We finally reach the mid-season point after 12 games played and no games postponed, which I think is a first in any season. The ability of the boys in both their own individual challenges or as a team unit, has grown rapidly over these last months and I can say that every player has progressed in either a massive step up in some or tried to listen and adapt to something new in their game.
Both Matt and I are extremely proud of the team and their commitment to us and their team. This is reflected in the stats so far of P13, W9, D3, L1; F35, A16, with a goal avg. of 2.69 per game.
In the last group Plate game, the idea was to start strong and test the opposition, making the shots count and accurate. Play with confidence and belief in each other.
The 1st qtr brought just that with many a shot fired at goal by Michael only for luck to either be on the keeper’s side. Persistent work gives it reward and in the same qtr James had a the ability to shot on goal that due to the pace, hit the block but rebounded nicely to Guy out on the left who took his chance nicely with his left to take the lead.
Qtr 2 again brought out one of our growing set pieces, with Noah again floating in a corner from the right and with Guy again appearing at the back of the huddle, unexpectedly got his head on the ball and directed it into the net. Whilst he later confessed that the ball hit his shoulder first and then his head, the clear decision to attack with his head is a great.
Qtr 3, James broke up through the midfield in that strong position he has grown to love and weaved out to the right, from which he fired a cross over into the box. The ball fell just past Jamie, but found George attacking in from the left. Collecting the ball he had to control and turn quickly, but having done so, smashed the ball low and hard to bring the biggest cheer of the day.
George does not get many opportunities in front of goal and whilst missing out on the player’s award post game, it was a miss of me to not make more recognition of this. I will correct this at the party on Wednesday night! Picking any 2 boys for specific recognition post game is becoming a very difficult task indeed, as all bring something to reward in recent games. Whilst some don’t get this individual reward on a regular basis, I try to inform them at training or on the walk back to the cars, how important they all are.
Again, we need to pay respect and be cautious of to our opposition. With a comfortable lead made, players need to continue to show positional discipline and play / work hard as if it’s still the 1st minute of the 1st qtr. Not everyone will score and but all have a job to do that’s assigned to them.
Qtr 4 we seemed to relax a little and the opposition started to play some very good moving football, especially into the front of our box. In such danger areas, the release of a quick hard shot will always test our defence and that’s exactly what happened for us to concede.
The reaction was positive in response and whilst their team pressed high to get a second back, Charlie picked up the ball in the back of midfield and decisively sent it straight and away up to a moving Will’s. This time (as he had previously tried), he latched on to the ball and past their last man running towards goal. With pressure on from the incoming keeper in front and the defender on his shoulder, he excellently placed the ball past the keeper, to get his 2nd goal in 2 games.
With the game won and late defensive mix up which lead to a further conceded goal, all the positives are to be seen in this team, when they play for each other.
All parents should be very proud of what they have achieved so far and with a hope that a new challenge appears for them come January.