U15 Pumas - Match centre

Hertford Stags
Knebworth Football Club
Sun 2 Apr 10:00 - League Full time

Pumas Don't Take Their Chances

Good second half performance draws blank

Stags 1 Pumas 0

An interesting game yesterday which pretty much typified our season. Undoubtedly there is talent throughout our side but getting all eleven boys to see that at the same time has proved very difficult. For us to get anything out of any game we need all eleven players committed to the same cause. If one or two aren't then we aren't going to win many games. Even at training this proves difficult (to get all the players to commit to the session).

Not that I believe in luck, because you make your own, but so many games this season it seems to have just not gone our way. I say that as in at least half the games we've had excellent chances to take the lead, to put the other team on the back foot and it just hasn't happened. I can't remember a season like this in that respect.

The goal has always been for the penny to drop for the players, for them to work things out on pitch. It's been a struggle though as we have I'd say at least 5/6 'personalities' in the team where it can either go one way or the other. Teams need personalities of course but they are not always easy to manage when things aren't going as you'd like.

In my opinion we should have won the game yesterday. We created nine good chances. Not half chances, good chances. In the first half Rudy narrowly missed making contact with a header from a corner four or five yards out. Having said that Reece decided he wasn't go to stay up and attack the corner, instead went back to defend. Had he been attacking the corner (our main striker) I have no doubt with his extra height he would have buried that chance.

An even better chance then fell to Jackson, I felt sure he was going to bury it after very good build up play, but the shot was a little wild and went over, I felt sure he'd score. Seeing as you were off school all week ill I thought you had a very good game Jackson. When I said earlier it's kind of been the story of the season, normally no problem it flies into the goal.

Hertford had been threatening throughout the first half but Tom L and Gene in particular had kept their efforts to long shots. Defending from corners had been generally good but when the ball wasn't cleared after running out of the penalty area a shot was fired in which Tom V saved brilliantly only for two Stags players to be following in on the rebound, one of them knocking the ball past Tom V despite a brilliant effort to save. One lapse and we were punished. Two errors in that we didn't all clear out of the area which played the attacker onside or we didn't track back to stop the attacker after the initial shot. What I will say on this though is that Gene and Tom L have been excellent of late and in particular Tom V as well with his organising. A nice little unit there beginning to take shape.

H/T 1-0 Stags.

A good half time team talk. I said we're going long far far too often, we need to start playing football. Pass the ball.

Sure enough we did in the second half, putting in arguably our best second half performance of the season. An absolute fantastic move with Tom V throwing out to Archie, Arch passing to Jackson, on to Reece who turned, ran ten yards forward before putting in a perfect ball to Kai. Kai went to the left of the keeper before cutting back for Rudy to surely score five yards out only for Fabian (opposition keeper, did sign for us a year or so back but didn't play) to make a wonder save. What a move though.

Reece had a chance, Arch just needed to cut back to Reece for an open goal but Fabian blocked. Tom L had a great header from an excellent corner cleared off the line. So many good chances, another day (or should I say season) three or four them go in.

The second half performance was helped by a change I made with Rudy. Called him over and asked to go and help in the midfield to give Jackson and Lucas support. I've not seen this Rudy before, he looked like a different player out there. A sure first touch, simple lay offs, covering all the pitch, helping Toddy out at the back and freeing up Jackson in particular in the midfield. I said to Phil "Who is this player?!" It made such a difference, mainly if giving time to other players to be more attacking (Jackson, Lucas, Archie).

I looked, we had Kai on the left, Archie on the right and Reece in the centre forward position, surely a goal was coming. However the game wasn't without our standard arguments and disagreements which hurt us result wise. Toddy wasn't at all happy for much of the game. Reece again decided to suddenly not play up front and go midfield when more then ever we need him up front, this then compromised Rudy's role. Reece I know you haven't scored in a while but you are a centre forward all day long. Your close control and power will mean you always get chances if you stick to your position. I'm right. Yes I've highlighted you in the review but you're big enough to understand what I'm saying. Toddy you do like a moan. With Ollie now gone I need you showing for the ball when Tom V has it in hand. You did this well but lost confidence after a couple of bad touches. I'd rather you show and make a mistake than not and the ball just going long and I will continue to encourage you to come for the ball as I know you can do it. There were times in the second half where you did support and helps the team out so much.

We've created all these chances and do you know what I'd say quite a few have had off days by the their standards. For example, Kai, Reece, Toddy, Ethan, although having worked hard can all play a hell of a lot better. Potential is there.

Definitely easier to manage the game yesterday with only 11 players and no subs!

Very pleased with the second half overall. Are we still too individual? Yes. We need to pass more and play football.

MOTM: Tom V, Tom L, Gene and Rudy candidates. Easier one for me though this week in that I felt Rudy changed the game in the second half when he moved into midfield. Not only that he opened the game up for other players to play their game. Well done Rudy.


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70:00 Player of the Match
Rudy Clifton is awarded player of the match for Knebworth Football Club
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  • Hertford Stags
  • Knebworth Football Club
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  • Rudy Clifton Player of the Match 70:00'

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