ETFC u11 Blue
ETFC u11 Blue suffered their first defeat of the season (4-0) away to Borehamwood Youth Crusaders. Miserable conditions aside, we were unlucky to lose by such a margin, as we hit both post and bar, and had a clear goal chalked off for offside, when the referee overruled incorrectly.
Final ball was poor today, but understandable in the cold and wet conditions. To be fair, we were up against a big physical side, who played very well and were good value for the win. A hard lesson for the boys – we need to pick ourselves up and go again next week.
Aldenham U12 beat Bushey Rangers 19-0. Not the finest of opposition but great for the boys to get a win.
After a disappointing 1st half from ETFC u12s, the boys turned on the after-burners and put in a fantastic 2nd half performance to run out convincing 6-0 winners against AC Finchley South. Apart from the defence, we were generally pretty ragged in the 1st half. Passing and movement was disappointing and we had a tendency to try to play through the middle too often. 2nd half was everything the 1st half wasn’t. We played with pace, movement and width. Our decision-making both on and off the ball was excellent. It was great to see our defenders having the confidence to play passing football out from the back. In truth, our play deserved more goals but the effort and quality of play couldn’t be faulted.
After the trials of getting the game on this morning, Aldenham u11s got another wonderful 5-2 victory against the whetstone wanderers leopards. Nothing straight forward or easy about this one either with the team fighting back from 2 down early in the second half. Kept their heads up and kept going, creating lots of chances. Eventually got their reward with the first goal and from there we dominated. We spoke at half time about moving the ball a little quicker in the second half which they did really well. Also showed lots of discipline to track back and break down opposition attacks.
U13s v Bushey Rangers. Only had 11 today as late illness unfortunately meant we had no subs, and injury to our keeper in the second half meant we went to 10 for the last 20 minutes.
Although we created a lot of chances we could not beat their keeper who played a blinder.
Although only 1 down at half time due to a freak goal / defensive mix up we struggled with 10 and ended up losing 6-0.
U9s benefitted from a late kick off against Lions White today and missed the rain. Another performance of resilience, outstanding goalkeeping and improving passing and movement. We lost 2-1 and it was closely matched: we were under the cosh for much of first half but troubled them every time we could move the ball forward quickly. Getting the ball forward has been an issue and it’s just a case of decision making and movement improving which I’m sure will come. Second half more open. They scored a soft second goal and we missed a couple of great opportunities. Our goal came right at the end and we could have done with a few more minutes! We are getting better and I’d love the boys to get a first win as their effort can’t be faulted.
ETFC U10 Reds
ETFC under 10s Reds won 4-1 at AC Finchley. It was great team effort today. For the second week running we won after going a goal behind which shows the character of the side. Finchley are a good team who won 15-1 last week so were full of confidence. 4 good goals from Fin Rose Luca Arnaldi, Dexter Statt and Rylie McQueen were really great to see. That’s 3 league wins in a row and only 2 goals conceded. The team are gelling well and starting to play some nice football. We still switch off a bit too much at corners and throw ins but we can work on that.
Aldenham FC United U18
Alexandra Park East -v- Aldenham FC United U18 – 2-1
A much improved performance today over that of last week. Having subs made a difference but still it was a losing performance by virtue of our gifting two goals to the opposition in the first 20 minutes of the game.
We just can’t afford to be so generous and need to learn fast from these mistakes if we are to get the results we deserve. Absolutely none of the teams we have played so far in this league are so far ahead of us that we cannot get a good result against them.
We finally saw us starting to physically compete with an opposition team but we still have a way to go. We are still far too polite and need to work hard on this aspect of our game.
Another area for us to work much harder on is our passing. We are not yet putting together enough passing phases with moves breaking down after 3 or 4 passes not 7 or 8.
Once we got our mistakes out of the way we gradually improved and started competing.
We got out of blocks well in the second half and eventually put sufficient pressure on AP East to force a goal from a corner. It was good shot from Ben Hammond from just inside the box that hit the underside of the cross-bar and went in.
AP East did keep running at us and passing the ball around and were particularly good at passing the ball cross-field so it was pleasing to see that our defence were able to handle all that they threw at us.
That second half spell was when I thought we might be able to get back on level terms but we never did quite enough.
A lot of credit has to go to our Captain and man of the match Luke Voller who covered every inch of the artificial grass pitch today.
Thank you Alex Ani for covering in goal for Robin Sargeson in the last 5 minutes of the match after a poor challenge to our goalkeeper which went unpunished.
We had a very weak referee performing very poorly and AP East had a player whose behaviour was completely unacceptable for long periods of the game. A yellow card should have by rights been very quickly followed by a red but I was pleased to see we didn’t allow any of that to distract us.
A big thank you to Bill Wood for performing the linesman’s duties in the face of a barrage of criticism for the AP East players.
Next week we have a tough league cup game against Whetstone Wonderers of the Red Division so we can keep measure our progress against one of the best U18 WFL teams.
ETFC U11 Reds
There is no disgrace in being beaten by an excellent team and the ETFC U11 Reds were beaten 5 – 3 away in torrential rain at Norsemen. Had it not been for an impressive performance by Rafi Kaye and the occasional intervention of the woodwork, the defeat could have been more emphatic.
This was always going to be a tough assignment for the boys in green. Missing three key players, the Wares lined up in their traditional 3-3-2 formation. It was obvious from the get go that Norsemen are a very good side, passing the ball with confidence and creativity.
It took Norsemen a little over 5 minutes to take the lead. The ETFC management team had made much in the pre-match team talk of not letting heads drop if they went behind, and to their credit, the Wares kept on fighting. However, every time the Wares cleared their lines, the ball came straight back into the danger zone. In testing conditions, the Wares didn’t really string together enough passes to present an attacking threat and the Wares spent long periods camped in their own half.
The nearest the Wares came to a goal in the first half was a well struck free kick from Zach Bayfield. Most of the rest of the time was spent repelling wave upon wave of Norseman attacks, with Kaye equal to what what was thrown at him. Of course, with only one goal in it at the break, the match was still in the balance.
Norsemen doubled their lead five minutes after the restart. The away supporters had hoped, although not expected, that the Wares would come back into the game in the second half but it was hard to argue with the scoreline given the number of clear cut chances Norsemen had created.
The Wares halved the deficit shortly afterwards, Sahil Mehta scoring having shown tenacity when it momentarily seemed as though his chance had come and gone. Having hauled themselves back into the game, the next goal would be crucial. Alas, a mere four minutes later, Norsemen regained their two goal cushion in somewhat fortuitous fashion, the ball breaking to a Norsemen player after some pinball in the Wares’ area.
Two more Norsemen goals in quick succession killed off the game as a contest. Mindful, no doubt, of their manager’s instructions, the Wares kept going and two late goals for the Wares gave the scoreline a respectable look. Bayfield scored a very good goal after a fine run and Zak Gelbart got in on the act with seconds remaining.
Defeat is never easy to take but the boys can be proud of notching up three goals against a very good side. Next up are the London Lions Blues and that fixture is sure to get pulses racing. Will Gordon in particular is sure to relish the opportunity to get one over his one time teammates.
Man of the Match – Honourable mentions go to Bayfield and Jack Rosenberg, who both put in fine performances today, but the star of the show was Kaye. In treacherous weather, Kaye was brave and agile and in conditions in which the ball resembled the proverbial bar of soap, Kaye’s handling was nothing short of amazing.