Youth Match Report: U15 v Sawbridgeworth Town Youth (League Cup 3rd Round) 170313



Sunday 17th March 2013


Royston Town Youth v Sawbridgeworth Town Youth


Royston Crow Youth Football League U15 League Cup 3rd Round


Won 3-2 AET

Royston Scorers

Bradley, Rhys, Richard

It was a cold and very windy day on the heath as we welcomed Sawbo for a league cup 3rd round clash. Sawbo were sitting fifth in the table but too far away to mount a title challenge so for them this was their only chance of silverware. Sawbo have some really good players so you know you have to be at your best to beat them; they are always dangerous and although we had already beaten them twice, I new today would be tough.

We spoke before hand about getting the ball on the floor; the conditions were awful so playing football would be hard but not impossible. We also warned them about complacency as every team in this league deserves respect. We had to match their desire and above all play to our strengths. They had all warmed up well and the signs were good.

We won the toss and decided to kick with the wind in the first half. From the first whistle it was there for all to see that Sawbo had come to make life difficult for us and would make a real game of it. We were struggling to play any kind of football with passes gong astray or being over hit. With us not really creating much you could see Sawbo really starting to fancy their chances and it was them who were looking dangerous on the break. The most alarming thing for me was how far we were off them and how they were winning most if not all the second ball. On twenty five minutes they put together a move which ended only when Alasdair crudely brought down their forward for a cast iron penalty which was then despatched past Robbie although he did get close to it. In some respects I was hoping this would give us the kick up the backside we needed but I was so wrong we continued to be second best and not getting close enough and not only that, we decided to play route one football which was not the right way to go in the conditions. Then on half time Richard chased down a hopeful pass and put pressure on the defender he won the ball and played it along the six yard box for Bradley to score into an empty net for us to get back level which in all honestly was rough on Sawbo who must have felt pretty hard done by. The half time whistle went and some how we were level.

There were harsh words said at half time and we made three changes and some positional changes as well to try and be more competitive in key areas as it was clearly not working not that this was down to just the three changes I made as in my opinion there were only three players playing to anywhere near the standard they can play at. We had to improve on that first half and hopefully they would put things right.

The reaction was good and in the first ten minutes we started to play some football and dominate, one of the subs James B was looking sharp but this was short lived when he limped off with a foot injury. We then started to give away cheap possession and the game started to take a similar shape as the first half with Sawbo winning more of the second balls than us. They were using the long throw to try and get into the box but to be fair we defended this well. They continued to have the ball in more dangerous positions and deserved to take the lead when a ball came in from our left which we did not deal with and a shot eight yards out left Robbie with no chance. We were really up against it now and we decided to go three at the back and throw on another forward to try and get back into it. It was from this point we showed some guts and determination and it seemed to finally get through to the boys what was at stake. With twelve minutes left a move down our left saw Eamon burst into their box and as he went pass the defender he was pushed from behind and the ref pointed to the spot. Rhys stepped up and put the ball in the corner of the net to put us level. We saw the rest of the half out to take the game into extra time.

 We spoke about desire and having that extra determination to get us through and I finally felt we were getting to grips with the game now. We also decided to go five in midfield as we had won the toss and decided to kick against the wind this time.

 This was more liks us we were trying to play football and had more determination all over the pitch. We won a tackle in their half and Rhys then carried the ball on before playing a delightful ball into Richard who without breaking stride hit an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the goal to put us into the lead for the first time in the game. We really had the bit between our teeth and Sam went on a great run before being fouled from behind in the penalty area only for the ref to wave play on to the astonishment of the crowed and players. At the end of the first period of extra time we were leading 3-2 and now had the wind with us.

We kept the five in midfield and for the first time in the match looked really comfortable we kept the ball and looked more like ourselves and saw the game out with no alarms.

This was not one of our finest moments but credit where credit’s due they showed character today and team spirit to get through in a game for long spells, we were second best. It’s always puzzling when they put in a performance like they did today and its easy to sometimes forget they are still young and learning the game. I hope they all take something out of today and make sure it improves them all as players.

Special mention to Jack M who was back to his best today a real dominant display and Sam who was all over the pitch and was trying to set an example to the rest of the team with his battling and never say die attitude.