Match Report 3/12/17

Edgware Under 9

Edgware Under 9s lost an entertaining game 7-1 but in reality it could have been 7-7. We missed a ton of good chances and conceded silly goals through losing our shape too often which left players out of position. It was an off day but the season overall has been positive. So we need to train hard tomorrow and prepare for the Lions next week.

Edgware Blue under 10

ETFC u10 Blues kept up their 8 match winning run with a 2-1 away win against Oakhill Tigers. Fought back from 1 down against a well organised team helped greatly by their own ref and a very small pitch. Still need to keep possession a lot better and work the goalie more than we did.

Edgware Reds under 10

In a classic game of two halves, the under 10 Reds achieved a creditable draw against Harvesters Huskies but will be disappointed to have thrown away a two goal lead and to have failed to take one of the golden opportunities they had to win the game.

Harvesters Huskies are one of the stronger teams in the top division and provide a good barometer for the level at which the boys are playing.

In the first half, the Mini Wares outplayed and outfought Harvesters in a truly excellent display. The forwards worked as a team to put immense pressure on the Harvesters goalie and defence; Dean Novick marshalled his defence like an old pro, making sure that his wingbacks took it in turns to raid; and James O’Callaghan, in central midfield, linked the defensive unit to the attacking unit, pulling the strings throughout. It was a delight to watch. Edgware were first to every ball and wanted it more.

It was fantastic to see the boys getting everything right. They all did their jobs. The shape of the team was perfect. The communication was good. The positional play was spot on. They took the game to Harvesters and defended from the front. Energy levels were high and the desire was there for all to see.

It was no surprise when Edgware took the lead. Zach Bayfield and Sahil Mehta, pressuring as a pair, forced the Harvesters ‘keeper into an horrendous mistake and Mehta was there to bury it with ease.

The lead was soon doubled. James O’Callaghan played a magnificent through-ball to Kian Zabeti, taking the whole defence out of the game with one pass, and Zabeti made no mistake with a composed and well-placed finish.

Zack Gelbart, in a right wing-back position, had played a great first 25, staying in position, getting his head up and playing the ball to players in good positions. It was a very, very encouraging display both from him as an individual and from the team as a whole. Edgware didn’t want the first half to end, such was their dominance.

Unfortunately, whether the famous Queen’s School slope explains the difference between the first and second half stories or it was simply a loss of discipline, the second half performance was far from perfect. Over-exuberance caused Edgware to commit too many players forwards and to take unnecessary risks with the ball. And they were punished twice in the first half of the second half as Harvesters wiped out Edgware’s lead in a matter of minutes. It was tough to take given that the game had looked won at half time but a valuable lesson to learn that a two goal lead can be a fragile one and that, when leading, one mustn’t stop doing the things that brought about the lead in the first place.

The second half was a terrifyingly open affair. There were chances at both ends and, but for some fine keeping from Rafi Kaye (how thrilled we all are to have him back) and some poor finishing from Harvesters, Edgware could easily have masterminded their own defeat.

Snatching a draw from the teeth of victory, both a missed penalty and a missed chance that was as good as a penalty went begging and the boys had failed to win a game that, quite frankly, was theirs for the taking.

So we reflect on a wonderful first half, a poor second, and the need to keep our discipline throughout the match.

MotM: Excellent first half displays from Gelbart and Novick, some fine work in goal from Kaye, but MotM by some distance was James O’Callaghan who played some wonderful football and was dominant in the middle of the park, particularly in that glorious first half.

Edgware under 11

A pleasing performance from ETFC u11s today in a 3-1 victory away against Hampstead Youth. I asked the boys to show determination and commitment for the full 60 mins and they certainly delivered. The muddy pitch at Chase Lodge Playing Fields made it tricky to play attractive passing football but all the boys put in real effort to attack with pace, width and belief and defend with intensity and desire. We kept our shape well throughout and used the high press to good effect to put our opponents under pressure. It made a pleasant change to go into the halftime break 1-0 up after a great long-range strike from Sam Mallett after a period of sustained attacking pressure. We started the 2nd half well and exploited the space on the flanks to good effect. Josh Diamond scored a fantastic goal to put us 2 up just after the break. He picked up the ball just inside our own half and went on a driving run through the centre of midfield to the edge of the opposition box. After the wide players pulled the defenders left and right, he smashed a left-footed shot past the keeper off the inside of the post. Our opponents committed numbers forward in an effort get themselves back in the game but we dug deep to repel wave after wave of attack. Our opponents did eventually manage to breach our defence with a well-taken goal which made it a nervy few minutes before Josh Diamond got himself on the end of a Sam Mallett free-kick to restore our 2 goal cushion with only a few minutes to play. Such a pleasing performance in terms of effort and belief as well as discipline to attack the space of the flanks and keeping ourselves compact on defence. So pleased for the boys to get the win that their performance deserved. MOTM was given to Kyle Larkin for showing real determination and quality in both central and wide areas in both attack and defence.

Edgware red under 12

Great win for Edgware Town u12 Reds v Arsenal Ladies 1-0 in an enthralling League cup game. It was probably our most physical game of the year and the boys had to play really well to get the win. The game was played on astro, so there was lots of great passing from both teams. Motm Josh Barbanel. Very composed at the back and his timing of tackles and distribution of the bell was superb.

Edgware under 13

Edgware 13’s knocked out of county cup by Berkhamsted. Our poor defending in the first 10 minutes cost us the game. We have them again next week in league so we’ll treat today as a dress rehearsal and learn from our mistakes.

Aldenham under 15

Aldenham 15’s astonished me with a league win over Borehamwood. Had all my bigger more physical players out due to injury but the 11 players with 1 sub played their hearts out. So so proud 2-1 win

Aldenham United

Aldenham United 1-6 Hampstead FC

The scoreline looks harsh but doesn’t paint a true picture of a match which was a lot more hard fought and with a bit of luck could have easily resulted in a far more flattering scoreline for the team.

Hampstead are undefeated so far this season, scoring freely and a year older so we were well aware of the challenge we were facing.

With only 11 players available no subs and without our goalkeeper and the omens we’re good.

However we played some great passing football and in the first half without some of the best football of the season.

We conceded a goal but soon equalised with a superb free kick put into the box by Ariel Katzir met with a glancing header from Samuel Lakeland.

Unfortunately we conceded a second goal before half time but at no point in this game did we give up and we just kept going.

The second half was harder for us as we did tire and their use of subs boosted their energy levels where we could not. Two more free kicks from Ariel were highlights of the second half.

Some nice touches from Ayo Haastrup, lots of great running from Luke Voller, strength in the tackle and good passing from Ruairi McElhatton.

I thought Sai Mistry, Sam Burns and Bilguun Batsukh also had excellent games.

Sam B. and Bilguun worked the flanks well and kept running the whole game.

Sai kept leading the line and I could hear his voice telling his teammates what he wanted form them the whole of the match.

Josh Silver showed some nice skills and Alex D. put in a big shift in the middle of the park.

Yes I know we conceded 4 more goals but most of the goals we covered today were long range shots and one was a bit of fluke.

Room for improvement; need to work harder to retain possession, keep communicating on the pitch and have the confidence to take our shots when the opportunity arises rather than always looking for that perfect final pass.

We showed a lot of character today and with two easier matches coming up I am looking forward to getting back to winning ways.

MOM I make Samuel Lakeland for a strong performance at the back and yet another headed goal.