January 15 2018 16:37:39.
By Oscar Courtney
- U13 THUNDER V U13 TORNADOES
Saturday 13th January, KO 11am, Duchy Playing Fields, League.
This is going to make a pleasant change!
But, where do I start?
I’ll start with, basically, Ricky and I are really pleased for the lads and very proud of them! They’ve had it tough lately, so to finally register a win in this division is a big relief for us all. The boys dug in, they battled, they never gave up and they played some dazzling football.
I’m only sorry that the win had to come against a fellow Beechfield team. Therefore, great credit must be given to Wayne and Colin (the Thunder coaches) for their kind and complimentary words during and after the contest. It was a nice and classy touch, of Wayne, to personally congratulate our boys during the post-match team talk.
As for the game itself – well we had nearly all of our players available, including our three recent signings, Ben, Andrew and Keelan. In turn, and to be fair to Thunder, they were missing a couple of extremely important and influential players. Those omissions undoubtedly helped us, but I don’t want to take anything away from the Tornadoes’ display either.
When Thunder opened the scoring about half way through the first half and shortly added a second after that, I did fear the worst. That the boys kept their heads, and didn’t give up, is a great testament to their improving attitudes. All too often, in previous games, we probably would have let our heads drop and allowed Thunder to add to their tally.
Instead, that steady streak of defiance and self-belief seemed to carry on and when Andrew released Keelan, with a perfectly weighted through ball, to pull one back just before the half time whistle, you really felt it was game on. Keelan’s crisp finish, in to the far corner of the net was a terrific goal.
Undoubtedly, Keelan’s goal was at the perfect time and you sensed the lads were absolutely buzzing at half time and that they couldn’t wait to get back out there for the second half. For Ricky and I, that was just so good to see and it really made our half time team talk so much easier. The boys were on their toes and switched on!
The second half saw the Tornadoes get straight back on it and force the issue. A brilliantly lofted free kick from Brandon, played in to the space behind the Thunder defence, saw Ronan race clear to slot home to make it 2-2.
The next 10-15 minutes saw Thunder really stepping it up, as both teams went after the winner. Both teams carried on playing good football and creating chances, so it was with a heavy heart, halfway through the second half, that I had to take my leave and go to my U8s game.
However, I’m told that I missed 3 goals in about 15 minutes and some superb football from our boys, including a spectacular headed effort from Max, that just went narrowly over the bar after some brilliant passing and moving from Brandon, Ronan and Alan.
In summary, Alan and his new boots finally found the net after spurning several chances. Thunder equalised after a cooly converted penalty from Ishor and then Keelan rounded off the game with a superb near post strike with about two minutes to go, to give the Tornadoes a 3 – 4 victory.
In terms of the MOTM award, I would have been tempted to give it to the whole team as every single one of them, to a man, was superb. From the defence to the midfield, to the strikeforce, everyone stood up to be counted.
Callum, once again saved us with some brilliant stops and good use of his penalty area. Taylor, Brandon, Joe M, Lucas, Jamie and Tom W were hard working and solid. Brandon and Jamie in particular provided some crucial moments in defence and pushing forward.
Ben, Andrew, Ronan, Keelan, Joe H and Alan all put a shift in, moved the ball superbly and created, as well as converted, some brilliant chances.
However, MOTM had to go to Max who was just simply inspired. He looked fit, he looked strong, he looked confident, he looked after Ben (like I told him to), he constantly sought to get the ball and make things happen. Essentially, he looked like he enjoyed himself and it was great to see.
Overall then boys, a good victory but we need to have a bit of perspective too. This was only one game against a weakened Thunder and we have a lot more to do this season. By all means, enjoy the moment but, from Tuesday, it’s back to work and concentrating on the next match!
Thunder 3 – 4 Tornadoes.