17 Dec 2018 in Match Reports
U12 Reds v De la Salle
Chadderton FC Juniors under 12s Reds
Match report vs. De La Salle (9th December 2018)
Our last league match of 2018 was again De La Salle at Wright Robinson.
With everyone apart from Amelia, Daniel, Charlie and Joe available we started with George in goal, Cullenn, Caiden and Kian at the back, Cameron, Tyler and Harvey in midfield and Jack and Keane up front.
In a game which was very open, both sides looked to get a foothold by moving the ball quickly. Cullen and Kian were able to break forward from the back because Caiden held his position very well and with Harvey in front of him we had solid spine and kept a good shape to allow runners and passes forward to Jack and Keane.
Good football unlocked the De La Salle to put us in the lead. Harvey won the ball in midfield before laying it forward to Jack who released first time to Cameron. Cameron drifted past his marker and slid a pinpoint pass through to Keane who calmly slotted home.
There have been times in other matches when we have dwelt on the ball and been caught in possession, but everyone had their passing game on today and there were a number of great interplay moves, including a quickfire procession of first-time passes at the end of which the goalie got a finger to Cameron’s shot.
George was unlucky as we conceded an equaliser – he came out to narrow the angle for the oncoming attacker but he side-footed the ball into the corner.
Despite all our good play, it was a set-piece which put us back into the lead. Kian expertly dropped a corner into the middle of the area and, by no means the tallest player challenging, Keane’s spring and determination was too strong for the defenders as he flicked in a headed goal.
De La Salle took the game to us but we stood up well, with Himayat coming out with a lot of credit for some tough tackles and timely clearances. We had to dig in and defended from the front – Jack and Keane both added to the bodies in midfield and tackled like midfield enforcers.
It looked like we would be up at the break but with the last touch of the half, De La Salle forced the ball in after a good move.
To be fair, 2-2 was probably a fair scoreline at the break. Both teams had had chances and very good spells.
The second half was not one for the defences and was possibly the most end-to-end half hour you are likley to see.
We started very positively. Cameron was weaving his magic in midfield and slipping some very telling balls through.
When Cameron fed Kian down the left he glided past a challenge before the defender managed to force it out. Jack took a quick throw to Kian who passed to Tyler after a neat turn. Tyler bided his time, saw Jack making a run and found him. After a touch to steady himself, Jack shot and it found the back of the net via the post.
Two minutes later, Adam won the ball well and played it to Harvey. Harvey’s pass picked out a run from Keane whose looping shot looked to be dropping in. A finger tip from the goalie forced it onto the bar but with Jack following in, the goalkeeper wasn’t quick enough to gather ball before Jack prodded home.
In the next few minutes the game could have been out of site but, twice, good runs and shots from Jack saw their keeper bravely coming out and displaying a safe pair hands.
Even though we established the two goal lead early in the second half, at 4-2 it felt like all we had to do was hold our position and shape to see out the game, particularly as we were still creating chances. But De La Salle came roaring back at us and, despite some very good defending, they pegged us back to 4-4.
Our character shone through and not only did Keane complete his hatrick, making room for himself to find the bottom corner, he also added two more, his fourth a typical poacher’s goal and his fifth a clever finish after he had be supplied by a intelligent lay-off from Tyler.
Great performance. We were a good mix of strength and skill. We released the ball early and at the right times, allowing us to move the opposing players around and across the pitch.
Some players stood out as working tirelessly and tenaciously for the win but being effective and inventive on the ball. It was difficult to separate Jack and Keane today as regards their level of performance so they shared man of the match.