1 - Charlie W 7 - Cameron M
3 - Louis F 9 - Zach L
4 - Tom A 10 - Charlie T
5 - Leo M 11 - Sam M
6 - Harry H
The effort that has been shown on the training ground has really paid off in recent weeks, following a slow start to the season. The league re-balance saw the team stay in the Dengie division for the remainder of the campaign which is great news.
The Piranhas had a full squad to choose from with Harry H returning from international duty. Charlie W had a slight injury concern with his hand so he stayed out of goal today. These duties would be picked up by Charlie T and Tom A for this match.
It was another opportunity for the team to give their blue away kit a run out, twice in one season! Almost makes it worth having 😀!
Birthday boy Cameron M was captain today. Harry H and Louis F started the game on the bench but, as always, every player would get the same amount of game time. The team lined up with a slightly unfamiliar look with Charlie T between the sticks, Leo M and Sam M lined up at the back with Leo charged with organising the line. The midfield saw Charlie W in the middle, Cameron M on the right and Zach L on the left with Tom A leading the line up front.
The one thing that we asked the boys to focus on was keeping their concentration right to the end of games. In the last two matches, we have seen good positions slip away at the end where we have been caught slightly out of position.
The referee got the game underway and the Piranhas were quick out of the blocks. The passing was fluent and the team had control in the middle of the park. Zach L was causing all sorts of problems down the left turning this way and that. Cameron M was powerful on the right hand side and Charlie W was in complete control in the centre.
Tom A worked hard up front and gave the Wilvale defenders no time on the ball whatsoever. The defensive partnership of Leo M and Sam M has really started to blossom with the two lads complementing each other well. Leo keeping the line up the pitch and Sam positioning himself to be ready to thwart any attacks that came their way.
The Piranhas dominance soon paid off with two goals from Tom A (yes you have read that correctly 😀!). The first came from a quickly worked short corner with Cameron M passing to Charlie W. Charlie whipped in a cross which Tom A stabbed into the corner. The second coming when Cameron M crossed and Tom was in the right place again.
Louis F and Harry H came into the game and had immediately settled in when injury struck for Louis as he went in for a challenge in the middle of the park. His foot got stuck in the turf causing him to twist his knee badly. The game was stopped for around 7 or 8 minutes with Louis clearly in pain and struggling to move his leg. Mark picked him up and took him off to A&E. We all wish Louis well and a speedy recovery.
Wilvale had two attempts before half time forcing Charlie T to make two great saves meaning the lads came in at the break with two goals and a well-deserved clean sheet. At half time Tom A and Charlie T swapped positions and we re-emphasised the point about concentrating until the end.
In the second half Wilvale came back into the game but the defensive organisation from Leo M alongside his partner Sam M had just about kept them at bay for the most part but there was nothing they could do to stop Wilvale’s first goal.
The team kept their heads up and soon restored their two goal lead. Cameron M and Charlie T played a lovely one-two on the right. Charlie moved the ball across to Zach L who comfortably beat his man and passed to Harry H who finished well. A great team goal, demonstrating exactly what this team are about.
The last ten minutes really saw Wilvale come on strong and Tom A had to make a string of saves. As we have seen previously, the tired legs and minds saw the team’s shape wobble a bit and Wilvale got two goals back.
The Piranhas did have a chance to score a fourth right at the death with tricky Zach L feeding Charlie T. Charlie lobbed the bouncing ball over the advancing keeper but it just cleared the goal too. Unlucky. The lads were a little disappointed to finish the game level but on the balance of play, it probably wasn’t an unfair result against a very good Wilvale side.
It seems crazy to be talking to U10’s about in-game management and concentration but that is what they need to work on and it is a testament to how good this team has become that we are talking about these things, because it shows how much their football ability has improved.
There were a few contenders for MOTM this week with both Tom A and Zach L coming close but we gave the award to Leo M. Leo was asked to marshal the defence, keeping them organised which he did brilliantly.
Thanks, as always, to the Piranhas travelling support. Encouraging as always.
Thanks to Wilvale for another cracking game and hopefully we will get to return the fixture in the near future.
Final word - get well soon Louis!
Well done lads! Next match - TBC.