Last weekend the Youth teams continued their games and their autumn tournaments and we have some great match reports from both under 11 teams:
Hollands and Blair U11s Thunder 1 Maidstone United Rangers 1
A blustery morning at Brompton saw Thunder lining up in the Autumn Tournament against a Maidstone team who played in the league above them in the first mini-season.
There was nothing between the sides in a first half that lacked fluency as both teams struggled with the windy conditions and heavy pitch. Maidstone probably shaded the first 30 minutes but there were few clear-cut chances for either side.
Thunder struggled to get the ball up to striker Zach Tydeman who all too often was left isolated and facing three or four defenders.
After a perfectly observed Remembrance Sunday silence at half time, the boys looked determined as the second half got going. After a brief spell on top, Thunder couldn’t capitalise and Maidstone perked up, creating a couple of decent chances which the ever-alert Harry Lawrence safely dealt with.
With 15 minutes left, this one really could have gone either way. Then, Zach’s customary hard graft was rewarded when, after some neat passing, he got a good shot away which was saved but he was sharp enough to pounce on the rebound to put Thunder 1-0 up.
One goal was never going to make anyone feel comfortable and there was a sense of inevitability about Maidstone’s equaliser five minutes from the end, which no-one could argue was undeserved.
Special mentions for Joseph Watling, who put in an awesome shift all over the park, disrupting Maidstone’s attacks and setting up our own forward players, and Fin Langthorne, who never once looked uncomfortable on a difficult day and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
As manager Lee pointed out at the end, it was Blair’s effort and hard work that earned them a draw in a game they certainly would not have got a point from 12 months ago.
But they will need more creativity and bite in their game next week, away at a strong-looking Vinters Park.
HOLLANDS & BLAIR UNDER 11s LIGHTNING 1 v WOODCOOMBE 2
Conspiracy theorists will be asking questions about a fifth consecutive away pairing with Woodcombe but the Lightning players took that in their stride and were in good spirits as they tried to halt the slide in form seeing two recent defeats in a row.
The two sides acknowledged a two minute silence before Kick Off on a bright Remembrance Sunday morning.
An evenly contested first 15 minutes saw few chances for the home side whilst the away team built well from the back and continued their philosophy of playing through the thirds.
Despite dominating Blair were caught short after overcommitting to an attack and after some indecision in the defence and an overload, the home side took the lead with a close range finish.
Blair battled back and created a few half chances leading to a build up of pressure and a good strike at goal which lead to a corner.
Josh Carter’s delivery was met perfectly by the head of Sean Okoronkwo who headed home the equaliser.
Blair continued to press forward and had the ball in the net again after some superb interplay but the goal was controversially ruled offside and the teams went in at the break all square at 1-1.
Both sides started the second half with a clear desire to win the game and the midfield battle was boiling over when James Barnes-Farnham was the recipient of a late challenge. His reaction to that saw him booked for the second time this season.
Blair made numerous forays forward without creating any clear cut chances, which they paid the price for after a long range effort from Woodcombes midfield crept in the corner.
Pushing for an equaliser, Blair were left exposed and Woodcombe got into the box and forced goalkeeper Liam Sherriff into three inspired saves to be proud of.
Unfortunately, they were to no avail as the home side cemented the result with a third goal 10 minutes before the end.
The Lightning players can now look forward to back to back home games to get the results back on track that are in line with the form they have shown.
Once again thanks to Richard and Ben for top write ups, great to read about the youth teams progression every week.
Updated 21:48 - 15 Nov 2018 by Mark Hopper