St Albans City 1 v 6 Edgware u13s

The u13s’ third outing in the league this season resulted in a solid 6 -1 win away to newly promoted St Albans City

St Albans’ have had a tough introduction to the red division and our opening team talk was to ensure that the boys did not make life any easier for them

Having gone out of the County Cup last week, we asked the boys to get back to basics, to slow their build-up play down and ensure that we had players in positions to make the most of 2nd and 3rd phases of play, something that we have not been doing to date this season.

In the first half the  boys executed on this well, and whilst it was clear from early on that in Udo we had a threat up front that St Albans were going to struggle with, we stuck to the game plan and ensured that we got players into the final third before playing through the killer passes.

Our first goal came in the 12th minute courtesy of Dylan, who relished being able to take up a more attacking position as a result of the slower build up.

Our 2nd and 3rd, both in the first half, were both from Udo, his second as a result of the ref playing advantage as the St Albans defence literally climbed all over Udo, who showed great strength and composure to finish off the opportunity.

The second half also started strongly, with Udo completing his hat-trick in the 40th minute as he cleanly headed in a great corner delivery from Barsa, one of several great balls that Barsa played in from that position – we won’t talk about the one that wasn’t so great ;0).

Udo’s 4th, in the 48th minute was courtesy of a neat little lob over the St Albans defence from Tobi, both boys showing composure under pressure.

At that point, maybe given the score-line, we did stop doing what we had been doing so well in the first half and the first few minutes of the second, and we stopped playing our simple game and resorted to banging the ball forwards at every opportunity, both from defence and mid-field, which just served to stretch the game and we lost control of it at that point.

Possibly as a good lesson for the boys, as a result of that, we did concede as St Albans came down our left flank and buried a great shot in the top corner to make it 5 – 1 in the 53rd minute.

It was a passage of play that we were not great in and St Albans were able to spend a lot more time attacking us that they rightly should have been allowed to do ….. and, whilst Matt may have been pleased to have a little more to do, it was a good example of how we do not want the boys playing.

That said, as we were preparing to give the boys a much stiffer talk after the game, they showed that lessons had been learned as they turned things around, started to link with each other more and after some neat interchange play, some great work from Ben and James ended with James registering himself on the score-sheet to end the game at 6 – 1 to Edgware

It would be fair to say that all the boys played well in spells, with Luke, Barsa and Will all winning substantial ball for us in central midfield, Ben was very solid down our left in the second half and James showed the other side of a centre-forward, being the player to keep dropping back into the mid-field to win ball and link up the play between our midfield and attack. Ultimately though, with 4 goals, it is difficult to look past Udo for man-of-the-match this week.