U14's KYL 3-1 Hove Park Colts
On the whistle report from Cadogan!
Foresters were looking to hit the ground running in this preseason match vs Hove Park Colts from Brighton, this being the first opportunity the coaches had during preseason to select a team.
Freshly kitted out (thanks to our new sponsors!) in a beautiful new home shirt and tracksuit top the Foresters boys emerged from the changing rooms. Ready to play some football of a similar aesthetic to their dapper new threads?
We'd finally settled on a formation which we thinks suits the boys (4-2-3-1) with Kody and Maisash very much the enforcers in front of a strong looking defence; JT in goal, Jay right back (captain), Tom Williams, Paul Driver and Monty. Attacking flair would come from Anson, Pickard and Greenwood in the 3 behind Raf Preston up top. As mentioned there was now a bench to chose from: Harry BT, Mike Thurbin and Will Mullen.
Foresters were on the front foot from the off. The tactical tweaks had made the side much more solid and the pair of bruisers picked in the middle of the pitch gave us a solid platform to play. It wasn't more than 5 minutes in when Greenwood linked with Raf who held the ball up well and played in Pickard on the edge of the box. Shaking off the jetlag / Ouzo Pickard skipped past his marker on the edge of the box and was promptly flattened. Penalty! Up stepped Anson to squeeze his pen (precisely?!) inside the post. 1-0 Foresters.
We'd asked for the game to be split in to thirds, in order to test out a few potential line ups and the first of those thirds Foresters dominated. Particularly at the back where we looked to pass the ball out. However this was slightly rushed on a few occasions where we'd prefer to boys to back their ability on the ball, this will come with confidence.
Some fine defensive work prevented the visitors getting back in the game as the captain Jay Bristow bravely headed away from under his own bar from a corner. It was very nearly 2-0 and Foresters again came down the left, Kody released Greenwood who linked up well with the overlapping Monty. The ball was worked in to the box and Raf attempted an outrageous flick which was turned on to the bar. Great to see such ambitious play from a player trying out a new position.
The deserved 2nd goal did come as our play deserved. Monty raided forward again and went from the long ranger which dipped wickedly and beat the keeper. Another great bit of vision from the little left back! 2-0
Kyle, Greenie and Mont replaced by Mike, Mullen and HBT. Driver switched to left back.
The second period continued in much the same way as the first. Foresters were competing hard in the middle which encouraged Hove Park to try to go long. However, the home defence was looking menacing, simply attacking or mopping up any aerial ball sent forward. Driver in particular looking extremely accomplished regardless of the position he was asked to play. The dominance in midfield established by Kody and Maisash's intelligent and responsible cover work.
The third goal quickly came. Michael Thurbin, playing in a much deeper "link up man" role, tenaciously won the ball back in the midfield with several tough challenges before quickly moving the ball on. It was worked to Pickard who burst forward. Raf's run to the right pulled a defender away which allowed Mullen to burst through the offside trap on the left. The Boro Bomber showed the defensive line a clean pair of heels before slotted home calmly under the keeper. Great team goal! 3-0
It could've been more just before the break as first Jay burst forward down the right but fired his left footed shot wide. We then saw Maishash break through the lines on a late run in to the box, he was upended resulting in another penalty. This time Mullen's attempt was saved well by the Hove Park keeper.
All the while Williams and HBT were looking a very solid new partnership at the back, Tommy winning the headers and being the aggressor whilst HBT would sweep round behind to snuff out any danger.
Another break meant more changes. Pickard and Raf amongst those earning there rest.
The final third was not so impressive, possibly as the selection became disjointed as we moved players around for trials in different roles. We could however have managed the game better and passed the ball. This is something to work on.
Hove Park came out simply looking to win this third of the game and were aggressive in their desire to do so. It was good to see the Foresters boys handle the task bravely. HBT and Kody on the end of strong challenges, which their mates weren't slow in terms of arriving on the scene to protect them. Good to see from a side that's so new to each other, a spirit fostered at the summer tournaments perhaps?
There was some heroic defending taking place as well. Monty cleared a header off his own line for example. Then came the games great moment of controversy. JT1 had earlier been booked for time wasting (had his team mates been quick enough to offer the pass?!) and received his marching orders for a second booking when he handled outside the box.
In goal stepped Charlie Greenwood. Despite a inconsistent history between the sticks which included get beaten from the half way line in a 5-a-side goal as well as a superb MOTM performance vs Chipstead several seasons ago. Greenwood produced several smart saves but was not able to keep out a late penalty. 3-1.
Overall a very pleasing solid performance. The new formation seemed to suit the boys and they each performed their role with it well. We do need to learn when to keep the ball and when to rush it forward, game management.
Foresters 3 - 1 Hove Park Colts
Goals - Anson, McDonald, Mullen.
MOTM - Pickard