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Youth Reports 2015-16

22 November 2015


Omonia Gold 9  Northwood Under 12s Red 1

This was definitely a match that we are not going to dwell upon! This week again we were missing three players due to illness but the boys that did turn up were not at their best.

Barely had the game started and the boys found themselves 1-0 down due to some very inept defending in the middle of the park – and a somewhat lucky lob from the Omonia striker. Only three minutes later the boys found themselves two goals down, again due to poor tackling and even worse chasing back to recover earlier mistakes. This was going to be one of those days.

After about 10 minutes the boys  did seem to start to play a little having some good passages of play by stringing some good passes together but the final pass or shot was just not happening and once Woods lost possession it seemed like nobody wanted to win the ball back and they just let Omonia play at the own pace. After 20 minutes the ball dropped in the middle of the park after a clearance from Rayyan and again there were no red shirts near it so the Omonia number eight fired it back over Rayyan’s head to make it 3-0.

Two minutes late the main striker for Omonia, a quite skilful player, seemed to run past three or four Northwood players and finished well to make it 4-0. The game now was as good as over but Omonia were taking no prisoners and fired in two more before half-time to make it 6-0 at the break.

The half-time talk would have included throwing tea cups if we had them ! But instead we challenged the boys to go out and win the second half and prove to themselves that they are a better team than they had shown in the first half.

The half time chat did seem to work as the boys showed a lot more intensity and work effort straight from the kick off; now passing and moving the ball well and even more encouraging, they were showing the battle and fight that had been so lacking in the first half. Then on 32 minutes we got a free kick for a foul within striking range so up stepped Joshua who fired in a great free kick, the goal keeper pulled out a good save but could only parry to the oncoming Saihaan who tucked the ball away neatly: 6-1.

The goal did lift the team and they then in true style the boys thought that they could score enough to win and so started pushing on leaving gaps at the back so a long clearance from Omonia saw a lucky break off the ball on the half way line go Omonia’s way, as everything had so far, ended in a good solo run to get the score to 7-1. I think that this goal did really did dampen any spirits and any comeback thoughts, and you could see that the boys’ heads did drop. Woods did seem to play a lot harder in the second half but conceded another two goals from further counter-attacks to make the final score 9-1, our worst defeat in quite a while.

There were three or four players who did stand out and the Woods’ player of the match George was one of them; he had a great game in defence. As I said at the beginning, we will put this one down as a bad day and move onto the next game.

Squad: Rayyan, George, Daniel, William, Declan, Ben B. Lewis Ryan, Saihaan, Joshua, Ashley

Dave Blincko

Northwood Under 11s Red v Maccabi London Lions

Late afternoon kick off at Chestnut stadium with Northwood reds losing the toss and attacking uphill first half. A boggy pitch made playing football a challenge and the slope a definite disadvantage in the first half for Northwood reds. An even first ten minutes with both teams passing between boxes and not much goalmouth incident. Excellent combative and competitive play from the defence to attack by Northwood with lots of challenges from Sergio, Joe, Roddy and Peds to support the stoic defending completed by Diogo, Dan (clearance off the line) and Alex.

Then the first goal, an attack down the left wing with a cross that came all the way to the  edge of the right handside of the box and a pass inside by the Maccabi forward to a team mate who shot, goal 0-1 the Lions being the first in the match to bare their teeth. Fair to say with the best of the conditions Maccabi had the upper hand and our keeper, Ronan, making a couple of assured saves to keep Northwood within a single goal as the first half drew to an end.

With five minutes to go, a block made by James from just inside the Northwood half and following the bounce forward, James to broke forward leaving the Maccabi defence flat-footed. One touch followed by another and a positive run from the halfway line to the box and followed by a true strike from 15 yards, and the net bulged: 1-1. Northwood were back in it and with favoured conditions in the second half it was all looking good for them to press on to secure a win.

The Woods, though, didn't quite manage to see the half out, and with a minute to go Maccabi won a corner and with a decent delivery and a firm header and although blocked the bouncing ball was despatched: 1-2 – and pretty much straight away the ref blew for half-time.

Mario's team talk - keep calm, keep your shape, pass the ball, talk and be positive, the boys went back onto the park in a positive frame of mind. Second half got underway and it was much more like it; Aldo dribbling down the left wing, Roddy and Joe passing the ball and tracking attackers, importantly though the ball now in the Maccabi half rather than Northwood's. Northwood had a corner, but the ball didn't ball make it past the first man, however a cross immediately followed and Diego in the right place nodded a good header in at the far post: 2-2. Just a matter of time before Northwood would see the game out and score more goals, not quite how it panned out though…

Plenty of midfield effort ensued, Dan winning header after header, Serg making tackles and clearances; Alex likewise and making good passes out of defence, and a couple of half chances followed but the game continued to be on level terms. Then with 15 minutes to go, Woods were hit by a couple of sucker punches, a good angled shot hit the Northwood post but instead of coming back into play went into the net and was quickly followed by a further Maccabi shot that made the score 2-4.

Good saves by the Maccabi keeper and indeed by Ronan meant we entered the last five minutes of the second half with a mountain to climb to get a result. A corner to Northwood, the Maccabi defender made it to the ball first but deflected the ball into his own goal: 3-4, the Northwood tails were up and all out for an equaliser.  Down the hill the boys attacked, Diego passed the ball through to James who ran onto the ball and shot, the Maccabi goalkeeper getting to the ball, but as well struck couldn't stop it,  4-4 with 2 minutes to go.

If there was going to be a winner it would be Northwood, spirits high and bite in the challenge, and Aldo 'mugging off' the winger (whatever that means!) and the pressure built on the Maccabi defence.  The ball was won and passed forward, and with James running onto to the ball an accurate shot was needed, sweetly struck shot was made to the goalkeeper’s right, a firm glove connected with the ball, but slowly the ball continued it's journey to the left hand corner. The defender running back to the line, the goalkeeper looking on, the defender got to the ball but too late it was over the line, an improbable comeback completed; 5-4 to Northwood and the referee blew up within a minute.

Boys happy, Peds took a selfie for posterity, boys duly soaked with bucket of water (ritual now retired until the Spring, sorry about that..). We march on – bring on next week!

Darren Woodward