Going to a well-established set up as this away day, offered some jitters in the morning but thankfully the boys obviously did not feel the same as their coach.
The match started off very well with the visible sign that the team had their ‘tails up’ and keen to start off positively. Whilst the match was very even at this stage the breakthrough came close to the end of the qtr from yet another set piece. Again Noah from the left hand corner flag, swung in a pinpoint corner to be met by a moving Harry into the box. Harry’s body position and especially the manner in which he deliberately directed and put speed onto the ball was perfect. Our team’s ability, but more importantly their own thinking in the box at such moments is definitely growing in maturity.
Those deliberate mazy runs into the box from Wills or the movement to get into key areas to expose the goal is being recognised and applauded.
The 2nd qtr again started spiritly and during open play by James gave him the opportunity to shoot from the middle in front of goal. His shot took a deflection but was cleverly back flicked by a suitable placed Noah in the right place at the right time. This cheeky flick and spin on the ball took it towards goal where the goalkeeper and defender were just short of clearing their line and could only watch the ball roll over the line.
Striking whilst the iron is hot for a change, a near repeat of our earlier corner was served up by Noah from the left flag and attempted to be latched onto by James. In the defending panic, the ball either received a slight deflection or was somehow put past their own goalkeeper as an OG. I always like to think we score our goals so put this down as a Binfield goal. This was the point I think that the opposition felt it was not their day and to suffer a similar set piece set back unsettled them.
Whilst I feel that we did a great job in controlling the match, we did have our own scares and again reliable shot stops from Harley had to be called upon and solid defensive tasking by Charlie, Harry, Wills and Jamie at the back again providing a job well done.
In the last half we also had numerous chances to extend our lead with the cross bar and post getting in the way for Michael and a great work in the final third of the pitch where Jamie holds the ball and distributes out to an incoming James, who only just shot over.
The opposition coaches were heard to remark on our keenness to instantly apply pressure on them as soon as they get the ball and delay their movement forward, hassle them off the ball or simply force them to make a passing error for us to capitalise on. This is something all parents will see us encouraging the team to do in all positions and if applied can really be a game winner.
To come away from this with a clean sheet and a near perfect performance, kept the smile on my face and I am sure a happy skip (swagger as boys don’t skip I am told) in everyone’s step.