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Warriors Turn the Tables On Old Coulsdon Blazers

Old Coulsdon Colts Blazers 3 – 4 WRFC U13 Warriors

Sunday 29th January 2017

Neither the three-week lay-off nor the 75-mile Guildford – Coulsdon round trip prevented Warriors from earning three valuable points today, as they narrowly beat former Cup rivals Old Coulsdon Blazers in their first League meeting this season.  With ‘Blazers’ having prematurely ended Warriors’ two cup runs this season, this was a big match for the team and an opportunity to cement their position in the top half of SYL Division 2.

Warriors’ ‘shock and awe’ approach worked well today as the team found the back of the net after only two minutes, with Matt firing in a close-range effort from a Jack assist.  Matt nearly made it two in quick succession after Marc ‘headed’ a ball with the small of his back, flicking it off to the Warriors’ centre forward, who battled strongly forward – only to deliver straight to the Blazers’ ‘keeper.

Blazers got into their stride after about fifteen minutes and were awarded the first of no fewer than ten corners in the first 35 minutes of play.  It was after the third or fourth of these that one got the impression that Blazers were in the ascendency – much to Warriors’ cost. It was not until the 27th minute that Warriors secured their first corner of the game, after a brief spell of offensive play, resulting in Marc rattling the post with a well-taken shot from range.

Despite this brief period of pressure from the visitors, Blazers earned their equaliser in the 30th minute after Warriors failed to clear their lines.  1-1 it stayed until the interval, after an entertaining half, albeit one where Warriors had not sufficiently stretched their opponents’ ‘keeper.  However, all that was to change….

The second half saw Warriors with the ‘downhill’ advantage but this time, the tables were turned.  Two minutes in and Blazers went 2-1 ahead, forcing back a Warriors’ goal-kick with speed and ferocity.  However, Blazers’ jubilation was short-lived.  Warriors dug in and at 41 minutes Joe was credited with scoring for Warriors: a deflection, surrounded by defenders, following an expertly-delivered free-kick from Charlie. 2-2!

Jack’s heading heroics saved the day in the 42nd minute when he dealt superbly with a Blazers’ free-kick that came thundering in on target.  Controversy raged one minute later, when Marc chased a through ball and was narrowly beaten by the Blazers’ ‘keeper.  Marc was able to jump over his opponent but clipped him in the process just as the ‘keeper spilled the ball.  The referee decided that the spill was due to the accidental injury….either way, Matt’s timely follow-up shot into the back of the net was disallowed.

In the meantime, Cristiano was excelling in the sweeper role and, combined with determined and tidy challenges from Adam today, things were being contained well at the back.   However, disaster struck in the 48th minute when Blazers’ #14 broke through, beating two defenders and driving the ball low, out of Leon’s grasp, into the back of the net.  3-2 down!

Again, Warriors dug into reserves and pulled back an equaliser within two minutes of kicking off again.  This time, it was Jack’s turn, capitalising on a free kick from Charlie. 3-3!

Both teams were by now battling for what surely would be the winner.  Blazers were gifted a header from a free kick that ended up sailing over Leon’s crossbar but it was Warriors who triumphed in the 61st minute, when Charlie netted the winner after the Blazer’s ‘keeper spilled a speculative shot from Matt.

This was an entertaining match between two competitive and well-matched teams.  Thanks to Julian and Christian for deputising for Dan, to Colin for running the line and to Carolyn for Pitch Marshal duties.

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