U8s Match Reports Sunday September 9 2012

The under 8s entertained White Rose Allstars and Meltham Athletic on a glorious sunny day at Highfield.  Unfortunately the length of the grass, which was more like the rough on a golf course, made playing football very difficult!  This was a day when the results were simply not reflective of the performances from our teams.  To all the lads – keep performing like this each week and the positive results will come! 🙂
*
First into action were the Warriors against Meltham Athletic A.  Early pressure by the Warriors forced Meltham onto the back foot, a series of corners and throw ins high up-field causing difficulties for the away teams defence.  Alexander tried to run onto some probing through balls from Oscar, whilst Cai and Seth were working hard, breaking up play and trying to get forward.  George made some timely interceptions at the back and Samuel continually came away with the ball when confronted by opposition forwards.  Having played very well for the most part of the first half,  and despite a couple of good saves from James, the Warriors were hit by a three goal salvo just before half time, which gave Meltham, with their more direct approach, a somewhat fortunate half time advantage.
*
Half Time: OTJ Warriors 0 v 3 Meltham Athletic A
*
Into the second half, the determined Warriors desperately tried to create some chances, a superb driving run from Seth spurring his team mates on.  The Warriors pushed on in their efforts to score some goals, which left space in behind and the Meltham strikers had more chances, but, again, James made some more excellent saves from point blank range.  Three more goals conceded late on made the scoreline look extremely harsh on the hardworking Warriors, they deserved much better than they received fom their performance.
*
Full Time: OTJ Warriors 0 v 6 Meltham Athletic A
Player of the Match: Cai for some tireless, energetic and very skillfull play – a strong start to the season!

Despite being under pressure and conceding a goal in the early stages of the match, the Owls gradually began to impose themselves.  They enjoyed a period of sustained pressure towards the end of the half, with Rowan unleashing a fantastic cross-field pass from deep in his own half, finding Bailey (making his OT debut) on the left, who shot narrowly wide; the same player having another shot saved soon after.  James was next to fire in a shot which was saved right on the goal line.  Calum’s (B and S) foraged well in midfield and attack whilst David battled hard at the back.  As the tide turned again just before the break, Archie pulled off an excellent save from a one on one breakaway, but had no chance with a strike just on the whistle.

 *
Half Time: OTJ Owls 0 v 2 Meltham Athletic C
 *
The second half progressed in a similar way to the first, each side enjoying periods of pressure, then being forced to defend. Calum B was a driving force in midfield showing great desire, and once again, Archie was called upon to make two or three important saves, bravely throwing himself at the feet of Meltham strikers. The concession of two more goals couldn’t dampen the desire of all the players as they continued to give their all trying to get on the score-sheet.
 *
Full Time: OTJ Owls 0 v 4 Meltham Athletic C
 *
Player of the Match: James who worked his socks off for the team all game and showed real drive and determination!
 *
This match was a very physical encounter, with numerous crunching tackles being the feature of the game.  Throughout the first-half, any attempt at creative play by either side was thwarted by the opposition simply refusing to allow each other any space in which to play.  Ben and Jayden stayed well back, ensuring that there would be no quick breaks on goal, Alexander and Jamie battled gamely whilst Edward and Charlie had to move back into midfield to help out for most of the half.  Neither goalkeeper was unduly troubled as the sides all but cancelled each other out.
*
Half-time: OTJ Phantoms 0 v 0 White Rose Allstars A
*
The second half opened up much more in the second half and the Phantoms played very well throughout, a number of excellent opportunities were created and both Charlie and Edward were unfortunate not to manage to find the net either by shooting just wide or the goalkeeper making some quality saves.  Again, Alexander and Jamie fought hard in midfield with Jayden managing to play further up-field, showing some good distribution and tackling back when necessary.  Ben covered the gaps left behind and mopped up the punts forward.  Lucas had a very quiet second half as the play was almost entirely at the opposite end of the pitch, but just as the game looked to be heading for a draw, the Phantoms suffered the sucker punch of a dramatic last minute goal to undeservedly lose the game.  A very unlucky result as the lads played extremely well and really deserved to have won the match.  Two excellent performances so far this season – keep it up and the wins will come!
*
Full-time: OTJ Phantoms 0 v 1 White Rose Allstars A
*
Player of the match: Jayden an outstanding performance of quality defensive play, accurate distribution and well time runs forward!
 *
The final game of the morning saw the Harriers in action.  Another match in which endeavour, willingness  and desire were in great evidence, with the whole team desperately trying to engineer a goal scoring opportunity.  Matthew displayed a wonderful piece of skill, dribbling past his opponent before playing a superb pass into the feet of Tyler, who shot just past the left hand post.  Benjamin was rarely called upon to make a save, but twice had to fish the ball out of his net as two strikes flew past him.  Seth tried to orchestrate the play from midfield, assisted by the willing running of Max and the tigerish persistence of Samuel.  Lucas was solid in defence, also making some great runs down the left.  Try as they might, they just couldn’t mount any problems on goal and ended the half two goals behind.
*
Half-time: OTJ Harriers 0 v 2 White Rose Allstars A/B
*
A very competitive second half was played out, with, once again, very little in the way of goalmouth action. Benjamin collected a couple of crosses and hopeful shots, whilst again tremendous efforts were made to by the lads to score a goal. Tyler had a few half chances but couldn’t quite finish with his usual accuracy. Two late goals conceded again gave the scoreline a lopsided look, but didn’t do justice to the efforts of everyone in difficult hot conditions.
*
Full-time: OTJ Harriers 0 v 4 White Rose Allstars A/B
*
Player of the match: Lucas for an energetic, hard working display, which included some excellent dribbling!
 *
All the best to Meltham Athletic and White Rose Allstars for the remainder of the season!
 *
Match reports by Philip Keane