So the game kicked off with the sun out and George D between the sticks. George W was welcomed back in defence with his partner Oliver R by his side. Both players would prove in the first half good value for money as they stuck well together and swept up any threat up with ease. The midfield trio of Ollie W (captain), Zach L and Christian posed constant threats both wide and through the middle. Some great and tenacious tackling from Ollie protected the defence and the tricky Zach L would be on fine form to worm his way around players. So, it didn't take too long for the boys to get off the mark with a fine goal from Ollie. Training this week was about the short corners and as Zach returned the ball to Ollie a cross, come shot on goal, worked its way through to the back of net. A wonderful way to start the game, only equalled by Ollies goal celebration.
A second quickly followed, again straight from Saturdays training book. Zach L ran the ball down the line past a few players and as he neared the touch line, dragged it backwards and fed the perfect pass to Ryan who slotted home. Again, wonderful to see that Saturdays training was really paying off. High fives by the Managers on the touch line as a pleasing sign that messages and tac-tics are being followed.
A slight lapse in concentration would see the Juniors get one back before half time, as the game continued to be played in the middle and on the left. Further runs, a [maybe unfair] disallowed goal and near misses from Zach frustrated the player, but with some kind words at half time from Sara (the team mascot 😘😂) he gained his composure ready for the second half.
The boys would then put in the shift of the season with George W taking up his position in goals and George D alongside the ever reliable Oliver. Zach would continue with his runs, linking up with a wonderful triangle of passing with Ollie and Ryan. Wonderful to watch at times and rightly deserving a goal, when Ryan notched his second of the game.
Then came the goal of the game, with Christians sheer persistence and determination to run down the right, cut inside and with a bit of trickery, beating the keeper with a wonderful side foot to the right of the goal. A well deserved goal, especially as he had just taken a knock to the leg 5 minutes beforehand.
So, the boys would continue this trend of passing, moving, talking, finding space, neat dribbling which would then provide Zach with the chances he needed. Again, interlinking well with the boys Zach would notch a couple of goals to add to his seasons tally. Firstly a cool side footer and secondly a powerful drive to the back of the net which was a result of a neat one/two with Ryan E.
It's not always about the goals though, today was about the togetherness, the teamwork and the way everyone worked for each other. It really was a great display of teamwork and camaraderie, noticed also by our wonderful travelling supporters. And of course a special mention to George W who was magnificent between the sticks, coming up with two world class saves towards the end, with George D saying ''even Manuel Neuer wouldn't have saved that'' (German No 1 by the way). Stingrays, well done each and everyone of you, you were all marvellous today. MOTM went to everyone, as it was impossible to choose one player. The Managers get to keep the trophy warm for a week!
Next match - TBA