Sat 05
Dacorum District
U11 Team
Stevenage title chances end

Stevenage title chances end

By Steve Cook
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Dacorum clinical on the day

And so here we were, nine months into an interrupted season, with our final Southern Counties League fixture away to Dacorum – who I must admit, I thought they’d be vying for top spot when I saw them last October as they looked a really good side. They could still finish second with a victory today so it was important for us to approach this game in the right manner. Like most District teams, I guess it comes down to who is available/unavailable through the season and for key fixtures, and we’ve seen for ourselves how the team can be impacted when one or two are absent.

I really cannot fault the effort of the Stevenage side though, through those past nine months only one team had managed to beat us during normal time and if it wasn’t for a goal in the dying seconds of the game against Luton in April we would be coming into this game with our destiny in our own hands. But football can be cruel, and all I wanted today was for the team to give it their best shot and hold their heads high at the end.

Thankfully we had a few more returning bodies this week with Louie and Preston returning from injury, and Elvis back from holiday, but skipper George was still unavailable and Orryn came into the side to replace John in goal. So, we started with Orryn and a back line that consisted of Preston, Muno and Freddie. Tom would join Alfie in the centre of midfield with Zach and Conor providing the width and Blake up front, leaving Louie, Elvis and William on our bench.

The home pitch was not in a great state to be fair, the grass was very long, but it would be the same for both sides. It was clear from the first whistle that this would be a tough game, both sides working hard to create/cancel out chances, but it was Stevenage that worked the first opportunity when Alfie did well to the right of goal and crossed for an unmarked Conor to get a strike on goal – he did nothing wrong but the save from the Dacorum keeper was outstanding.

Both sides continued to attack but it was Dacorum that struck first, and indeed doubled their advantage before the break to lead 2-0. We had our chances at the other end, but we found a keeper in good form and a hard-working Dacorum defence keeping us at bay. If anything, I felt that we played better in the second half and we were still creating chances and troubling a hard-working defence, Alfie, Conor and Blake all had good chances and Tom went on another great run but couldn’t get that final strike on goal from the edge of the area. Dacorum scored three more times, twice in the dying minutes, to give an unfair reflection on the overall result – as I don’t think that we played hat badly. It’s about being clinical in front of goal and there were probably a couple of goals that we could have prevented on another day, but that’s football.

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Match date

Sat 05, Jun 2021