Goldsworth Park Rangers 0 – 1 Worplesdon Rangers U14 Hawks
Well here it is again, the start of another football season, guaranteed to be full of highs and lows. The Hawks first game of the season was against a strong opposition in GPR, who had a full squad with a tall team, but that didn’t faze us. With 12 players, the boys knew it was tough ask to fight for a win today, but they went straight in at the first whistle. The majority of the possession began with GPR, who forced a few corners against us, but with a strong structure at the back, we cleared the ball with ease both times. Persistent running from Conor in the centre of midfield, with a switch to Barney on the left hand side, a ball through to Freddie and he was clear, however the offside rule came into play and the Hawks had to wait even longer to get a sight of goal. Nearing half-time, GPR played a ball through to their striker who was clear on goal, even though it was offside, a Joe Hart like piece of play from Matt saw him save the shot.
Before the half was over, the Hawks got a couple of corners with a new routine which we were trying out, and they were close to scoring twice. Sam was unlucky to put his shot just wide….all even at the break.
Back out for the second half, with the boys pointing out at half-time what they could do better, we went into the second half full of confidence. The Hawks started very strong, with cool headers away at the back from both Ben and Will, we knew that their strikers were having a hard time. A forced change saw Barney come off, and a couple of changes of positions, we carried on as strong as we started, with the boys pushing for a goal. That moment we all waited for, an excellent ball through and with Freddie out-muscling their centre back, he was through, one-on-one with the ‘keeper, and he slotted it coolly into the bottom right, Hawks were 1-0 up, (I bet its been a while since you heard that!).
With the structure of the team sorted out, Jack and Daniel both put in Man of the Match performances when they continuously came up against a taller opposition, but almost every time, they put in a strong tackle. Even though we were in the lead, the boys wanted more. Fantastic running from both Conor and Adam in midfield, and quality bits of play from Taylor saw us pin them back in their own half, and we were loving it. The final 10 minutes came, and GPR were desperate for a goal, forcing corner after corner. A couple more changes saw Sam drop to CDM, Taylor dropping out of his forward role and Adam moving into defence, gave Jack a well deserved rest. By now I think we all knew, even if we had another hour to play, we were going to get that clean sheet! Continuously the boys got the ball clear with ease, Barney with a terrific run down the left, could have got us a late penalty. It was the longest few seconds of my life but as soon as the referee blew the final whistle, the whole squad were ecstatic, there is no way a Man of the Match could have been chosen as they all gave 110% effort for the whole game. A well deserved rest, and back to training on Wednesday….an excellent start to the season boys, you should all be extremely proud of what you achieved today. Final score: GPR 0-1 Worplesdon Rangers Hawks.