‘Magnificent 7’ U12 Boys at John Wright Tournament
With many of the regular squad at the regionals and availability issues we arrived at the John Wright Tournament with only 7 players and no subs. Due to a last minute drop out the format was changed to a 9 team league each team playing 6 of the other teams in 10 minute matches.
Our team had not had the chance to practice the 7-a-side game as a unit and some of the opposition looked larger and well drilled. However if our magnificent 7 were feeling outnumbered and outgunned they tried not to show it. As the tournament started the rain started to clear and rather like the weather our team improved as the afternoon went on.
We started against old rivals Trojans and at first our team seemed a little unsettled and not really stringing the passes together. However Ollie and Sam H in defence played solidly and stopped all Trojans attacks right until the end when unluckily we conceded a short corner which Trojans took well. Winch 0 Trojans 1
In match 2 against Havant Fire we started to pass more releasing Will and Sam B from midfield to make ground on the wings. In the end Sam B was able to launch into the D from the right and scored two excellent goals. Winch 2 Havant Fire 0
Next up Guildford a well drilled side who moved the ball fast and took some good shots. Harrison in goal dealt with everything cooly and showed why he has already played matches at U14 level. Oscar in midfield and Joe up front dribbled well when we got possession but maybe kept the ball a little too long rather than passing or taking shooting chances. Sadly Guildford got round the back of the defence to slot home a winning goal. Winch 0 Guildford 1
Against Petersfield the team were staring to gel much better. Passing improved and the defence remained solid. Again Oscar and Joe skilfully worked into the D but it was late in the game when Joe managed to twist and turn into a goal scoring position. Winch 1 Petersfield 0
Havant Hammers were next the sun was out and legs were starting to tire but the boys were gaining in confidence and all played well in an end to end match. Harrison kicked clear when required. Unfortunately we had a couple of missed opportunities. Final score Winch 0 Havant Hammers 0
The final match against City of Portsmouth and a more fluid team performance Ollie clearing strongly to Will set up Oscar for runs up the left side and Sam H feeding, Sam B and Joe on the right. The pressure told and Joe was able to score the winner at the death. Winch 1 COP 0
Once the points were added up the boys emerged a very creditable 4th out of the 9 teams. This was a great performance in the intense short format matches which are hard work with no subs to share the load. They can be very proud of themselves and rounded off a very successful season. Thanks to the loyal supporters and especially to Mike for coaching from the sidelines when I had to umpire.
Enjoy the Summer and lets hope for more successes next season.