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Thunder & Lightning get great results to match the winter sun

By Mark Hopper

Blair Youth

This weekend Blair continued the Autumn Tournaments and we have once again both Under 11 teams to thank for write ups today and what two cracking games they were

The low autumn sun may have half blinded the parents, but it had no effect on the players as Thunder and Vinters Park played out an entertaining draw over in Maidstone.
Joe Watling got Blair off to the perfect start, bundling in a loose ball following a corner from the right. The boys looked to press home their advantage with Dexter Davis, Zach Tydeman, Archie Rutherford and Leo Pickett all working hard to put pressure on the Vinters defence.
But Vinters stormed back into it just six minutes after Blair’s opener and then went out in front five minutes later. The shell-shocked Thunder boys were at sixes and sevens and only a wonder save in the 23rd minute from the always-reliable Harry Lawrence stopped Vinters going in 3-1 at the break.
Thunder’s best spell of play was the first 15 minutes of the second half. The boys found their passes and imposed themselves on the opposition, with a fine move down the right ending with Zach putting a great effort just wide of the far post.
But the game seemed to be drifting away from the boys as the half progressed, Vinters stretching their lead with a goal that took all the parents by surprise after it went through a hole in the net and looked to have gone wide. It was only when the boys set up to kick off on the centre spot that we realised it had gone in!
But the lads heard coach Lee’s calls for hard work and struck back, Joe almost casually waltzing past virtually the entire Vinters team to stroke home a fine individual goal. Vinters were tiring and an equaliser beckoned. It came via Fred Bullivant after some fantastic work from Oscar Colyer and it was all square.
Max Barwick and the returning Franki Hillier worked hard in defence, marshalled as usual by the rock-solid Fin Langthorne.
With the draw, the boys maintained their unbeaten record in this year’s Autumn Tournament and now look forward to a rematch with Snodland, who edged them out in a tight league fixture at Brompton last month.

On a bright morning in Gillingham, on a picturesque surface, Lightning hosted Maidstone United Youth looking to halt the slide after three straight narrow defeats.
Nearing a return is the injured Callum Spittle but this game came just too early for him.
Blair started the game superbly, playing out from the back and bringing their hard work in training to the match.
Early pressure was building, and Blair got the rewards that the strong start deserved when Harrison Liddle opened the scoring after some excellent build up play by Dylan Simpson and Ronnie Horner down the Blair left.
Ten minutes later and further pressure saw a shot blocked with a hand giving Blair’s penalty shootout champion Dylan Simpson his first pen of the season. His strike down the middle was saved but the ball landed back at his feet and he tucked it away to double the Blair lead.
Continued Blair pressure saw two more goals in quick succession. One from top scorer so far this season, Lewis Inkpen and another two minutes later from Player of the match, Josh Carter who added a well-earned goal to his excellent performance.
James Barnes-Farnham continued his reputation for giving no quarters when a Maidstone striker pounced on a poor back pass and he was dragged down just outside the box. The resulting free kick was well saved, and Barnes-Farnham received a yellow card for his trouble.
With a solid lead at half time Blair started the second half with a few positional changes and continued to play out from the back with the accomplished Liam Hughes linking up well with the midfield and creating the foundation for some flowing football.
Despite the away sides continued efforts, Liam Sherriff looked comfortable between the sticks when the goal of the game came from Harry Wells. Some fantastic build up play saw Blair play through the midfield and outnumber the Maidstone back line when a through ball found Wellsy one on one with a Blair runner in Sean Okoronkwo making things tough for the solitary defender. Wellsy fainted beautifully dropped his shoulder, left the defender for dead and slotted home past the keeper.
A further late goal added by Inkpen saw Blair finally get the result and a clean sheet that their hard work deserved.
Next up a tough challenge against Staplehurst Monarchs at home for the Lightning lads.

Thanks again to Richard and Ben for some quality write ups, keep them coming.
#UptheBlair #foundationsareforever

Updated 07:58 - 4 Jun 2019 by Mark Hopper

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