Charlie W Harry H (C)
Sam M Cameron M
Louis F Etien H
Charlie T Leo M
Galleywood Falcons were today’s opposition, a team the Piranhas had come across a couple of times before. A group of big, physical lads and a club whose ethos is a little different to the Piranhas! It is always great for the lads to go on a successful run, however, it will always remain about enjoyment, development and challenging games, regardless of the result.
The players who were at training the day before worked on their individual skills rather than team instructions and it was Harry H who impressed enough to take the captain’s armband for today’s game.
Due to the poor weather, the match would take place on a 4G astro pitch which was a great surface, however, the pitch was longer than the boys are used to, which would mean a lot of space available in behind the defenders.
The warm-up commenced and the lads concentrated on attack v defence until the two skippers were called up for the coin toss. Galleywood won the toss and opted to swap ends, leaving the Piranhas to kick off.
Tom A failed a late fitness test, apart from that the team was at full strength. Charlie T started on the bench and the rest of the lads lined up ready for the game.
The first half started well for the Piranhas and they looked fully in control of the match. The smooth surface of the pitch was perfect for the passing football we like to adopt and the ball was moved quickly from back to front. Galleywood provided the physicality we knew they would, however, they couldn’t live with the Piranhas flowing football.
Charlie W had little to do in the first half in truth but whatever came his way he dealt with comfortably. His distribution was first class as always, trying to start attacks through either rolling the ball to his defenders or kicking early when he heard his team mates calling.
The starting defenders, Sam M and Leo M made a formidable shield for Charlie with both lads full of energy and sweeping up whatever came their way. Both Sam and Leo have a tough tackling reputation which they both lived up to.
In midfield skipper Harry H was really leading like a captain. He had the run of the game early on and looked calm and composed every time the ball came his way, keeping the game simple – receiving the ball, beating a player, making a pass.
Cameron M and Etien H were providing the width as they always do. Etien showing off his silky skills and steely determination to win and keep the ball and Cameron showing his power and strength. I thought Cameron was in a wrestling match at one point as he jostled with his opponent!
Up front through the middle, Louis F was making sensible runs behind the defence and giving his team mates an option to make early passes and create chances.
Charlie T came in to the game in place of Louis F and a goal soon followed. Charlie picked up the ball wide right, cut inside and hit a shot goal-ward with his left. The defender put his hands up to block and the referee blew his whistle for a penalty. Charlie picked up the ball and coolly dispatched the penalty. His second in two weeks.
It is harsh on any player at this age when a penalty is awarded against them as they are usually protecting themselves, however, sometimes they are given and sometimes they are not. This should not be the catalyst for systematic baiting of a young referee. Enough said.
If there was any controversy about the first goal, the second was never in doubt. A great move down the right hand side, landed the ball at Cameron M’s feet. Cameron looked up and played a ball across the box to Harry H whose first-time finish nestled in the bottom corner.
The lads came in at half time following a great performance and fully deserved their drink and biscuit.
The lads were brimming with confidence in the second half and rightly so, every player was immense in the first half. Charlie W came out on pitch in place of Harry H who took his place between the sticks.
There is not too much to say about the second half so I will keep it very brief. The Piranhas played their natural game and put in 150% effort as they always do. They continued to play their football in a half that was continually broken up with free-kick after free-kick.
Every Piranha and all their supporters can leave this and every game with their dignity intact and safe in the knowledge they have behaved in a way that befits U9 football.
Man of the match today was Harry H who absolutely ran the first half and also played really well in goal in the second half.
I am extremely proud of every single player.
Well done lads!
Next Fixture - Sunday 12th March. Friendly - Home v Sumners Vipers. KO - 1pm.