We knew this would be a tough game as we faced an unbeaten team in the league and a team we lost 6-0 to away from home.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get off to the best of starts as they scored within 5 seconds of the kick off! They set the ball back and drilled a shot into the top corner of our net, 1-0. This, however, didn’t sway our concentration and determination to give a good account of ourselves. Within 5 minutes we found ourselves level.
An excellent ball out from the back allowed J. Bloomer to attack their left back at pace. He managed to get to the byline and produced a cross that just evaded M. Kaba at the front post. But A. Jones, just like a young Paul Scholes, timed his run to the back post with perfection. He controlled the ball, sat his defender down and rifled the ball past the keeper! 1-1!
The team focused on what had been asked of them tactically and produced some excellent defensive work which frustrated the visitors. C. Hitchcock was outstanding in his individual duels alongside M. Oginni who looked dominant in the air, as well as being composed when driving out from the back with the ball.
We grew into the game and started to create opportunities through some excellent link up play in midfield. With 43 minutes on the clock we won the ball again in midfield. K. Perry slid a ball through to J.Bloomer who was 1v1 with the goalkeeper but the keeper made a fine save to deny us the opportunity to go into the lead.
Half Time – 1-1
The second half saw the visitors come out more aggressively but we continued to match them in all areas of the pitch. They were clearly rattled by our improvement in performance. Again, we created opportunities from long throw ins and corners but just didn’t get the roll of the ball in order to get a clear strike on goal. It was the visitors who scored two goals in quick succession which gave them a little more confidence and control of the game. And, when they scored from a free-kick to make it 4-1, we still didn’t let our heads drop, which was brilliant to see.
Full Time – 4-1
The performance from the team showed how much improvement they have made both individually and collectively. They represented the Academy fantastically well. There were 2 debuts from J. Gyan-Baffour and M.Lloyd who I thought did brilliantly when they came on.
We now have a most valuable player (MVP) not Man of the Match, due to our new recruit in M.Lloyd.
MVP – A.Jones
Goals – A.Jones – 1
Assists – J.Bloomer – 1
Many thanks to the staff and sixth form that came out to support the team this afternoon.