U12- Cheshunt 1 vs PBT Youth 0
U12- East Herts Blues vs PBT Scholars
All week we had been wondering whether the game would be called off due to
water-logging or frost, and all were so glad when we had the green light. We
knew the pitch would not suit our passing football, however, what we found was both teams did so irrespective of the surface and ended up being a great advert for U12 football with 1-1 draw.
The majority of the attacking intent in the first half was with the Scholars with some great driving runs across the midfield producing some opportunities and in particular Sir Matthews putting in a great display again on the right
wing. We were unlucky to not have scored but our passing just fell short in
creating clear chances, and their giant keeper being on top of his game. We were very unlucky when Kyle had scored but only to have been ruled out with one of our players doing their shoelace (Luis!) but no one had called for play to stop!
Then on another occasion Kyle had the goal at his mercy but the heroic East Herts GK pulled out a full length save to deny him.
To be honest our defence was outstanding throughout the game with captain Nathan excellently marshalling his defence with the aid of superb fall backs in Archie and Lambo. Unfortunately, Lambo took a heavy kick to his head and even though he wanted to play on, we forced him to rest for first part of the second half and this coincided with EH being at their very best, and our midfield dropping their high standards. Harrison done well throughout to deny them a few times, and we were unlucky to go 1 nil down.
The goal revitalised the Scholars with pressurising in packs and were first to everything. All midfielders mirrored their first half and in particular the hard working Charlie and Ellis. We were ultimately rewarded when a loose ball in midfield was picked up by Luis who threaded a perfectly weighted ball to the right wing finding again the marauding Matthews who slammed across the goal for the GK to make a good save, and the man of the match live wire Luca was there to smash home. It must be said that Luca had literally covered every blade of grass and was a constant thorn in EH - a well-deserved mom.
U12- PBT Whites vs Welwyn Pegasus Cobalts
The first sunny day in January provided an excellent setting for the start of the 2018 campaign at our pristinely kept home pitch at Dame Alice Owen. It was clear from the warm up that the boys were eager to play again after the long Christmas break and 'looking very professional' as one of our parents commented to me whilst Phil took them through their routine.
The game started energetically as and both sides adopted the 'high press' which seems to be the most popular tactic amongst the premiership clubs at the moment.
With the sun in their eyes, the Whites seem to be struggling to get their passing game going and were pinned back in their own area for much of the early part of the first half. They were second to the loose ball and it was evident that some of the boys had forgotten how much effort and application is required against well drilled opposition in order to win a game of football. In the 20th minute, Welwyn won a corner, which resulted in a scrappy but deserved goal.
Thankfully, this jolted the whites from their Christmas slumber and the balance of play became more evenly distributed until half time.
Not surprisingly, during the interval talk, the boys were aware of what they needed to address and all seemed keen to make amends as only two or three boys had shown any sort of commitment up until this point.
As the Whites started the second half, their new-found energy and visibly increased industry and team play was rewarded with three corners in the space of
10 minutes. An excellent delivery from the 3rd consecutive corner by George B found Josh S lurking on the penalty spot - the strike was from the 'How to finish with clinical precision' chapter of the striker's handbook of football and was very well deserved. As confidence started to flow through the team, the boys became more vocal and it was no surprise that this helped them to improve on their favoured passing game, switching play from side to side and pressing in packs whenever they lost possession momentarily.
Whilst a few of their attacks were thwarted by very close offside decisions, the second goal was a three pass move which started deep in the whites area - the ball was won by Josh M, switched to Olly, (who was just too quick all morning), drove forward once again beating on-coming traffic and passed through the crowded midfield to Adam, who still had plenty to do, but who beat the keeper with a powerful finish to put the Whites ahead for a very well deserved second.
The Welwyn coach screamed at his team that the Whites wanted it more and that was a fair summary of the second half. The Whites were just too strong as the game came to a close, but nothing should be taken away from a talented, well managed Welwyn Pegasus team.
Star man was a difficult decision with even the boys struggling to guess the winner, but on this occasion, Olly just edged it with his penetrating runs and wonderful assist.
A good day at the office and a great start to the year.
U14 Herts County Cup
Hertford Town 2 PBT 1
U15 - EJA League
Wingate & Finchley 2 PBT 5
U18 - Game postponed due to unfit pitch.
Updated 10:27 - 6 Feb 2018 by Steve Ringrose