Sunday 27th January another weekend of games from the mini youth and once again two fantastic write ups from the two under 11 teams, enjoy
Holland's & Blair u11s Thunder
Thunder came into this contest having drawn their first two games of the mini-season and desperate to get a first win under their belts.
The boys started brightly with Archie Rutherford, Leo Pickett and Zach Tydeman all making nuisances of themselves. With just five minutes on the clock, Archie let loose with a thunderbolt free kick which was well saved, as was Zach’s follow-up. When Leo tested the keeper with another well worked shot a minute later, it seemed a goal would not be long coming.
A great length-of-the-field ball from Charlie Firth almost put Zach in before Leo opened the scoring on ten minutes. After some lovely build-up play, Leo fed Zach, whose shot was saved before quick-thinking Leo hammered the rebound into the back of the net.
As so often happens, the goal seemed to put indecision in the minds of the boys, whose fluent passing and patient build-up play had been a joy to watch up to that point. A series of defensive errors saw MPE equalise just four minutes after Blair’s opener.
Zach restored the lead just a minute later and the game seemed to be there for the taking, Charlie connecting well with an Archie corner in the 26th minute only to see his effort fly just over the bar.
MPE’s equaliser, on the stroke of half time, was disappointing to watch as Thunder lost all their focus. An MPE player strolled past half a dozen Blair boys before stroking the ball past a helpless Harry Lawrence.
Blair cranked it up a notch in the second half with Ben Phillips, Fin Langthorne and in particular Oscar Colyer catching the eye. Oscar did everything but score, creating chance after chance and battling for every scrap of possession down the left side. But, try as they might, the boys just couldn’t get another goal and had to settle for another point in an entertaining contest.
The MPE parents said how impressed they were with the Thunder boys and their passing brand of football – one piece of luck and the floodgates might have opened. But the future looks bright for this team who work hard and fight for each other every week.
From Fin showing his class by stroking the ball out of defence, to Charlie ‘doing what needed to be done’ to stop an MPE player going clean through on goal, to Zach and Oscar leaving absolutely everything out there on the pitch, this felt like a key game in the boys’ development. Maybe, at last, they are starting to believe in themselves.
Next up, Kings Hill Colts come to Brompton.
Holland's & Blair U11 Lightning
On a clear sunny morning with a bitter wind and a boggy surface, the Lightning players went into their Home match with Maidstone United looking to keep their recent form on track.
In a very scrappy first half, chances were few and far between with both keepers having very little to do with Liam Hughes and Dylan Simpson marshalling the back line and Horner, Wells and Liddle controlling the flanks.
Passing was tough for both sides and the long clearances from the away side were assisted by the blustery conditions enabling them to get rest bite from the Blair pressure. Carter, and Inkpen were stifled by the conditions and tenacious Maidstone Midfield.
To start the second half Blair no longer had to battle the wind as well as their opponents and started the half well dominating possession with Inkpen returning to a centre forwards role and Barnes-Farnham slotting back in alongside Carter in midfield.
A late challenge just inside the half gave Blair a set piece to try and break the deadlock.
The ball was delivered towards the area by Liam Hughes who’s driven cross eluded the defence and was superbly controlled by James Barnes-Farnham who took a touch and slid the ball past the Maidstone keeper after just five minutes of the half.
Barnes-Farnham has another chance shortly after. Put through in goal by Inkpen, his strike was well saved by the keeper. The ball fell back to the Blair number 8 and his cut back from the byline was stuck first time against the post by Okoronkwo and Maidstone survived.
The wind and pitch continued to play their part and despite one clear cut Maidstone chance, a superb save by Liam “The Sherrif” at his near post meant Blair got the result their second half performance deserved.
Next up in the league, a chance to reverse the defeat in the cup vs Vinters Rangers and maintain the 100% record in 2019.
Think you can agree these write ups are worth reading every week and you look forward to seeing how the boys got on, keep up the good work boys and especially Richard and Ben our resident sports journalists. #uptheBlair! #foundationsareforever