U9 Panthers vs Long Buckby

A beautiful sunny morning for a game and we turned up expecting a challenge as we were missing Harrison and Ollie D so only had 7 players, and Long Buckby had held the Pumas to a tough 0-0 earlier this season.

The match started quite evenly with Long Buckby having a couple of good runs at our defence but Robert and Josh worked well together to turn defence into attack excellently.  We got on top after that with Ollie R, Liam, Alistair and Ethan all having a couple of good shots and getting well forward. Then the ball came to Liam from Alistair’s throw, he beat a couple of defenders and, with the keeper distracted with Ollie calling for it from an ideal position in front of goal, slotted in a great shot from a narrow angle close to the right hand post for 1-0.

Quickly afterwards, an excellent pass from Ethan on the left came through to Ollie who controlled it and scored with a strong shot for 2-0 and we were now very much bossing the game through to half time.  The only time Tom touched the ball in goal was 2 or 3 goal kicks!

Second half, Robert went in goal for 10 minutes then swapped with Ethan.  I felt we were the better team in all the outfield positions and we were so on top that our defenders took turns moving up to attack.  Alistair was making great progress in midfield as usual, with Josh and Tom causing a lot of trouble up front.  Liam got a really terrific headed goal from Tom’s corner for 3-0 but try as we might we couldn’t add to that score.

3-0 is an excellent result.  When Long Buckby got the ball in defence they often kicked it out or went for a long ball that our defence had time to deal with.  Rob and I are both really pleased our boys don’t do this too often any more and that our training seems to be paying off – control the ball, look up and make the pass.  Don’t hang on to it too long but make sure the pass goes to your team mate!

For all their size advantage Long Buckby couldn’t keep up with our game on the heavy pitch and what shone through was our boys fitness.  All our boys really play for each other (most of the time….!) and that team spirit is great to see.

Man of the match this week, and we announced it after the game, is Robert.  He had by far his best game I’ve seen him play, he had poise on the ball and made sure his positioning in defence was good.  He let nothing through and also had the good grace to go in goal for 10 minutes in the second half.  Well done!