Report: Clifton Rangers 5 – 0 U11 Panthers

A confident, slightly changed Panthers side played in unfamiliar conditions today – sunshine and no wind! The other unexpectant challenge was a vastly improved Clifton Rangers side who, until this morning, lay 30 points behind Panthers, yet today, played with the technical ability of a strong first team more used to life in 4th place in Division 2 perhaps? Anyway, like the Murphys, I’m not bitter, as on occasion, the Panthers out played this group of tallented youngsters, but conceded 3 of the 5 from corners – lesson 1. Not tackling led to the 2 other goals – lesson 2. If the opposition don’t have the ball, they can’t do anything with it – lesson 3. Moving out of your position has an impact on the rest of the team shape – lesson 4.

At half time the Panthers were 3-0 down. Alistair Haigh put a good shift in today, as did the ever battling Ryan Allen & Elliot Smith (Cpt). Scott couldn’t do anything about any of the goals and did keep the score line at 5 to be fair. Mark Scott & Sam Cooke worked their respective wings well, linking up with Will Hall, Sam Malpas & Seb Fealy when possible. Thomas Wright is consistently Mr Reliable at the back, partnering Ryan in the first half, then Elliot in the second. Callum worked hard again but just couldn’t convert the few chances he got, supported down the flanks by Reece & Seb, then Ali, whilst Sam Malpas returned to form following injury, setting the example when he could by heading whenever he had to, earning him the Player of the Match award.

The game finished 5-0 to Clifton Rangers, keeping them 3rd from bottom, although the second half performance from all the Panthers was better, especially from Reece who covered all his side of the pitch with confidence and flair.

Main lesson today was learning to lose. Bad news comes from time to time. How we deal with that and move on is something sport can teach all of us, especially our young footballers. Tuesday will see the final game for Panthers this season in the Huddersfield league. Tuesday will also give the Panthers’ players the opportunity to show what they’ve learnt from today. Come on “Passing Panthers”, you can do it!