Edgware town U11 Red
Great win for Edgware U11 Town Reds v Whetstone Wanderers Tigers
The game was played on a muddy pitch with huge slope and we spent the first half defending deep, to stop the threat of the long through ball. We defended superbly and even had a couple of decent break away chances.
Second half we used the slope to our advantage but played football instead of hitting long high balls. Our first goal started from defence and then a combination of one touch passes ended with Tyler Horsfall smashing a low drive into the net.
Our second goal also involved Tyler who won the ball back, he passed to Daniel Slavid who played in Ori Sapir who ran on and chipped their keeper.
Two great team goals.
We had other chances but ended winners 2-0.
Alex Brickman MOTM with a superb display in defence.
Aldenham Panthers U16
Spring Plate U16s – AFC Panthers 1-4 Hinton & Finchley
Really frustrating day. Played a good first half going uphill and went in 1-0 down having matched them all the way. Hinton had a couple of fast players up front and kept trying to hit the long ball but that didn’t work. They scored from a corner which couldn’t be helped but all in all we matched them well.
We started the second half very brightly and we were really starting to get on top. We kept crossing the ball, got a couple of corners and had them well pinned back and I was sure we were going to score.
Then an injury to MOTM Jimi Fafowora changed the course of the game. A nasty clash of heads between Jimi and a Hinton player and with no subs we were down to 10 men. That put us in the defensive but worse still we lost our concentration and needlessly let in a poor second goal just because we didn’t come back to defend quickly enough.
Far too often Samuel Lakeland had to save the day by finding himself on his own as our last line of defence.
Then a moment of madness from our otherwise excellent goalkeeper Babajide Potts-Johnson who came out and fouled one of their strikers and the resulting penalty made it 3-0. Then again a failure to re-group and our defence was exposed and they scored a 4th.
Jimi came on for the last 10 minutes and we saw what might have been as a lovely through pass from Juan Franco-Rios resulted in a well taken goal.
I saw some good running on the right from Jenson Harris. Lots of nice interplay between Juan, André Teixeira and Jack Crocker but our final ball was lacking and we just don’t shoot often enough.
Olly Holt also played well considering he’s not been used to playing as a midfielder.
Had it not been for the injury or we had a sub available to come on then the result could have been different…story of the season.
Edgware were superb in the first half, digging in deep and trying to mix it physically with a strong and aggressive team on a sticky pitch. This was good, old fashioned football, jumpers for goalposts style, which the mini-Wares are learning they can cope with despite it being a new and somewhat alien experience.
At the heart of the team in the first half, Zack Gelbart man-marked the Enfield danger man like a young Jan Molby, keeping the player in his pocket and sticking to the task absolutely. He was magnificent, following his instructions to the letter.
Gelbart’s tigerish performance enabled Filip Moczarny to give Enfield real problems at the other end of the pitch. A perfect free kick, despatched with venom into the top corner gave Edgware the lead and Moczarny soon doubled that lead with a well placed finish after excellent work from Nathan Segal.
At HT there looked like no way back into the game for Enfield who were clearly rattled. They are not used to being outplayed and outfought.
The second half started well for Edgware and there were chances to put the game beyond Enfield. Unfortunately, the chances weren’t taken and Edgware were made to pay.
Sloppy defending saw Enfield halve the arrears before panic set in in the Edgware defence and parity was restored. It was naivety on the Wares’ part which let Enfield back in the game as the they took insufficient care of the football and gave possession away too cheaply. Fear also played a role as far too often the defence backed away from the Enfield attack rather than getting in the way and making life difficult – as they had demonstrated in the first half they can do so well.
And a 2-2 draw it should have been. It would have been a good draw. A very good draw. Plenty to praise the boys for and plenty to learn from.
But, with a minute to play, the boys were robbed of that hard-fought and richly deserved point against a quality team.
The game was stopped after an Enfield player had been hit in the face by the ball. The ref restarted with a drop ball, the fourth or fifth of the game. As with every previous drop ball, the ref instructed the defending team to allow the attacker to win the ball and play it back to the keeper. The Edgware defenders duly obliged. The Enfield attacked decided not to pass the ball to Rafi Kaye in the Edgware goal but, instead, smashed it past Kaye. Astonishingly, the goal was allowed to stand. The protests were ignored but no explanation was offered for the change in the rules or for the instruction not to contest the drop ball.
The game ended 3-2 with 10 very upset 9 year olds dressed in green incandescent with rage at the injustice (and 10 equally enraged parents). The boys deserved their draw and had worked very hard indeed to get it.
So the proverbial game of two halves today and the manager will remember that first half with pride.
We need to turn the injustice to our advantage and make sure that, in future, we kill off games when we have the chances to do so and keep doing the basics when when the heat is on. Simple passes from the back and no backing off.
MotM: There were a number of fine performance. Moczarny’s goals were things of beauty and James O’Callaghan was his usual, faultless self. But for his first half performance, Gelbart gets the nod. He did exactly what was asked of him and, like the rest of the squad, did not deserve to be on the losing side.
U10s beat Belstone FC 7-1 in a tougher encounter than the scoreline suggests. There were several ex-Excel boys in the Belstone team. They had a point to prove were up for a battle. The 1st half was a bit of an arm wrestle with neither team prepared to give an inch. We lacked composure on the ball which prevented us from playing to our usual standard. We did however manage to put together a few good passages of play, one of which was a sensational passing move from back to front, which MOTM James Keegan finished off with aplomb (after a well-timed pass from Aaron Levenson) to score the only goal of the 1st half. I felt I needed to change things in the 2nd half to give us more pace in attack. It did the trick and the match was effectively ended as a contest after the opening 10 mins of the 2nd half after we blew them away with 4 quick goals. Josh Diamond began to pull the strings in centre mid, with James Keegan and Kyle Larkin giving us real width on the left and right flanks with Matthew Justin’s lightening pace upfront. Our passing and movement was very impressive too which, coupled with good decision-making and crosses into the box in dangerous areas, made us literally unstoppable. Both James Keegan and Matthew Justin earned themselves well-deserved hattricks, with Josh Diamond rounding off the scoring with a volley from a corner. The scoreline could’ve been greater were it not for some excellent goalkeeping from the Belstone number 1. A really tremendous 2nd half display from all the boys.