Edgware u13s 7 v 3 London Lions
The under 13s started the league season with a 7 – 3 home win over London Lions, the largest margin this team have beaten Lions by in the modern era (well, since we’ve been managing anyway!)
It was something of a game of two halves as a considerable slope on the pitch was always going to play something of a factor for both teams. Having won the toss, we elected to play the first half down the slope with a fairly attacking 3-2-4-1 formation which proved to be the right decision as whilst Lions arguable played the better football and had the better possession, we made life very uncomfortable for them when we did attack down the slope and our first goal, courtesy of an own goal from a precision James Savage free kick was testament to this, as well as a somewhat short 2nd string keeper.
Lions continued to dominate possession but Alex Solomon, breaking from mid-field, made the most of the slope to glide past the Lions defence and register two goals in quick succession to take us 3-0 up.
As it is with these things, Lions did well to knock in a goal of their own to make it 3-1 at half-time which had the potential to make the 2nd half very uncomfortable for us.
In the 2nd half we moved to a more defensive 4-2-3-1 formation readying ourselves for an onslaught, but to our delight, the boys really upped their game and for much of the time pinned Lions into their own half where the slope did not come into play. Whilst Lions were clearly dangerous on the break, Will, Luke and Barsa all took turns in breaking up their play as we held out well in midfield and in defence and they clearly did not enjoy the periods when we utilised Udo (who was still not 100% fit) and then James up front.
We did end up rotating the boys quiet a bit in the second half due to one or two of the boys getting knocks, which certainly unsettled the flow, but that did not stop us creating chances and Archie opened the scoring in the second half with a great volley after holding off and turning his man.
Alex then knocked in two more goals, his 3rd and 4th, either side of TJ’s, who opened his account for the season from close range, after making some searching runs forwards and having already gone close. Alex’s goals were of the highest quality, in both cases he broke beyond the Lions backline to give himself time to compose himself and took both with great aplomb.
At 7-1 the game was effectively out of reach for Lions, but we did ourselves no favours allowing them to finish on the up as we conceded two goals by players pushing far too high up the pitch as a number of the boys looked to grab a piece of he action for themselves …. something we can forgive this early in the season and with the score-line as it was.
The game ended 7 – 3, a great result for us, some real positives to take from the game but plenty to work on too
There were some really pleasing performances all over the pitch, too many to mention, but noteworthy were Matt in goal (not too much shot-stopping today, but really commanded his area and was very quick off his line to save us a few time throughout the game), James at full-back who did a great job of keeping Sammy (ex Edgware) quiet for most of the game, Will, Luke and Barsa in the holding midfield positions which is where we ultimately won the game in the second half, and Archie and Dylan for terrier like performance out wide ……. oh yes, and Alex Solomon for 4 really quite excellent strikes on goal.