Youth Match Report: U15 v Letchworth GCE Blues 070413



Sunday 7th April 2013


Letchworth GCE Blues v Royston Town Youth


Royston Crow Youth Football League U15 League Cup


Lost 1-0

We arrived at Letchworth in good time to find the pitch in a really good condition there was very little wind although the pitch does have a slope and runs away down one side. We had four players missing today two away on holiday and two injured but it was a strong twelve so no excuses there, and to fair to Letchworth they were also missing players.

We asked for a training type performance where they keep the ball and don’t panic in possession and look for the right pass and don’t force it. We wanted them to show plenty of desire and work as hard when we didn’t have the ball as when we did. We also wanted them to drive into the space and show a real purpose when given the opportunity. The last thing I said to them was when the ball goes dead we must come alive.

We started ok but both teams were finding it hard to find any pattern to their play and both teams looked a bit rusty. On twelve minutes Letchworth won a throw in our third of the pitch we switched off, had a bad shape and in that split second they worked an opportunity which there striker did not waste and left Robbie with no chance from eight yards out. This was a real bad goal to concede especially as we spoke about coming alive when the ball goes dead. The rest of the half was pretty disjointed by us to often we panicked on the ball and passes were hit more in hope than expectation. We seemed not to want to take responsibility and to often lacked a cutting edge and in the final third we did not have the belief in our own ability to make something from decent positions. The ref blew up for half time and we trailed 1-0.

We got the boys together and spoke about that belief we needed to show especially in the final third where we needed to be more of a threat. We had made life so difficult for ourselves that half by giving away cheap possession and panicking when we had time. We had moved Richard back to the middle of the park in the hope that he would get our passing game going and give us some quality on the ball. I can’t remember saying this very often but they seemed to want it a bit more than us in key areas so we had to put that right if we were going to back into the game.

We started much better in the second half and were on the front foot, we looked better when we got the ball in wide areas and James R in particular was causing them lots of problems with his trickery and his crossing but we did not make the most of it. We committed more players forward which meant Letchworth were always dangerous going forward but we defended well and were strong in the tackle. With twenty minutes left we went three at the back and three up front to try and get that important equaliser but it was hard to break through a well organised and strong Letchworth defence. It was all or nothing for the last five minutes and we went two at the back and four up front and with a minute left Sam was fouled twenty five yards out. Richard stood over the ball and his shot produced a good save from the Letchworth keeper who pushed the ball over, from the corner we had everyone in their box including Robbie but the corner was cleared and the ref blew for full time.

We spoke for about ten minutes after the match and it was mostly for them to understand our disappointment in some aspects of that game which we know was the difference between winning and losing, Ash quite rightly finished on a positive because they did play a lot better in that second half and some of our passing was excellent.

I really do feel this was a missed opportunity today and I know this will hurt the boys because apart from that one lapse of concentration there really was nothing to choose between the two sides. I hope they all realise the fine margins in winning and losing and that you have to be fully committed and switched on in all areas of the pitch. We will work hard at training because next week we play Letchworth in the league and it gives us the ideal opportunity to put things right.