With their manager still reeling from West Ham’s capitulation at the hands of Arsenal, the under 9s piled on the misery against Northwood Reds – the best team in the league – suffering a 9-3 humiliation in arctic conditions. It was a heavy fall from grace after 8 wins and a draw from our last 9 outings but the writing was on the wall early on as sloppy defending led to Edgware falling behind unnecessarily. The ‘Wares were briefly on level terms, when a Filip Moczarny corner was spilt by the Northwood keeper into his own net, but a trio of goals left Edgware trailing 4-1 at the break. What was most disappointing about the first half was that Northwood did not have to break sweat to take a healthy lead. Edgware gave the ball away far too easily and far too many players were half-hearted in the challenge and too slow to get back when the ball was lost. A stern half time team talk appeared to have done the trick when Moczarny scored again early in the second half – a well taken goal from a good Edgware move. Shortly afterwards, Nathan Segal put narrowly wide – a chance he would have buried against lesser opposition – but that was to be as close as Edgware came to making a game of it. The rest of the second half was, quite simply, demoralising. Northwood played fantastic football and scored a number of wonderful goals – but Edgware heads dropped and too many of the boys in green went missing. There were far too many individuals mistakes, which were infuriating as they increased the pressure unnecessarily, but the greater disappointments were the tackles which were pulled out of, the tracking back which was given up on and the 50-50s which were left uncontested. Finding positives is not easy. Rafi Kaye made some great saves, as always – although that just goes to show the superiority of Northwood’s performance; Zach Bayfield scored with a lovely free-kick into the top right and continued to tackle and make life difficult for Northwood until the end; Dean Novick defended bravely; Moczarny scored twice and James O’Callaghan was impressive in the ‘Wares midfield despite the lack of support. Beyond that, all one can say is that the under 9s, in their 2 1/2 seasons together, have never played so poorly or been beaten so comprehensively. They would have struggled to live with Northwood at their best but this was certainly not Edgware at its best. And that is what hurts. The Xmas break cannot come soon enough. Batteries need to be recharged. But we go again on Sunday and the manager will be looking for a dramatic improvement in the players’ application and effort. MotM: James O’Callaghan. A beacon of light in the darkness.
Another good day out for under 10s today against newly promoted Woodys Wanderers Vapors. I took the opportunity to play the boys in unfancied positions but they didn’t let themselves down and played our usual brand of passing football. We were probably guilty of overplaying at times rather than having shots but I think that was down to the unusual formation. We ran out comfortable 3-1 winners, with our opposition getting a final minute consolation. The scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of our dominance but I achieved what I was hoping to in terms of mixing things up. 2 good strikes from Josh Diamond, and a lovely left foot finish from the right-footed Kyle Larkin. MOTM was Zac Green who was superb in an unaccustomed defensive role with excellent distribution and good positional play.
Under 11 blue:
U11 Blue got a well deserved 3-1 win away to Whetstone Wanderers Lions. Tough game but the boys were buoyed by a strong display last weekend and showed their intent from the off. Excellent performance all round. Strong and disciplined at the back we kept our shape well when defending and constantly broke at pace. Pressed the ball in packs in their 3rd and constantly won possession forcing oppo to make errors in possession. Oppo defence constantly panicked and we went in at half time 3-0 up. Some great passages of play with quick but precise touches. A goal from nothing 15 mins into the 2nd half made for a slightly tense finish due to our limited squad but the boys dug in and stayed resilient to the end.
Under 11 red:
U11 Reds were up against Whetstone Wanderers Tigers, a team that had beaten us in the first game of the season.
When we arrived, their manager said they had 2 players drop out and only had 7 players. Andrew and I discussed what to do and after speaking to the boys and seeing how we could help, Rafferty and Kyle offered to play a half each in goal for them. Whetstone were really pleased with the boys gesture and took them up on their offer. They said they had another boy on his way and would play with 8 players to then.
I think because of this, the boys didn’t play at their best for the first half and even though we had a number of chances which Rafferty saved, we didn’t score to just before half time. Dylan took a throw in to Alex. He passed it back to Dylan, who looked up and hit the ball into the top far corner. It was a great goal!
In the second half Kyle went in goal for them and very quickly pulled of an amazing save! Daniel cut inside two players and hit a ferocious shot high towards the goal, Kyle took off, held out his left hand and somehow pushed the ball over the bar!! What a save!
Shortly after this, their boy showed up for Whetstone and suddenly our boys stepped up a gear.
They started to pass the ball around a lot faster and took control of the game. From one of their throw ins, Ori stole the ball, cut in and hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Kyle couldn’t save that one!
Near the end, we were awarded a free kick and Daniel and Rafferty worked out a free kick where Daniel would go far post, run in and try to score and they did just that! Rafferty’s cross was met by Daniel at the far post and he volleyed the ball home! Another great goal!
The game ended 3-0 shortly afterwards.
It was our 4th win out of 5 games, the other being a draw and the boys are playing really well. They are passing the ball so well and are so determined to win. They also played much better against 9 compared to when they were up against 8.
Special mention to Kyle and Rafferty for offering to go in goal for Whetstone. It was a very kind gesture. Maybe though next time, try not to save as many shots!!!
Under 16 Tigers:
Aldenham Tigers U16’s lost away at Oakhill in the last minute 2 3. We didn’t play well on a bumpy pitch against a fast good passing team. Captain James Rich was MOM for a courageous performance and one goal. Jonny Brown scored a superb goal with a lob over the goalkeeper. Our passing game was poor and in defence we were too hesitant. We will need to play better next week against top of the table Hendon!
Under 16’s Panthers:
Aldenham Panthers U16 9-1 loss to West Herts Stags
Very frustrating … again missing key players because of mocks, tests, exams etc. We can’t compete in this division if I can’t put out a strong team or even the same team each week. When I can put out my strongest side we do well and we look like a good side. MOM my goalkeeper Alex Gates who the opposition manager tried to tap up at the end of the game …I wasn’t very impressed by that.
Let’s hope some players are available next week.