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New year and same quality on show from the mini youth.

By Mark Hopper

Start as they mean to go on

New year and new winter leagues for Blair Mini Youth, here are some right ups from the first few weeks from the Thunder & Lighting boys in the U11s age Group:

6th Jan 2019
HOLLANDS AND BLAIR THUNDER u11s v K SPORTS COLTS

It was a tale of two halves as the Thunder boys strode out at Brompton for their first match of the new mini-season against K Sports.
In the opening period – and in front of an impressive number of parents on both sides, clearly relieved to have a first genuine excuse to leave the house this year – they looked fluent and likely to grab a few goals in what might have been a comfortable win. By the end of the second half, they were lucky to have got anything at all out of the game.
The match couldn’t have started any better. Oscar Colyer – who caused problems all day down the left – slotted home with barely a minute on the clock and nearly doubled the lead six minutes later. A fantastic ball from the busy Leo Pickett put Fred Bullivant in on the 17 minute mark, a chance which Fred only narrowly put wide, and Blair looked in control.
A flurry of activity brought the first half to an end – K Sports should have scored with their first real chance of the half before Blair surged up the other end only for Fred to be desperately unlucky with what looked like a goal-bound header.
In the second half, K Sports scored twice, with the Blair boys putting themselves in trouble time and time again with wayward passing and panicked decision making. Dead ball maestro Archie Rutherford provided a high point with a fierce, dipping free kick which hit the bar, bounced down and then somehow failed to go in, despite repeated attempts to scramble it in by several Blair boys.
In the dying seconds, persistence paid off for Charlie Firth as he bundled in a second goal for Thunder after his first effort was well saved.
One of the K Sports parents said afterwards how impressed he was with our boys when they passed the ball around and he was absolutely right – the boys always look more dangerous when they play ‘the Blair way’ and this game was no different.
They’ll need to be more consistent, make better decisions and show more determination if they are going to do themselves justice this season. Next up, a visit to Hartley De Sales.

13th Jan 2019
Hollands & Blair Lightning u11s vs Staplehurst Monarchs

In a repeat of the final game of 2018, Lightning started 2019 with a home league match vs Staplehurst Monarchs.
The pitch wasn’t in the best condition but that didn’t stop the Blair boys starting with some superb passing and possession.
That possession led to an opening goal that Man City would have been proud of. Playing out from the goalkeeper, rotating through midfield and a through ball into the left channel, Ronnie Horners ball across the box was met by Sean Okoronkwo on the half volley and his strike flew into the top right corner of the net leaving the goalkeeper helpless to stop it.
Blair continued their dominance of possession and after another superb build up, Okoronkwo was fouled in the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Sean dusted himself off and struck the penalty low into the middle of the net.
As in the previous encounter, the Monarchs pressed well and after some indecision in the Blair defence, the Staplehurst number 9 raced onto a loose ball and pegged the score back.
The goal spurred Blair on and they continued to create chances. Shortly after coming off the bench, James Barnes-Farnham signalled his intent with a strike against the frame of the goal before he opened his account shortly after with a close range finish after a good save from the keeper.
His second came less than a minute later after an excellent through ball and an accomplished slide rule finish.
Just before half time, a long high ball bounced over the Monarchs midfield and James was onto the mistake, nodding the bouncing ball forward and taking the ball in his path, slotted home for a 9 minute hat trick.
A commanding lead at the half meant that changes in position and rotation were on the cards. JC went forward, James slotted back into midfield and both Dylan Simpson and Timi Olagbemi had the chance to play midfield along with Lewis Inkpen later in the half.
The scoring was not as dominant as the display but was rounded off when James grabbed a forth goal after some superb persistence in the left channel by Josh Carter who cut back from the byline for a side foot finish from the penalty spot.
Excellent performances all round for Blair who gave a solid performance to start the league with tough games to come in the next few weeks.

Thanks once again from Richard & Ben for their write ups, glad to read the Christmas break hasn’t effected the performances from the boys. #UptheBlair #foundationsareforever

Updated 22:01 - 17 Jan 2019 by Mark Hopper

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