U8 Match Reports 12 May 2013


The Phantoms lined up this morning with Lucas in goal; Samuel and Jayden in defence; Alexander, Charlie and Jamie in midfield; and Eddie up front.  With an uncharacteristically rusty start, the Phantoms struggled to live with the flowing, attacking football created by an impressive Hall Green side.  It was no surprise then, when the home team took the lead early in the game.  This goal woke the Phantoms up slightly, and slowly but surely, they began to build on some hard fought possession.  Some good interplay between Charlie and Jamie down the right wing showed some positive football.  Samuel and Jayden were still busy at the back, as Hall Green counter attacked with pace, but they dealt with the threat well, marshalled by the ever-vocal Lucas, who smothered a number of Hall Green attempts on goal himself.  Deep into the Hall Green half, the Phantoms won a throw-in, which Jamie took, sending the ball to Alexander in the opposition box. Alexander showed good persistence against the goalkeeper and equalised with a cool strike.  Another great long throw from Jamie crossed the path of Eddie in a crowded Hall Green penalty area, but he couldn’t quite stretch to finish.  The home side still looked dangerous on the counter attack though, and a fantastic save by Lucas unfortunately rebounded to a Hall Green player, who threaded the ball through the Ossett defence to restore their lead.  Spurred on by their goal, another great through ball from the Hall Green midfield left their striker with only Lucas to beat, and unfortunately the striker came out on top, increasing the lead.  The Phantoms had a chance to pull a goal back before half time- a corner from Alexander led to a frantic goalmouth scramble, but the visitors just couldn’t quite get the ball in the net.   Half-time: Hall Green Utd 3-1 OTJ Phantoms
The Phantoms had a better start to the second half, and for a large period of the game, the sides were evenly matched.  Sam had a speculative snap shot from well outside the box which went just wide, and more good pressure from Ossett created a long range chance for Alexander, which the home keeper just turned behind for a corner.  The Phantoms were limiting the Hall Green chances to long shots too, Jayden and Sam mopping up anything that the home team had to offer.   Hall Green then earned a free-kick on wide on their right (Charlie went off and was replaced by Tyler) and a great shot from the free-kick-taker found its way into the Ossett goal. Soon after, Lucas made another fantastic save as he tipped a Hall Green shot onto the crossbar, but again the Phantoms were really unlucky when the ball rebounded straight to a home team forward, who made no mistake with his finish.  Perhaps something of a hangover from the previous week’s fabulous performances in Wales, the Phantoms had lacked their usual confident air, but the scoreline was not a fair reflection of the game.  Unlucky boys, a brave performance against a strong and talented Hall Green side.  Better luck next week!!
Full-time: Hall Green United A 5 v 1 OTJ Phantoms
Player of the Match: No award given this week
warriors1The Warriors lined-up with James in goal; George and Seth in defence; Cai, Lucas and Oscar in midfield; with Tyler as lone striker.  Playing up a significant slope in the first half, the Warriors had to be alert from the off, and there was no sign of a sleepy start this morning as the lads were straight into the game, battling for every ball.  The midfield three soon gained the upper hand and began to develop their play.  Lucas, Cai and Oscar all produced some nice foraging solo runs through midfield, but combined this with some intelligent inter-passing and movement that was pleasing for both coaches and the watching support.  The Warriors had the Hall Green United back line under pressure for most of the half, with shots from Tyler and Oscar missing the target.  A series of beautifully chipped corners from Oscar were well defended by Hall Green as Seth and Tyler challenged to convert them.  Hall Green, when they did venture into the Warriors half, met George and Seth in determined mood.  They not only tackled well, but also used the ball intelligently, both making some excellent passes from deep into their midfield.  It would have been harsh on the Warriors had a speculative, long range Hall Green shot found its way in, but luckily for the lads, it hit the corner of the goal and bounced back into play!  The half-ended all square, but with the Warriors on top and James having had very little to do.
Playing downhill in the second half the Warriors were hopeful of forcing a win and in confident mood.  Tyler had a snapshot that was deflected wide, but from the resulting corner, another fine delivery by Oscar saw the Warriors take the lead as the ball was deflected in off an unlucky defender.  The Warriors settled into the half passing well from back to front, with all the boys contributing and doing their jobs very well.  Oscar had a free kick well saved, Seth fired one wide from distance and Tyler was hunting tirelessly looking for a goal.  The second game from a lovely piece of play.  Lucas took a short corner to Oscar who beat a defender, squared to Cai in space and Cai produced a fantastic finish from the edge of the box to make it two.  Brilliant and no more than the lads deserved!  Hall Green then came back into the game as the Warriors switched off from a throw-in, allowing the opposition striker to break clear and he took his goal very well to narrow the deficit.  The home team then threw everything at the Warriors in the last few seconds, with a last ditch tackle and clearance from George and then Lucas maintaining the lead as the final whistle blew to earn the Warriors a fully deserved victory.  Well done both teams for a great game.
Full Time: Hall Green United B 1 v 2 OTJ Warriors
Player of the Match: It was a fantastic team performance today, with every player doing their job very well, so it was no surprise that a squad award was the order of the day. Well done all for a fantastic display and deserved result 🙂

The Harriers started the game with Benjamin in goal; James and Bailey in defence; Rowan, Alex K and Lucas H in midfield; with Max playing the lone striker role.  This was a tough battle against a very strong, physical Hall Green side, but every one of the Harriers’ players performed with courage and never gave in.  For a considerable amount of the first half, with the Harriers playing up the sloping pitch, Hall Green encamped in the Harriers half, but the Harriers refused to let Hall Green through.  Bailey and James hunted every ball energetically with Alex, Rowan and Lucas all racing back to put in a defensive effort.  The deadlock was broken by a rather bizarre incident when Lucas forgot temporarily that he wasn’t in goal and handled the ball in the penalty area.  Benjamin came desperately close to skilfully tipping the powerful penalty attempt over the bar, but the ball shot over his hands and into the goal.  The Harriers refused to let their heads drop and surged forward on a number of occasions.  Notably when James burst through the Hall Green defence then put an inch perfect (25.4mm perfect pass to anybody under 30 !) through to Alex whose powerful shot was just wide.  Max was a constant thorn in the Hall Green side as he chased the ball tirelessly up front working hard to hunt the ball and create chances for his side.  Unfortunately, despite the boys best efforts and a goal saving, bone crunching, fantastic last-ditch tackle by Bailey, the boys found themselves 3- 0 down at half time. 
After the break the boys had the benefit of slope and they all pushed hard to reduce the deficit. Several powerful runs by James and Lucas created chances.  Bailey was superb at the back with his courageous tackling, danger relieving passing and has improved so much during this season!  Alex was his usual creative, energetic self and he tried all he could for that elusive goal.  Benjamin snuffed out a number of Hall Green attacks and was unlucky to concede the only second half goal. The boys had a number of chances in the half including a cracking long distance attempt by Rowan, which just went wide and a near miss by the hard working Max.  The 4 – 0 result did not reflect how well the Harriers played.  For large periods of the game they were the better side as they passed the ball with accuracy, ran strongly and tackled with commitment.  Well done to all the Harriers you deserved more from the game against a very good Hall Green team.
Full-time: Hall Green United C 4 v 0 OTJ Harriers
Player of the match: As ever a difficult decision for the coaches with so many cracking performances, but for his bravery, strong tackling and passing it had to be Bailey!  Another brilliant performance – well done!
All the best to Hall Green United for the remainder of the season!
Match reports from Nigel Parkinson (Phantoms), Mick Burton (Warriors) & Chris Sykes (Harriers)