben in goal, George and Shemar in defense. With Jack, Taran & Finlay in midfield and Callum as the lone striker. The boys started well keeping Stamford's chances to a minimum. However on the 7th minute they had a shot which was struck well and the ball looped over Ben's head. Shortly after Stamford were two nil up following a run through the centre and a low shot into our goal. We had chances as well, following a throw in on the right hand side the ball found its way to Taran who has a great shot only for their keeper to save.
Half Time Score: Junior Reds Spartans - 0, Stamford FC - 2
We started with a few changes in the second half, Kaci for George, Lovell for Finlay, William for Callum and Ugo on for Taran. In the opening minutes of the second half the ball droped to their central midfield player who struck a great shot that looped over Ben's head (a very similar goal to their first). With 5 minutes of the second half gone we conceded our fourth goal (which I missed, hence no details). Shortly after this they scored again to make the game 5 nil and the game was clearly drifting out of reach for us. Despite the score the boys continued to play some good football with strong defending and midfield play but we just couldn't deliver that final decisive blow. With the final minutes of the half ticking away Stamford got a corner on the right which somehow found its way into the net.
Final Score: Junior Reds Spartans - 0, Stamford FC - 6
With no rest we were straight into our next game against Junior Reds Valiants. We had played this team in our very first match as a team in a friendly and knew where their strengths lied.
The team was set up with Ben in goal, George and Finlay in defense. Jack, Taran and Lovell in midfield and Callum again as the lone striker. Within the first two minutes we had an attack on their goal but we were caught on the break and conceded our first goal. In the 11th minute Valiants scored a cracking second goal with a bullet of a strike from well outside the box. With only 4 minutes of the second half left the opposition score a third with another shot that loops high into the net and with almost the last kick of the half they score a fourth (missed this as well :-)). With Finlay asking to come off, Kaci joins the action literally seconds before the whistle is blown.
Half Time Score: JR Valiants - 4, Junior Reds Spartans - 0
The second half saw some changes to allow all the boys to have an equal amount of playing time. Shemar on for Ben, Ugo on for Jack and William on for Callum. With Ben feeling un well Kaci donned the keeper’s jersey for the second half. With 2 minutes of the second half the Valiants find a way through our defense down the right and score from a tight angle. Minutes later Kaci makes a great save from a well hit shot pushing the ball over the cross bar (great stop Kaci). With 5 minutes on the clock of the second half, the Valiants get their sixth goal. We unfortunately lost our concentration briefly and almost directly from the kick off we lose possession and our opponents score their seventh goal. However we continued to try hard to get a goal and worked hard in every area of the pitch but unfortunately to no avail.
Final Score: JR Valiants - 7, Junior Reds Spartans - 0
Managers Comment: Well guys today was always going to be tough, given the level of opposition we were up against. However the vast majority of goals were scored from longer range shots, which shows that both teams couldn't breakdown our defense. However this shows that we need to close down opponents and not allow them time to tee up shots. At least we made it into the next round which was an improvement on the Autumn season. Lets hope we can pick up our good form from previous games when we get back to concetrating on the league next weekend. Areas for development at training, first touch, spatial awareness, longer / stronger passing. Have a good week back at school boys.
Thanks goes to William for helping with the match cards and to John for looking after Finlay while I refereed the last cup game.
Also thanks to Tim for taking photos at Petts Wood Kestrel game which I'll add to webite later.