After going down 2 – 1 to Croxley Panthers last week in the Challenge Cup, the u12s turned the tables winning 5 – 0 at home against them in the league just a week later.
Having finished the game the stronger last week, we knew we had a win in us, we just needed to ensure that we turned all the possession and opportunities into goals.
We did just than, effectively sowing the game up in the first 20 minutes, scoring 3 goals without reply.
That said, we did have to get through one nervy minute early on when we gave away a free kick about 20 yards out from goal only to see Croxley rattle the cross-bar before we cleared the ball. These games seem to be won and lost by margins and who knows how both teams would have reacted had that shot been an inch or two lower.
As it was, Sammy opened the scoring with a very neat cushioned shot past the keeper after Alex had put him through on goal.
Alex then grabbed his first goal to send us 2 -0 up and then won us a penalty which Ben converted with aplomb to put us 3 – o up after 20 minutes.
With a full squad available we made 3 changes on the 20 minute mark which seemed to unsettle us a bit and, losing a bit of structure, we started to concede possession and started to look a little more susceptible at the back. That said, Matt came to the fore with a couple of scrambled saves and we held out to finish the half at 3 – 0.
We made a couple of small tweaks at half time, but ostensibly just told the boys to focus on their formation and the rest would come.
The next goal was clearly going to be critical and it was Alex who found the net again after a simple square ball played in by Dillan to make it 4 – 0 and Alex completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes to go.
It was pleasing to see us keeping our first clean sheet in a while but even more so to see how we dominated large portions of play and how we continued to create chances against them.
Whilst there were some great performances again, Alex, Sammy and Dillan being give a platform by Luke in his holding mid-field role to give Croxley all sorts of trouble, supported more than ably by TJ, Adam and Ben in midfield and great work from Ollie, Barsa, James, Buddy and Matt for all contributing to a clean sheet.
Man of the match had top go to Alex though for scoring 3 goals and providing assists for the other 2.