Transition friendlies when you change match format are a great idea – until you get walloped by your elders!
Such was the way of the world when our U12 Warriors turned out on Saturday 30th April at Christ’s College against U13 Trojans, to see what all the fuss was about with the 11v11 game.
The last time the two teams tried this was when Trojans introduced Warriors to 9v9 two seasons ago – and the baptism yesterday was no less forgiving!
The weather was kind – and the pitch even more forgiving after receiving some last-minute TLC from Sean Crooke – groundsman, coach and referee for the match, no less (thanks again Sean)!
Warriors thankfully had a full eleven plus some subs and did well in the first half to peg the score to 1-0 in Trojans’ favour. The first goal after 13 minutes was down to Harry Gray who was dominant for the whole match and probably only Charlie was able to match him physically. Warriors had a few chances: they were awarded the first few corners and rattled the Trojans’ crossbar on one occasion but just didn’t have the penetration to worry the Trojans’ ‘keeper in the first 35 minutes.
Into the second half and the second goal from Harry Scanlan, a screamer from some 20 yards out that was simply unstoppable. He turned on a bouncing ball in the area and unleashed an unstoppable left-foot volley
The third goal, similar in pace and power, was struck by Jake Gumbrell. He ran onto a bouncing ball on the edge of the area and hit it so well again Leon had no chance. It was always rising and entered the goal just under the bar. Warriors were visibly tiring now. Trojans went three at the back try and encouraged Warriors to keep running and get behind the Trojans’ defence.
The fourth goal was a break down the left wing and the ball fell to Adam Elton, who took a couple of steps and then with his left foot placed the ball past an exposed and committed Leon.
And finally goal #5….Ryan Habgood took control of the ball in the centre circle and slotted a ball through the gap in Warriors’ midfield and defence, perfectly weighted to match the run of Adam Elton who touched the ball past the last defender and lobbed it over Leon, giving him little chance in the formidable new-sized goals.
Commented Trojans’ Manager Andy Elton: ‘….I have to say Warriors gave us a run for our money in the first half and overall deserved a goal or two. However, the strength and fitness of the U13’s proved too much in the end….We look forward to when your team has had a good U13 season and will be stronger and fitter for the next fixture…..’.
The match was a good litmus test for Warriors and a reminder of the hard work ahead over the summer break.
Thanks to our match officials and to Margaret Wickham for end of match calories for all the players.