08 Apr 2019 in Match Reports
U12 Reds v Springhead
Chadderton FC Juniors under 12s Reds
Match report vs. Springhead (24th March 2019)
In our last game of the season we wanted to go out on a high against Springhead on a bright but cold Sunday morning at Wright Robinson.
We had the full squad available including handing a debut to Ioan who had fit in well over a number of training sessions.
We started with George in goal, Charlie, Caiden and Kian at the back. Harvey and Ioan between the defenders and Tyler in midfield with Jack just behind Keane up front. So quite narrow but with the different areas of the pitch connected and Charlie and Kian are both more than capable of running the line, being strong defenders and effective attackers as full backs.
An open game saw both teams try to pass their way up the field when they had the ball and our shape served us well. Early in his debut, Ioan showed strength and a great touch on the ball in tight situations – his and Harvey’s tenacity were a good shield for the defence and allowed Tyler and Jack space and time to pass and weave their way through. When Springhead did get through Caiden was a commander, helped out by Kian and Charlie tucking in. When George tipped a good angled shot round the post we looked solid.
It looked like we were taking a hold of the game and it was disappointing when a flowing passing move involving Charlie, Harvey, Tyler and Keane came to nothing. Charlie was having a great game and the opposition had a problem containing his runs and preventing very intelligent lay-offs.
Springhead struck first but we equalised immediately, Kian launched the ball forward from kick, Jack controlled the ball on right and had the option to shoot or pass. With Keane in space for a tap-in, Jack squared it for Keane to score.
As we rotated the great work continued. Kian became a pivotal figure, having the beating of his marker down the left, Daniel bossed the midefield, Himayat didn’t miss a tackle and Adam pulled Springhead defenders out of position.
After we played some very good football, we went ahead through pure determination. Ioan battled and harried a Springhead player into a mistake, strode forward and poked the ball through to Keane who slotted an angled shot past the keeper.
And then on the stroke of half time it was 2-2 via a powerful shot George could do nothing about.
Great game so far and, if anything, we could count ourselves unlucky not to be ahead.
The second half started well. Kian was particularly effective, weaving forward and sending some great balls forward for Jack and then Keane to chase. Springhead struck next but, as in the first half, we hit back immediately. Keane completed his hatrick with a cool shot after shaking off a physical challenge but Kian takes so much credit for looking up from deep and dropping a fantastic ball in for Keane to take advantage of.
The game was finely balanced and as we tried to keep it solid Himayat, Ioan, Adam and Daniel came into their own closing balls down and Tyler was a great outlet for us to keep the ball. Charlie broke up play at the back with Harvey, and Keane was always trying to wriggle into space. But, unluckily, they scored two late goals and it ended in a 5-3 loss which was really not a fair reflection of the game. As with a couple of other losses wthis season we can take a lot from it – sometimes it is the performance which is most important, not the result. Several candidates for man of the match today but for his positioning, strength in the tackle and his amazing supply, our skipper Kian was the deserved winner.
What a great bunch of children we have here, a great team but it is also worth appreciating them individually. There is so much versatility in this group of players so the order below is from back to front and according to where they have played most of their games this season.
Special mentions go out to two amazing players who decided to move on but contributed so much. Amelia, who came back to us from Manchester United for the season and who gave us an amazing attacking edge with her awareness, skill and speed. Cullenn was fast turning into the perfect fullback (on either side), combining a snap in the tackle as well as a great touch on the ball. Cullenn, understandably, decided to move to a team closer to home. Also, our final day of the season debutant, Ioan looks like he will be a great addition to the squad.
George – players’ player of the year last season, George’s agility won us many points in a season when we were always able to keep in touch with the top of the table. Sometimes he pulls off saves which are jaw dropping ‘how did he get to that’ moments. In a team game, George is a great team mate – always encouraging, rarely critical and keep morale up with a personaility which is positive, friendly and funny.
Charlie – in a lot of ways Charlie is the perfect defender. Hard in the tackle, positionally aware, fast and skilful. He has the fitness to run the line and the physique to hold his own in a physical battle. Passionate about the game and the team, he plays on the edge of his aggression which serves him well most of the time. And added to all this he has been one of the most consistent performers across the season.
Caiden – a cool customer at the back and a really nice balance of being quiet and unassuming but commanding around his team mates. He is strong in the air but his quality is with the ball at his feet - every squad needs a ball playing central defender and Caiden is ours. Seems to know where to be to put in a challenge but then when he looks up his decision making and execution in passing is great, whether it be short simple passes or longer more penetrating balls.
Harvey – Mr reliable at the back, Harvey started the season on fire in a settrled back four and never really dipped. Strong in the tackle and he put in some amazing last gasp blocks as we held onto leads towards the end of games. With power and precision, Harvey’s long range raking balls are a good supply for runners up front and on free kicks we have seen him power the ball into the top corner more than once.
Kian – our skipper had played most of his previous seasons on the left wing but as the coaches played around with formations in preparation for 11-a-side, he played a lot of games at left back. His fitness and versatility meant that he fulfilled defensive and attacking duties together and was, again, one of our main supply for goalscorers. His free kicks have taken on almost legendary status – so consistent and effective from a dead ball situation.
Joe – previously a goalkeeper, Joe has been almost exclusively an outfield player this season. He has played in midfield but generally at left back. Joe has a no nonsense style in the tackle and isn’t afraid to mix it but it is a silky touch on the ball which comes through when he is on form – we had a very hard fought game against ultimate champions, Medlock, late on in the season when Joe sprayed the ball around like a seasoned professional. Such a well liked member of the squad, making the boys laugh but not scared to tell things like they are if he is unhappy with anyone.
Cameron – one of the original team members, Cameron’s control of the ball and fleet-footedness has been a great weapon for us season after season. That carried on this season and, as always, he always weighs in with a good number of goals and remains someone who has a knack of scoring an importatnt goal when we really need it. But Cameron has also become a more complete player this season – he has added bite in the tackle to his game and his, already impressive, passing game has developed even further and has been pivotal to many of our best performances.
Daniel – remains our strong midfield general. It sometimes seems like he sits in midfield the whole game but the truth is that he covers a massive amount of ground but as the ability to consistently slot back into the middle whenever we need him. Combinations from Daniel with players around him stepped up this season and as we developed a passing game, Daniel’s presence on the pitch was an essential give and go outlet when we looked to move up the field.
Tyler – Tyler is a terrier in midfield. There is no doubt at all that he pours his heart and soul into every game. As well as a great deal of bite in the tackle, when on the ball, Tyler carries it so well and can drift past opponents. When he gets his passing game going our midfield looks fluid and effective. With bundles of energy we often see him up front one minute and blocking at the back the next and his presence when moving forward has seen a great deal of calmness in front of goal.
Himayat – in his first full season on the team, Himayat has moved from defence into midfield and has a very good habit of putting in vital tackles as opposing teams try to take the game to us. This has been assisted by an ever improving sense of positioning which means he breaks up play and sends good balls out to the channels. Increasingly a player who we can rely on to be strong in a physical game
Adam – another one of the original members of the squad, in a season where a few players have been tried in unfamilair poitions, Adam has probably seen the biggest change. Historically a defender, Adam’s time on the pitch this season has mostly been further forward, sometimes as a striker but more often as a right winger. Adam’s running and pressure serves us very well – defenders have no rest when he is around and, after a few unlucky near misses, he hit a memorable goal in a top of the table clash towards the end of the season.
Jack – naturally a forward Jack has played all over the pitch this season, including a few matches at right back, but generally he played as an attacker or attacking midfielder. Jack is another player who has had to step his physical game up this season but that isn’t the only part of his game which has changed. Still with a good number of goals per season, his assists have really escalated – as we develop a passing game, Jack is one of a number who have embraced it and is always looking for the pass which will open up defences.
Keane – built on a goal-infused first season which another great haul in front of goal. You have to feel sorry for defences when Keane is around – he is quick, determined, brave, skillful and has an ice cool temperament in front of goal. Part of a main striker’s role is to stay on the ball and Keane does it to perfection and has a very good habit of wriggling free from his marker and making defenders backtrack. And in a goalscoring position he rarely disappoints. But as well as our top scorer he is also very aware of his team mates. In a game where we were 4-3 down in the last minutes, Keane found space and could have been forgiven (with his goalscoring record) for sending a shot in but with Jack making a run into the box , Keane slid it through for Jack to equalise. Like many of his team mates, he made a lot of progress in becoming a complete player for the position he occupies.
So the season comes to an end and we’ve seen a lot of changes. The players are getting older and so the way they act is changing too. The coaches deserve a lot of credit for the care, commitment and attention they give to the boys. Hard when they need to be, understanding when they need to be and always, always with their squad’s safety and enjoyment of the game as their main focus. Take a bow, Karl and Lee - the parents and players see it as an honour that your are our coaches.