Southside Star Cubs U8 v Bishops Cleeve U8
Looking resplendent in their new kit, our U8 Cubs faced-off with our visitors from Cleeve on a beautiful sunny day.
We went again with our tried-and-tested round robin format, with our 4 Southside Star teams of Lions, Tigers, Wildcats & Pumas facing up to the teams from Cleeve, the Colts & the Rovers.
The 2 teams from Cleeve were both pretty strong and contained players that could strike a good ball, as well as some big, strong defenders, so this was a good test for the Cubs.
The Lions started with a game against the Colts and lost out to a single goal in a very close fought game. They came back in the next, with a single goal from Ethan enough to edge out the Tigers, in a game where the Tigers were denied a penalty for a blatant handball on the line! They then battled out a 0-0 draw with the Pumas in a game of few chances, before securing a 1-0 victory over the Rovers with a ball scrambled home from close range by Noah H. This proved to be our only win over Cleeve on the day. The Lions then played out another all-Southside affair with the Wildcats, in another game that ended goalless; another clean-sheet for Lennie, our keeper on loan from the U7 Cubs! Finley put in another energetic performance, but star of the day for the Lions was Max G, who simply never stopped battling.
For the Tigers, they went down to single-goal defeats to the Rovers, Lions and Wildcats in their first 3 games, the aforementioned rejected penalty claim being indicative of their luck in front of goal. Despite this, the Tigers played some good football and as always showed their battling qualities, with game 4 a hard-fought nil-nil draw with the Tigers. In the last game with the Colts, the Tigers fell behind in the first few seconds, but fought back bravely in search of an equaliser. Terrence was clean through on goal but was stopped by a last-ditch tackle, then a goalmouth scramble involving Alfie, Noah V and Lukas seemed certain for the ball to end up in the Colts net, only for the final effort from Alfie to be blocked and Colts breaking at the other end. Lukas made a lung-bursting run to make a great tackle on his own goal-line, but the ball somehow stayed in play and was squared for an easy tap-in! Austin, Seb and Joseph W all did sterling jobs at the back and Teddy on loan from the U7s did very well in goal and on the pitch, but man of the match was Lukas for a typical energetic display.
For the Pumas, they started with a 2-1 victory over the Wildcats, with 2 excellent goals from Leonidas. They followed that up with a 1-1 draw against the Colts in a game they really should have won; Tobi scored a tremendous goal after bursting through the defence to slot home, only to be foiled with the last kick of the game after losing concentration at a thrice-taken throw-in! The 3rd game was the 0-0 draw with the Lions, the highlight of which was an inch-perfect through ball from Tobi inside the defender to Lucas, who raced onto it and crashed his shot against the post; a goal-of-the-season contender had it gone in! The 4th game was a further goalless draw with the Tigers, as defences continued to cancel each other out, before going down to defeat against the Rovers in the last game. Overall the team looked very solid, with Tobi the man of the match for an overall outstanding performance.
For the Wildcats, their opening game was a 2-1 defeat to the Pumas, despite a fine goal from Archie. They then fell to defeat to the Rovers in game 2, but came back strongly in game 3 to edge a tight game with the Tigers 1-0, thanks to another strike from Archie. They went down again to the Colts in game 4, but finished with a hard-fought nil-niller with the Lions, with both teams missing chances to seal the points. Solid defensive performances all-round, despite several passes across our own penalty-area(!), but Zaya took the medal for player of the match for the second successive week with another energetic and tough-tackling performance.
This was another great experience for our newly-formed teams, and certainly there is work to be done to get everyone playing in their positions and playing as a team. All of the teams look solid, but we are finding goals hard to come by, with only 7 scored in what was effectively 20 games played, so that is definitely something we need to work on.
Players of the Match: Max Green, Lukas Hepworth, Tobi Adegunloye & Zaya White