Youth Match Report: U15 v Fairlands Youth 030313



Sunday 3rd March 2013


Fairlands Youth v Royston Town Youth


Royston Crow Youth Football League U15 Division 1


Won 0-1

Royston Scorers

James R

I’m not a great lover of double headers and playing teams in consecutive weeks but that’s what we had today after our 5-0 win at home last week we made the short trip to Stevenage to again play Fairlands.The pitch was awful with a big slope and long grass but there was no wind and of course it was the same for both sides.AJ,Rhys and Eamon would all start on the bench as they were not fully fit from injuries and Ben was unavailable so we had to shuffle the pack but were still very strong and the team had an exciting look about it. The ref spoke to both sets of players and warned them that he would not take any swearing at each other or himself lightly which would hopefully cut out some of the verbal’s from both sets of players we saw  last week.

We warned the boys of complacency and not to take last weeks result for granted, Fairlands would not lie down without a fight so we had to make sure we matched their effort and determination. It was a big pitch so we had to use the width as well but more important was that we started well.

We defended the slope first half and the game got under way. We started as well as I’ve seen this season with Jack O seeing lots of the ball in the middle of the park and using it well to get Bradley in behind there defence and although we were getting in good positions we never really threatened there goal. James R was also dangerous and his link up play with Sam was always threatening and he was also putting over some great crosses but we did not get on the end of them which was disappointing. Fairland always looked dangerous on the break and there number 14 was playing quite deep and picking it up and running at us which at times we struggled to cope with. Robbie made a Sharp save after twenty minutes and you could see this would be a tough match. With twenty five minutes on the clock Sam picked the ball up and passed the ball short to James R who from a full twenty five yards hit an unstoppable shoot over the keeper to give us the lead. Sam had to limp off soon after with a back injury and Ross came on to replace him but he then took a blow to the nose so was back off straight away although he did return once he was cleaned up. We were not convincing at the back which is not like us but we were making life hard for ourselves by not keeping our shape and at times over committing in attack, the whistle went at the end of the half with us leading 1-0.

We have to play with our heads sometimes and take responsibility, we did not need to chase the game we were leading going up the slope so it was about keeping our shape and not letting them back in as at times we were over run, if it was not for some good goal keeping from Robbie we could have easily been level at half time. We had lost our way towards the end of the half and we just needed to get back to basics. Alasdair was told to pick up the 14 even if that meant following him further up the pitch as that still left three to mark one so it was also important that they communicated to each other as well. We also had to stop letting the centre half run the ball out of defence unchallenged as he was also causing us problems.

Once again we started the half really well and for the first ten minutes did not let them out of their half and created two really good chances one which fell to Richard and one to James R which were both missed but the poor state of the pitch played a part in both misses. As you would expect with the score only 1-0 Faitlands were growing in confidence and we had to defend well at times and Robbie was kept on his toes but always looked confident. We had to make several changes which again seemed to knock us back and although we had more of the ball we never really looked like scoring that important second goal. With ten minutes left Eamon went on a great run down the left and passed into Richard he was fouled in the box but to out astonishment the ref waved away our protests. Then with five minutes remaining we conceded a free kick twenty five yards out this was hit like a rocket towards the top corner only for Robbie to some how push it onto the bar a fantastic save, then two minutes latter another free kick to Fairlands out wide this was whipped in and again with boots flying Robbie produced a brave save to keep our lead intact. I must admit it was a relief to hear the final whistle go and we were happy with three very hard earned points which was a compliment to the way Fairlands battled today.

We had played well in patches but patches is not good enough I have gone on about having a good nights rest before a game even with an afternoon kick off but it seemed to me that two or three had clearly been up to late as that sparkle was missing as well as one or two who perhaps thought after last week that we could take it easy. I have to mention James R who was excellent today and after going through a bit of a confidence issue early on in the season has now put that behind him and is now back to his best his passing and overall work rate was fantastic and a great strike for his goal, and also Robbie who so often has little to do but his concentration levels are now so good that he is always ready when called upon that save from the free kick had to be seen to be believed. Ash had the last word this week and although I was not happy he quit rightly finished off on a positive and praised the boys for the way they stuck together and showed a good team sprit and that at times is as important as any other part of the game.

Training Thursday can’t come quick enough for me and I hope to see you all there.