For Lions, see report below. Many thanks to Matt Arthur for the details. Tigers report to follow!
Another great day with the Southside U6 Lions at Gotherington yesterday for a mini-tournament with Gotherington, Lakeside and our own Tigers ?.
It was a really hot morning with 6 matches played back to back over 2 hours. It’s fair to say all the players were exhausted by the end. The team played superbly all morning just running out of steam in the last match.
The Lions were: Josh, Wills, George, Noah, Connor and Oliver & William.
Match 1: Lakeside Blues won 4-2 (Wills x2, Josh x 2).
Match 2: Lakeside Reds won 3-2 (Josh x2, Wills x1)
Match 3: Southside Tigers draw 1-1 (Oliver).
Match 4: Gotherington Wolves won 2-0 (Wills, Oliver).
Match 5: Lakeside Whites draw 1-1 (Wills).
Match 6: Gotherington Lions lost 2-1 (Josh).
There were great performances throughout the team - amazing energy and 5 goals each from Josh and Wills, 2 great goals and real speed from Oliver, superb keeping from Noah, some great cover play from Connor, and great tackling and defending from William.
Man of the match though for a superb defensive performance throughout, reading the game well and never missing a tackle all morning, was George
For the Tigers we had Harry, Luke, Caleb, Theo, Sammy, Freddie, Rafa and Samuel.
In game 1, we were indebted to a fantastic double-save from Samuel, which looked even more important just seconds later when we broke up the other end of the field for Harry to slot home the opening goal! Less than a minute later and Luke made it 2-0, following a mazy run and dribble by Freddie.
Game 2 was a tight affair and despite efforts on goal from Theo, Rafa, Freddie, Luke and Samuel, we couldn’t find a breakthrough. The opposition had chances too and scored from one of theirs, a very nicely struck shot that gave Harry in goal no chance.
Game 3 was the proverbial game of 2 halves! 3 times in the opening 3 minutes, Luke broke away to confidently tuck the ball home to put us 3-0 up, surely one of the quickest hat-tricks ever! Then came the first moment of controversy of the day, when a shot from the opposition hit the post and Freddie in goal dived on the rebound. To the mystery of all, the referee awarded a goal, which it clearly wasn’t, but we accepted the decision with good grace! Unfortunately this sparked a comeback and a second goal quickly followed, although to be fair it was a bit of a wonder goal from distance which no keeper at any Cubs age group would have stopped! With time running out, we conceded a scrambled 3rd goal too, which seemed sure to be the end of the scoring, but deep into ‘injury time’ we took a throw-in and threw the ball back into our own penalty area, to concede a 4th goal with the last kick of the game!
Game 4 was the local derby with the Lions and as is always the way, this was the most keenly fought of all, with more free-kicks in this game than any other we played on the day! The Tigers took the lead when a cross-cum-shot from Sammy was diverted into his own net by William, and Caleb almost made it 2-0 shortly after with a fierce shot. The Lions battled back and Josh twice went close, before Oliver fired home from close range. A draw was just about fair and ensured that everyone left the pitch with their heads held high!
In game 5, we had a lot of the ball, but the opposition always looked dangerous, as they had a couple of big lads who could strike the ball well. A well hit shot from distance put them in front, and despite several Tigers attempts on goal, notably from Luke and Freddie, we conceded again near the end from a breakaway, when every player apart from Caleb in goal was in the opposition penalty area!
The final game could have gone either way and I was really proud of how the Tigers battled, especially as they started to tire in the heat. Caleb was outstanding, as he had been all day, and his performance in this game confirmed him as the man of the match. This game was also notable for a 2nd controversial moment, when a mystery free-kick was awarded against us on the edge of the box, which was duly slotted home. Again, no complaints from us, but it was hard not to be a little disappointed to lose in such a manner.
All in all, I was super proud of the Tigers and how they fought for each other, some strong tackling and some really nice finishes. Every single player played their heart out and never stopped running. The enjoyment on their faces as they played was a sight to behold! Also to mention that I was super proud of the Lions too of course; in the 2 games I saw of them they played very well and were enjoying their football, which as we all know is the main thing!