27 Feb 2020 in Match Reports
U11 Stripes v Cosmos Cubs
A “Full House” of 14 squad members this weekend for the first time this season as we entertained Stockport Cosmos Cubs at Belle Vue Stadium. Cosmos have been formidable opponents in the past and I knew we were in for a tough game, once again in very windy conditions ! But at least the rain held off.
Squad :- Ryan, Tom, Joseph, Zain, Aaron, Hadiur, Ismail, Alfie, Elijah, Luke, Arsalan, Jesaja, Mustapha and Ibrahim.
A close and scrappy first half which was made difficult by the wind, but both teams did well to keep the ball moving and there were chances at both ends. But generally the defenders were on top and both keepers made good saves. With Hadiur being in a rich vein of goal scoring form, we decided to play him up front today and pack the midfield, hoping to make use of his pace and trickery. Thankfully this worked as a quite brilliant through ball by Zain put him one on one with their keeper and he didn’t disappoint, putting us 1-0 up, the only goal of the first half.
Stockport equalised via a screamer soon after the restart, but heads didn’t go down and we kept our shape well, getting important tackles in at vital times. Mid way through the half, as happened last week, a clearance from their keeper got held up in the wind. Hadiur quickly brought it under control, rounded a defender and slotted home to make it 2-1. Both teams defenders remained on top and cancelled out any attacks for the next 10 minutes, but Stockport got caught on the break as a clearance found a Hadiur on the right. He raced down the wing, whist Zain tore into the penalty area at full pace. The cross came in and Zain swept it past the keeper with aplomb. Fantastic cross, fantastic finish. 3-1 and that’s how it ended.
A great performance from all the lads and rewarded with a good result against a very capable team. At times, myself and Miguel didn’t know whether we were coming or going with substitutions. It’s not easy managing 5 subs whilst trying to give everyone a fair amount of playing time, so thanks to the boys for being so patient when all they want to do is be on the pitch playing.
They all did exceptionally well and stuck to the positions they were asked to play.
Ryan made some very good saves.
Ismail, Luke, Mustapha, Elijah and Alfie were rock solid sharing the defensive duties.
Tom, Joseph and Ibrahim were fantastic wherever we asked them to play, swapping between the defence and midfield as needed.
Arsalan, Zain, Aaron and Jesaja worked hard in midfield, creating chances and closing down opponents.
Hadiur was clinical up front.
Joint man of match this week. Tom for playing the “utility” role to great effect and Elijah for literally being a brick wall in defence.