Oakwood U14s beat Elmstead in Tandridge Cup
Second-half superiority sees off spirited Elmstead side.
By Ben Snook
A very mild November morning saw Oakwood welcome F.C. Elmstead from the B league in the Tandridge Cup. Elmstead are old foes, the games always being played to a high standard and quite close, so a tough game was expected.
On Bonfire weekend, it took Oakwood 3 minutes to set off their own fireworks. A storming run down the right from James Archard and a swift one-two with Kaiden Hummerston on the edge of the box saw James Archard drill the ball into the bottom left corner to make the score 1-0.
The fireworks didn’t stop there, however, and the lead was short lived as Elmstead replied within a minute to level the game at 1-1.
Both teams were looking dangerous when attacking and both had chances to take the lead that came and went; Oaks had a Kaiden Hummerston goal disallowed and a penalty shout denied when Finlay Sturgeon went down in the box. But it wasn’t until the 29th minute that the pressure that Oakwood were exerting began to tell and a lovely passing move across Elmstead’s box from right to left found Farai Maswera in acres of space, who calmly slotted in, left footed, to make it 2-1.
Elmstead continued to look dangerous on the break and, for the second time in the game, Elmstead scored within a minute of conceding to make it 2-2. Game on!
With half time approaching, the chances still rained down for both teams. Elmstead’s intimidating striker completed his hat-trick in the 31st minutes to put Elmstead ahead 3-2. But Oakwood finished the half strongly though, a perfect lob from substitute Luqman Makeem and an exquisite dinked finish from Kaiden Hummerston on the stroke of half time gave Oaks a 4-3 lead.
The 2nd half started in the same vein as the 1st ended, with Oakwood on the attack. A superb individual goal in the 39th minute from Kaiden Hummerston, showing strength, speed and power to run from the half way line, break through 2 challenges and hold off their powerful center back and to still have the composure to finish clinically, was a great start to the 2nd half to make it 5-3.
It was proving to be a much more accomplished display for the Red and Blacks this half and it seemed to be only a matter of time before the lead would be increased. A superb through ball from the sublime Luqman Makeem, released stand in striker James Archard to make it 6-3 in the 52nd minute. Oakwood were relentless in their pursuit of more goals and were beginning to dominate and looked good in possession. In the 61st minute, Morgan Prill found himself by the corner flag with two Elmstead defenders for company. He wriggled his way around them superbly and delivered a great pass into the box where Luqman Makeem was on hand to pass to James Archard to complete his hat-trick. 7-3. Another Luqman Makeem assist, his 4th of the game, played in James Archard again who unleashed an unstoppable shot to put the gloss on a great team display to make the final score 8-3.
It was a pleasure to see the training methods of Mark and Mike starting to pay dividends today. George Edgley's distribution to the full backs was particularly eye catching. With the whole back line being encouraged to play from the back, some of the one touch football was a pleasure to watch.
What is really clear, is the confidence that the managers are giving this fine team to play. If a defender is trying to pass the ball from the back and it goes astray, we all know that can lead to chances to the opposition. To have the courage to keep on playing like that, even if it does go wrong sometimes, is what will pay dividends in the long run. Lee Truman, Riley Snook, Nathaniel Dryden and Ben Plumridge were again on top of their games in defence. Morgan Prill, Finlay Sturgeon and Farai Maswera were a constant menace on the wings and looked dangerous every time they touched the ball. Gatwick Pizza Player of the match, Luqman Makeem, strolled around the park like he owned it. Kaiden Hummerston notched another brace and a special mention to James Archard, who is not usually up front, but managed to bag himself 4 goals and still not get the Player of the Match award!
We wish all the best to Elmstead for the season and now onto the ¼ finals.