Worplesdon Warriors U12 5 – 1 Hampton Rangers Juniors
1st November 2015
As if post-Halloween sleepiness and the low-lying fog weren’t bad enough (see picture), Warriors turned out at home today to meet a squad that dwarfed them in terms of physical stature. However, what Warriors lacked in muscle, they made up for in skill, cunning and determination, to see off bottom of the table rivals Hampton 5-1. Thus far in their campaign, Hampton had yet to score and had only conceded eight goals, so it was anyone’s guess as to whether today’s tactics would pay off….
Warriors got off to a bright enough start, being awarded several corners and free kicks by referee Brian Slyfield in the first ten minutes of the game – although always to find the Hampton box crowded with players only too happy to muscle Warriors off the ball. Plan ‘A’ went desperately wrong after 14 minutes, as a loose pass in midfield was seized upon by a Hampton forward who outran a Warriors’ defender, fired a shot at Leon – who in turn parried the ball out into the path of another Warriors’ defender charging back to help out his ‘keeper. It was not exactly what the Gaffer had requested in terms of an ‘early goal’ but it was a textbook finish, regrettably gifting Hampton with their first goal of the season! Well, we like to help where we can!
There’s a lot more resilience to the team these days and Warriors convincingly shrugged off this initial setback and settled into some halfway decent football. Their efforts were rewarded ten minutes later, when CR7 delivered the team’s second shot on target. The Hampton ‘keeper partially spilled the catch and goal-line technology would have been helpful as it was debatable as to whether the whole ball had crossed all of the line. However, Marc was on hand just to make sure and hammered the ball into the back of the net, while the Hampton ‘keeper could only look on. 1-1 and a chance to draw breath, with half-time only about five minutes away.
Jack thought he was in with a penalty shout in the 25th minute – one of several pushes today from a Hampton player that earned him a caution from the referee. However, it was not to be on this occasion but the second half finished as per the game plan when Marc provided a great assist to fellow-striker Adam who managed a close-range strike while the ball was bobbling precariously in front of goal. 2-1 to Warriors just ahead of the break….
Before the half-time whistle, Marc was injured in a 1 v1 against the Hampton ‘keeper and had to be carried off for treatment. Thankfully, only bruising – and credit to the Hampton ‘keeper for his sporting conduct following the incident.
Darcy and Jacob were replaced for the second shift by Alex and Joe and Warriors proceeded to get off to a better start than before. Three minutes in and another assist from Marc set up Adam to score again, putting some clear blue Worplesdon water between the teams, as Warriors went 3-1 ahead.
At 38 minutes, Joe provided some of the initial chemistry in midfield; his first touch and ability to turn a player allowing Jack to take over and run with the ball. Jack was hell-bent on getting on the scoresheet today and his footwork as he weaved in and out of two (if not three) defenders was a treat to watch, with the goal that followed very much the icing on the cake. 4-1 up and over twenty minutes to go….
Warriors continued to dominate as Hampton, tiring by now, offered little in the final third to trouble our ‘keeper and defensive trio and it was left to Tyler to convert a Charlie corner on the half-volley to end the match with Warriors victorious at 5-1.
Adam scooped MOTM for his two goals. Well done team!