Chipstead FC 1-5 U14's KYL
Fine display in final friendly
Foresters went in to their final preseason game away at Chipstead, facing many familiar faces. Lining up 4-2-3-1; J.Thubin, Bristow, Driver, Williams, Monty, Kody, Maisash, M.Thurbin, Pickard, Mullen, Raf.
It was a bright start for the away side, particularly down the right where Driver was looking to play out intelligently to Mike who was linking the play well. It was from some of this early link up play that the ball was worked inside to Maisash who unleashed a fierce dipping drive from the edge of the box which flew past the keeper. 1-0.
Maisash and Kody were once again shielding their defence well, operating with just a small gap between the lines and also showing for the ball at every opportunity. Chipsteads' threat was clear, the big man up front, who was drifting all over the pitch. He had pace, power and good movement. However the Foresters back six were doing well to stand up to the physical battle. Driver in particular shackling the player really well. However the danger man broke free once around the edge of the box and punished us with a great strike. 1-1.
The hosts were denied what looked a certain goal as JT dashed from his line and dived bravely on the ball at the feet of the big striker. Superb bravery which saves his team.
In truth we thought it was Foresters playing all the football. Looking to move the ball across the pitch rather than rushing it foward, we were creating openings. Particularly for Pickard who was beginning to get on the ball albeit a little deeper than we would like. We were creating openings but were rushing our finishes; Pickard, Maisash and Thurbin all working openings but just a little slack with their finishing. Raf was causing issues for the home defence with his pace and power.
The deserved goal came follow the above mentioned onslaught of pressure and spurned chances. Kody picked the ball up in a wide left position and whipped in a fine cross for Pickard who had made a late run in to the box and steered how majestically on the volley. A lovely goal, using the wide areas to stretch the opponents! 2-1.
Half time gave us the opportunity to use the strong bench. Elliott, Kyle, Greenwood, Marques and HBT replacing Raf, Mullen, Mike, Monty and Williams respectively. What about that for squad depth? Even with several boys still away and Beasty watch on from the touchline in his sandals!
The second half (in the words of Chris Martin) it was all yellow... Foresters were rampaging, particularly in the wide areas where Jay and Kody were backing up fresh wingers Greenwood and Anson. This opened up gaps for the midfield trio of Pickard, Maisash and Gonzie to completely dominate. The big Chipstead forward was tiring of going toe-to-toe with Driver (who hadn't shirked once) who was now partnered with class by HBT. Robert Elliott (R9) was making all sorts of runs up top which pulled the home defence all over the place. Goals were coming!
It would be Maisash who killed off the home team's hopes, again bursting on to the ball in the middle of the park, he strode forward and blasted another right footed shot in to the top corner. 3-1.
Foresters were not finished there, Greenwood and Anson were now terrorizing their full backs by making very direct driving runs at them. The home defence just kept backing off, we were played in behind the full back where R9 was on to the ball in a flash to zip across the box. Pickard arrived with great timing again to hammer home. 4-1.
Forester continued to make several chances with fine build up play but were slow to get shots away from the edge of the box, Marques and R9 in particular a little shy (excusable in preseason!). Kyle on the other hand was playing with a real verve and aggression which we want to see more of, rather than taking the extra touch he was skinning his marker and going straight for goal. Once he was hacked down and was unlucky to see the resulting free kick saved!
The scoring was rounded off in classic HBT style and he opened the curtains to slam home a beautiful (and brave!) diving header from a cross in to the box from the right. 5-1.
Further gloss could've been added to the score as Kody and Raf both went close from range. It was really pleasing to see the Foresters boys being speculative with their shooting, not afraid to have a go.
Solid team performance as the side gels. Looking forward to KYL kicking off on Sunday!
Chipstead 1 - 5 Foresters
Goals: Maisash (2), Pickard (2), HBT
MOTM: a classic CB performance from Paul Driver who stood up to the task of marking Chipstead main threat out of the game. Paul read the game well to give himself and advantage but was also able to match the guy for pace and power. Driver didn't take a backwards step. Very impressive.