The game kicked off and both team started brightly. The visitors played nice passing football, but were also strong in the tackle - a team playing in a similar style to the Stingrays.
However, with just three minutes gone, the Stingrays opened the scoring. With the ball on the left hand side, Spencer S played a neat ball into Ryan E in the box. Ryan got his head up and played a firm pass along the ground and across the goal to Jasiu C at the post. With plenty still to do, Jasiu unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. 1-0 to the Stingrays from a very fine passing move and top quality strike.
The game continued with the play evenly balanced. There was good football and hard work on show from both teams, even with the sun beating down on them, so the water break called half way through the half by referee Paul Welland was well deserved.
After the short break, the game restarted and the boys were straight back into their rhythm. As usual, the defensive trio of George W, Oliver R and George D were up to their usual game - stopping the opposition having any real chances - and at the other end, Ryan E was terrorising the Sporting 77 defensive line with his pace and movement. In the middle of the park, Spencer S, Ollie W and Jasiu C were battling hard, whilst playing nice football, linking up the defense with Ryan E leading the line. Good play was on show by both teams, but no further goals were added before half time. 1-0 Stingrays.
During the break, the boys took a well-earned rest whilst taking on board a good drink and Jaffa cakes to prepare for the second half. With the boys playing so well, there wasn’t much advise they needed - just carry on as they were, but remember to scan and track back when the opposition had the ball as they were proving to be dangerous when on the attack.
The second half kicked off with George W in goal and Sam S taking his place in midfield.
The game continued to be even - both team creating decent chances. But with 9 minutes gone, it was the Stingrays who added to the score. With the opposition in possession in their own half, Ollie W battled hard with the opposition midfield and came out with the ball, who then played the ball to Ryan E who, under pressure from the defenders, quickly toe poked a shot from the edge of the box into the far post, leaving the Sporting 77 keeper no chance. 2-0 Stingrays.
Again, the game continued with a great even battle between the teams, with nice football from both. Sam S was having a great game out on pitch in the second half - working so hard and linking up with the rest of the team with great effect.
However, with two minutes left on the clock, the visitors were given a chance to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty - a mistimed lunging tackle bringing a Sporting 77 player down in the box.
The kick was taken low and hard but George W was more than a match, pulling off a fantastic safe to maintain the Stingrays clean sheet. The final whistle followed - 2-0 Stingrays.
The game was a credit to two evenly matched teams, with the only real difference being the Stingrays creating the better chances, which they finished. It was also a credit to both teams who worked hard to the final whistle in such warm conditions - well done to all.
Again congratulations to the boys - still unbeaten in 2018 and 7 clean sheets from the last 10 games. This is all due to a real team spirit and determination that seems to get stronger every week.
MotM - very difficult this week as all the boys made a case for themselves - but the award went to Spencer S whose work rate in midfield was excellent from start to finish. He is also improving week by week with his passing and running with the ball - making a real difference to how the whole team perform. Well done Spencer - well deserved.
Thank you to Paul for another great refereeing performance and thanks to all who helped to set up the pitch - a real team effort!!
Next weekend: Saturday 12th May - Tournament at Arsenals Emirates Stadium. KO 8am; Sunday 13th May - Away vs Tollesbury Juniors. KO 10:30am