Youth Match Report: AC Finchley v U16 County Cup 4th Round 151213


Sunday 15th December 2013


Royston Town Youth v AC Finchley


County Challenge Cup 4th Round


Lost 2-1

Royston Scorers


County Cup fourth round and a quarter final place for today’s winners, we travelled to Finchley which was an hour away to play AC Finchley who were top of Division 1 of the Watford Friendly League and had not lost a game this season. Not a great start with some of us getting lost and not arriving until 20 minutes before kick off although the ref did put the game back ten minutes. We had fifteen players today with Richard missing due to an ankle injury. The pitch was in fantastic condition and with no wind around perfect for football. We would pay Finchley the respect they deserved and start the game with caution, not be to clever in our third but make sure we were competitive especially in midfield. Our quality in the final third needed to be better and we wanted them to keep it simple.

Finchley started the game the better without creating any clear cut chances, we were a little bit off the pace to begin with but we started to play ourselves into it. We changed formation after 15 minutes as Finchley were playing with only one up top. The game was very competitive as you would imagine and both teams were testing the ref’s patience with some of the challenges but he kept his cards in his pocket. We were having some success in wide areas but like Finchley could not create that clear cut chance. The deadlock was broken on 35 minutes when after forcing a couple of corners James R delivered another great set piece and Fred climbed highest and powered his header into the back of the net to give us the lead. We saw the rest of the half out to go in 1-0 up at half time.

We told the boys to expect a reaction from Finchley and the first 15 minutes would be key to this game, we needed to keep our discipline but remain strong. We needed to show more in the final third and have more belief when we got into dangerous positions, work rate was also key and we had to make sure that did not drop off.

The half started ok for us and we looked comfortable. With ten minutes gone in the second half a great move down our left involving Eamon, Bradley and AJ ended with Sam being manhandled to the floor and although the ref took his time he did finally point to the spot. Rhys stepped up and had his kick saved and within thirty seconds Finchley broke and were awarded a penalty for a handball which was only seen by the ref standing 40 metres away, Alasdair could not believe the injustice of that decision as the ball hit his chest but the decision was made and after a delay the penalty was scored and it was back to all square. Within two minutes we were behind when once again the ref gave a penalty for a foul which not only did know one see but no one appealed for to say the boys were baffled was an understatement and for once I was speachless.Once again the kick was despatched and within two minutes a game we were in control of now saw us behind in. With twenty minutes left we still had time to claw our way back in it but we never recovered from those two penalty decisions and although we did not give up we seemed to lose that belief and Finchley were now playing with confidence those two decisions had given them. Near the end another talking point when their forward was clean through due to us throwing players forward his shot hit the post and we played on but he was celebrating as if he had scored the ref finally stopped play and decided it was no goal and that was the last piece of action as he brought the game to an end.

A really disappointing way to go out and we will not be repeating last year’s heroics when we reached the last four. I spoke to the boys after and told them I was disappointed with their reaction when we went behind and Steve questioned their desire but now I have had more time to reflect it must have been hard for them to understand those decisions and although its easy to say for get about it that is easier said than done, because taking nothing away from Finchley who were a decent side in a matter of two minutes from leading and looking comfortable we were behind and chasing. Good luck to Finchley and I hope they win it for us we now need to finish as high up in the league as we can and look forward to our quarter final league cup game.

A cruel way to go out but we must all learn from this experience today hard luck boys.