Newbury 1-2 Wolverhampton
Team: Zak, Jacob, Cohen, George W, Shai, Charlie, Harry, Nolan, Arjan, Josh
Another long away trip awaited this weekend. A 10:30 kick off in Newbury didn’t appeal very much at 6am getting up but the game definitely made up for the early start!
The boys weathered a Newbury storm in the first ten minutes of the game, with the #9 running the show for Newbury, passing very well through the lines and giving Zak something to think about. Newbury took the lead when their striker was played clean through from a high ball forward out of the goalkeeper’s hands. This time, he stayed onside and surprised Zak by firing in at the near post - Zak expecting the ball across him into the far corner. 1-0. A disappointing goal to concede but nothing less than Newbury deserved for their early dominance of the game. We did grow into the game before the break with some lovely passing releasing Nolan on the right hand side more often than not but Josh and Arjan were not allowed very much space to test the goalkeeper.
These issues were discussed during half time and we came out much more positively in the second half. There were lots of occasions were we won the ball higher up the pitch, especially our fantastic fullbacks Jacob and George. They did not allow many balls through the lines for the majority of the second half. If they did, Cohen was there to sweep up. A brilliant defensive performance. This dominance of possession really paid off when we won the ball and Shai drove into the box on the right hand by-line. The ball missed everyone but was brilliantly recycled by Josh, who beat two defenders to shoot at the goal. Unlucky for him, hitting the post, but the ball fell to Shai unmarked at the back post to equalise. 1-1.
Newbury tried to reassert their dominance from the first half but were unable to. This was shown when again we won the ball to release Harry down the left. Harry says he can’t play on the wing but he put a beautiful ball into the box, over the defender and Arjan had the most simple task to pass the ball home into an empty net, after the goalkeeper and defender had missed the quite brilliant cross. 1-2. Again, no less than we deserved.
A very exciting end to the game happened when Zak was forced into a brilliant double save to deny the Newbury winger. Putting his body on the line. The pride felt today from parents, staff and the boys themselves meant the long journey was worth it. Through to the next round of the Southern Counties Cup. Swindon or Bath at home.
Wirral U14 3-1 Wolverhampton U14
Team: Dylan Ridley, Mason Brown ,Pranjal Singh, Maxwell Riley, Roman Duggan, Harley Carrier, Josh Welford, David Osifo, Zesayous Graham, Ryan Mayo, Kaiden Robinson, Josh Tarbuck, Bailey Perry, Josh Ife, Eti Efosu, Zeké Dira
This trip to the Wirral was a good competitive game between two strong District teams. Wirral showed more team understanding and cohesion but Wolverhampton stood up well to the challenge and worked hard to play with quality. Dylan in the Wolverhampton goal was the most involved of the two first half GK’s and he did well to keep a clean sheet as the first period ended goalless. We introduced all of the subs at half time and changed the shape from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3. Bailey Perry went closest for us but his good attempt on goal went just wide. Whilst at the other end Wolverhampton’s Mason Brown had to make a good save to keep us level.
The breakthrough came with about 15 minutes to go when Wirral scored from a direct free kick from just outside of the box and they soon increased their lead with a lofted shot that went in at the far post.
Wolverhampton still hadn’t accepted defeat a pulled a goal back with a few minutes left. Roman Duggan had pushed forward into midfield in our search for a goal and held off a couple of defenders on the edge of the box before shooting low left footed, into the corner of the goal and the ball squirmed in past the goalkeeper. We went all out for the equalizer which left us exposed at the back and in the last action of the game the ref awarded a penalty from a challenge in our box. From the resultant penalty, the Wirral completed the scoring with the last kick of the game.