Rocks Lane United U12 1 – 8 Worplesdon Rangers U12 Warriors
The U12 Warriors got their new League campaign off to a flying start today with an emphatic 8-1 away win over Rocks Lane Utd.
Today was a double debut: for the team as a whole, now playing in the Surrey Youth League and for new summer signing Jack, providing the squad with some new attacking options.
The 10.00 ko at Barnes was witnessed by a small but discerning crowd which included Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister, whose son was in the opposing line-up. Good to see Warriors now moving in such exalted circles!
Warriors played with real desire as a team today and finished with a result to match. This first SYL fixture gave Manager Dan Wheatley a chance to experiment with a very different formation from usual – and it proved its worth. Warriors were tight defensively, kept possession well and created many scoring opportunities. Our conversion rate today was the highest it has been for some time.
As ever, getting the early goal helped and it was down to Charlie to put Warriors on the score sheet after only 1.5 minutes; a tap-in that capitalised on a great cross from Tyler. Jack netted number two at close range with his knee, from a Marc assist at 10 minutes – and he then went onto score his second eight minutes later, chasing down a loose ball which he then moved into the box and deftly hooked up, just beyond the Rocks Lane ‘keeper’s reach.
Meanwhile, Adam and Jacob were resolutely holding the line at the back and should be commended on the quality of their challenges today. Even when pressured, they kept their cool and moved the ball out of danger sensibly, feeding players further upfield.
Warriors went ahead 4-0 in the 19th minute, with a fine goal from Marc, who ran unmarked onto a perfect corner into the box from Charlie, heading home at close range. With the wind in their sails, Warriors settled into a phase of excellent pass-and-move football, as the first half came to an end. The highpoint involved an attacking move in the final third when Charlie released a perfectly weighted pass to Jack, who in turn dummied, allowing the ball to roll onto Marc’s right foot and for him to get a shot away on the volley. The ball hit the upright and glanced away but it showed Warriors’ control of the game at this point and how much they were enjoying their football.
Speak of control, CR7 and Joe had been busy tracking up and down and ensuring that the team were able to press throughout the first 30 minutes. Joe set up a great goal in the dying moments of the first half, only for Jack to be caught offside. Warriors came off jubilantly for half-time, 4-0 up.
Dan came on for Jacob in the second half and at 35 minutes, created Warriors’ next goal. One of his trademark free kicks curled in from a distance and landed with Marc, who took one touch and then shot low right, under the ‘keepers outstretched arms.
To Rock Lane’s credit, they were undeterred 5-0 down. A rare defensive error by Warriors in the 37th minute gave their #45 shirt enough space to connect with a corner, heading the ball home just over Leon fingertips, to make it 1-5. The Warriors’ new Captain will no doubt have taken this personally, as there’s nothing more that he loves than keeping a clean sheet! Needless to say, Leon did make a number of important full-stretch saves today, without which our opponents might have netted another two or three goals.
Warriors however, finished the job in style. Tyler immediately responded to the conceded goal by getting one of his own – a close range effort that was set up by an accurate throw-in from Joe. Marc notched up his hat-trick with goal #7 at 44 minutes, leaping onto a great short-range cross from Charlie, who had used his 1v1 skills to good effect to break through the Rocks Lane back line. Just when we thought it was all over, Jack secured his debut hat-trick to make it 8-1, ably assisted by a through ball from CR7 and by using his vision to chip the ball over the Rocks Lane ‘keeper from distance.
No MoM today as this truly was a great team effort. However, Charlie was given a special mention in despatches for his energy and commitment up and down the field, non-stop, for 60 minutes. Big it up as well for injured Alex who turned out kitted up to support his team mates!
New season, new league, new team….a great start to the Warriors 2015-2016 campaign!