Edgware Town U9
Edgware Town under 9s bounced back from their 10-0 defeat against London Lions last week with a brilliant 4-1 win away at Northwood. Joe Blackstein bagged two in the first half, with Dexter Statt and Ethan Laughlin one each after the break. Man of the match was Levi Samson who tackled anything that moved and didn’t let any player get past him. The boys were a bit shell shocked after such a heavy loss last week so the most impressive thing from today was the way they passed the ball around with confidence and the fact they all played for each other. Our season is now definitely up and running.
Edgware Town U10
The Edgware Town under 10s continued their encouraging start to the new season with a 1-1 draw against Whetstone Wanderers Lions. In the corresponding fixture last season, the Mini-Wares were beaten 3-0 in a scoreline which did not reflect the even nature of the game but, this time around, the tougher, more resilient Edgware Town never looked like losing and were incredibly unlucky to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory.
Again, Edgware started brightly and created a number of chances in a first half they dominated. Nathan Segal, who was heavily involved in the game from the off, missed the clearest of the chances, lifting his well struck shot just over the bar – but Edgware were growing in confidence and it felt like only a matter of time before they scored the opening goal.
At half time, the game was still that goal. It was one of those games in which it felt like the home side, Whetstone, was playing with an extra man in the form of the referee but the halftime team talk did not focus on first half injustices but on the things the boys were in control of – like finding space and striking the right balance between moving the ball quickly and not getting rid of it so quickly that possession was lost.
Edgware’s dominance was rewarded by a second half penalty which even the Whetstone referee could not avoid giving, new boy Kian Zabeti having been tripped in the area. It was one of 3 stonewall penalties which Edgware should have been awarded, but the only one given.
Zabeti, opening his Edgware account with aplomb, stroked the ball past the keeper and into the corner of the net. It was a particularly impressive goal given the stage of the game and the pressure on Zabeti to put Edgware in the lead.
After that, there was wave after wave of Edgware attack, putting the Lions’ defence under severe strain. Zach Bayfield was running at and through the defence at will and the Lions had no answer to Tom Cadwallader’s pace or Zach Gelbart’s quick feet and brute strength. But the second goal proved elusive and the boys were always at risk of being caught on the counter attack as they went in search of the goal which would have put the game to bed.
Learning the hard way how important it is not to give away possession cheaply, Edgware conceded in injury time, the ball being whipped across the six yard box and headed home in style. Had the ball not left the Lions’ half, it would never have happened and, in amongst the well-deserved post-match praise, the message was clear: we must focus on retaining the ball and making it much more difficult for the opposition to win it back.
That said, it was an excellent Edgware performance. The boys outplayed and outfought Whetstone and are looking like a physically and mentally stronger version of their former selves.
Raees Bhatti and Dean Novick continue to shine in defence, their confidence inspired by having the magnificent Rafi Kaye between the sticks, and the rest of the team have become braver and more solid – as exemplified by some fearsome tackles from Sahil Mehta.
MotM: Another tough decision, because this was an excellent team display, but Zabeti wins it this week for the solidity he has added to the team and for his deliciously taken penalty.
ETFC Under 11s put in a strong performance away against Everett Rovers, and were extremely unlucky to finish on the wrong side of a 2-1 score line. Back in the top division again, this was a very even match between 2 very good footballing teams. The first half was a real arm-wrestle with both teams giving each other very little opportunity in the final third. In particular, the 3 man defence of Josh Diamond (captain), Aaron Clark and Jadon Lee were excellent. Strong, committed and organised. The first half finished goalless. James Keegan did have the ball in the net with what appeared to all, apart from the opposition linesman, to be a perfectly legitimate goal after following up a rebound off the keeper. Nevertheless, a scoreless first half wasn’t unfair on either side. The second half was very similar affair. The defence continued to be supported by a hardworking midfield foursome of Matthew Justin (MoTM), James Keegan, Zac Green and Sam Mallett. Our opponents scored first, capitalising on our defenders not moving up the field as a unit after clearing a corner, leaving an opposition player onside. It was a real shame to concede in that way as we’d been so strong defensively. Shortly thereafter, we do JD ourselves 2 goals down after gifting our opponents a second goal after a poor clearance from our keeper. We didn’t let our heads drop and, after a few half chances, scored a quite outstanding goal to put ourselves back in the game with around 5 minutes to play. Starting from a short goalkick from our keeper Eitan Rahamim to Jadon Lee on the left, the ball was played up the left flank before a fantastic ball over to the right from Zac Green switched play to Sam Mallett on the other flank. After a marauding run down the right from Mallett, and some quick short passing, the ball made its way back to Zac Green on the edge of the box who finished expertly past the on-rushing keeper. It really was a fantastic team goal. We fought hard to find the equaliser in the remaining minutes and were a little unlucky not to do so. I don’t think either team deserved to lose, and if it wasn’t for several “hometown” offside decisions, it probably would’ve finished even. The boys should all be immensely proud of their performance today. I certainly was.
Today we played London Colney Blues who have become a bit of a nemesis for us and unfortunately our bad run of results continued today.
We started well and had a couple of half chances but momentary lapses of concentration meant we conceded two quick goals before half time. It could of been worse but for a great save just on half time by Freddy.
Second half we were so much better and with a bit of luck could of easily got back in the game but shots from Mason, Tyler and Daniel were all very well saved. London Colneys only chance resulted in a 3rd goal for them. It should however never had stood as Freddy was kicked in the head as he went to save the ball and while he was lying on the ground crying, one of their boys hit the ball into the empty net, even though everyone else had stopped. The referee was quite rude about it and we have sent in a separate report of his conduct.
We can’t take way the fact that we lost but we must be encouraged by our second half performance and also the fact we lost 3 players to injury before the game.
That resulted in no subs and also affected our game plan having to play boys out of position. Hopefully we will get boys back soon. It’s so important to have subs which allow the boys to rest and then go again after a break.
Aldenham United u18
AFC United U18 -v-Brady Maccabi White – League Cup – 1-3
A disjointed performance in which unlike last week we were inconsistent and never really didn’t play as a team.
For the first 40 minutes there was very little between the teams and we played some good football but it was patchy as both teams had good spells and then poor ones.
We failed to clear a ball at the left of our defence and they scored on the 40th minute. We should have seen the half out but just at the 45th minute we showed some very poor game management and conceded again and went in at half time 2-0 down.
The second half we were disjointed and rushed our passing and we kept trying to take on one to many players instead of releasing the ball early. Too often our momentum going forward was interrupted by our losing the ball at the wrong time.
We managed to score a goal from a very well taken corner from Alex Maxwell who put it straight in with a moment of magic.
We kept trying but we were not strong enough in the tackle and unlike last week we just didn’t seem to fancy getting stuck in. We never won any of the first or second balls and had it not been for our goalkeeper Robin Sargeson making some smart saves the scoreline would have looked a lot worse.
Scoring a goal flattered us as we didn’t seem to be able to maintain any fluency in our passing. We looked out of sorts and started to lose most of the balls from goal kicks which put us under unnecessary pressure.
The game became a very scrappy affair as both sides never really asserted themselves but as we tried to push up we were caught short on the right hand side and they scored a lovely goal into the left hand corner of the net.
We are still trying out players in different positions and we need to think through which formation suits us best given the players we have available but irrespective of that today as a team we forgot to play for each other and never got stuck in the way we should have.
MOM was Sai Mistry for a strong performance in the heart of defence where he never stopped working hard to repel enemy boarders.
We got what we deserved from this game.
Back to training on Tuesday to put things right. We play Brady in the league in 3 weeks time so we can have another crack at them and see if we can do ourselves justice.