Last weeks MOTM, Jasiu, would win the toss and with the boys keen to get going, the referee got the game away. George D took his place in goal for the first half with praise from his managers for making that extra effort, following a short illness. Likewise with Freddie G who had also been under the weather, which shows true strength and passion the boys have for this team (and their team mates). Nothing much would trouble George D throughout the first half, especially with his trusty defence in front of him. George W sweeping any threat up like a hoover and Oliver R clearing danger when needed. Some good football played at times, using the flanks and width of the pitch well. Ryan E troubling their defence with neat little runs and Ollie W covering every blade of grass on the pitch.
There were no opportunities for the home team to report, as the boys took the battle to the Lions. Excellent forward play from Ollie W and Zach L, linking up nicely created the first goal. With a ball pushed forward both Jasiu and Zach ran towards the ball to get there before the keeper. Zach got there first and calmly slotted the ball home, beating the keeper to his left. A great goal to get the boys off the mark.
Corners rained in and Dunmow Rhodes were put under constant pressure. Good tracking back from Jasiu and Freddie helped maintain the high tempo, whilst Ollie W and Ryan E beavered around to make a constant nuisance of themselves. With opportunities a-plenty, the boys just could not get that second goal, but would go into the break with tails up and keen to get going in the second half.
The Stingrays were quick out of the traps as soon as the whistle blew, with Zach L going on some great runs to trick his way around numerous players, but couldn't find that killer pass or shot. Oliver R, George D and the reliable George W, stayed strong with some good clearances, when the home side started to get back into the game. Then came the goal of the season so far. With the ball bobbling around the area, Freddie G picked the ball up and with his back to goal passed it to Zach L who was positioned on the angle of the box. Without hesitation Zach unleashed a tremendous 'Ronaldo-esque' strike. With the ball moving in the air from side to side, the keeper had no chance. The ball landed in the 'top-bins' as they say, nestling in the corner of the goal. A great powerful goal and one which helped Zach earn the MOTM trophy.
The Lions immediately managed to pull one back, maybe due to the boys still doing the mannequin dab following Zach's goal. Oh well, that didn't matter as the boys went on the rampage to look for that game sealing goal. Freddie released the ball out wide, George W passed it down line and the ball eventually made it into the path of Ryan who took the ball in his stride and shot goal bound. The keeper got a hand to it but the ball found its way into the back of the net to the applause of the travelling supporters.
So, the final whistle blew and the boys were victorious yet again, against their rivals. The game was a great example of U9 football, with a bit of everything thrown in for good measure. Excellent support from parents, grandparents brothers and dogs. Thank you to Rhodes for another great game and see you soon at Laundry Lane. And of course WELL DONE STINGRAYS. You all worked extremely hard today!
Next game TBA.