|Merley Allendale Cobham U14 Dorset Div 1||4|
|Ringwood Town U14 Bournemouth||4|
Weather: Nice actually Coaches: Chris, Alec & Paul
XI: Dan `the man`, Tom S, Besty, TJ, Kibby, Asa, Joe, Marcus, Charlie H, Marek, Raf
So, after not being able to use Long Lane pitch now until pre-season for matches - we had a nightmare trying to find a pitch locally for this game to still go ahead! 16 calls later and we ended up in the Daisy field at Rossmore.
Merley, were close to not having a team for next season; but with Neil Marsh moving over to join Paul Whitty, from Corfe Mullen; it has suddenly turned their fortunes around - with players coming over too; which combined with the existing Merley squad - suddenly gives them a chance at the title in Div One Dorset! So this was a good test for us.
Admitedly we were missing some key players in Jordan, H and Will - so this could have been a risk; however, step forward our new signings in Charlie and Asa! That combined with a little help from Adam too!
Several phone calls the night before from friends to friends to find someone who would help us out by covering for Jordan and no joy....then, with the wonder of FBook - up pops Dan Crookman to have a debut for the mighty Ringwood!
We agreed to play 3 x 30mins - so each player could get involved and have a break in the sunshine to take on fluids.
Being honest, I made a few notes, but after a slice of Folk Festival on Friday night; my memory has dimmed somewhat - for which I apologise guys.....so in summary:
We started a little `hoofy` from the back - but soon corrected that with TJ filling in admirably for Will alongside solid Besty; we had Asa playing left mid with his two feet (that sounds odd, everyone has two feet I know - but not everyone can use both to deliver a ball or control from the air) in front of his good mate Tom S; in the centre was Joe and Mole as with the last game of the season; Charlie giving us pace and width down the right and Raf and Marek back together on striker duty and Most Improved Awarded Kibby at right back - decent! After a few minutes we got a grip and played the football that will help us in Div 1.
Composed and creative - with no lack of strength in all areas from front to back. It was Tom S who played a lovely ball to Asa - who took on the right back and clipped a delicious cross for Marcus to rise and head goalwards. The Merley team don`t have a recognised keeper since theirs left to go to Bournemouth Electric - and so the ball found the back of the net 1-0
Merley also scored, but honestly can`t recall how it happened.....1-1
We made a change with Charlie coming off for a chat with Paul, while Adam got stuck into right mid. Golden Boots Marek span onto a pass from Joe that the Merley defence couldn`t read and he found the back of the net with precision - quality 1-0
We were a bit more under pressure at times in this session and made a few more mistakes to encourage Merley into the game a bit - a shot came in from just outside the box which Dan couldn`t get to 1-1
Merley then broke down the wing and clipped a cross that should not have come in ideally - for their striker to head home. 1-2
Fair to say that a couple of goals that Jordan would have saved I think - but Dan the man is a work in progress.....
Overalll, we were playing the better football - but had a couple of chances that we couldn`t take.
Merley changed their keeper for this part and you could see Marek licking his lips at the prospect. We also made a change with Raf taking a breather and supporting from the sidelines `NUTS MAAATTTE`and Charlie going upfront with Marek to see what combined pace would do for us - Adam moved into the centre of the park to see more of the ball and Joe went out right mid to take on the Merley left back.
Our first goal came from Marek scaring the keeper with a short goal kick and then feinted to put him on his arsenal and then shot into the back of the net on the opposite side. Tidy. 1-0
Adam was gliding around the middle of the park and using his strength and skill to get the ball out wide to Asa or Joe - lovely play.
The ref was making a few odd ones - but again - we must learn NOT to challenge this in any way other than through Captain Mole; let`s not let this cost us in Div One when teams will be looking at any chance to gain advantage!
Besty came off as was carrying a slight injury, as did Joe (I think).....but then Joe was back on and leaped above their defender to head the ball forward into his path and drive forward - made a bit of space with a trick and then unleashed an ankle locked shot - which flew past the Merley keeper 2-0
We were looking solid with everyone playing a part in what was a quality display by all - and with Asa and Charlie having a great debut for Ringwood!
Merley got one back with a bit of a fluff of our game plan so 2-1 - however, when they won a corner and delivered a great ball into the danger area, Dan the Man leapt up and fisted like a boss to clear the danger. Super.
So - 4-4 overall with two good teams playing good football. There are coaching points from the game that we have seen - which is good as we wouldn`t want you all to be perfect as we would be out of a job! A good display as sweeper from TJ stepping in for Will; quality from Golden Boot Marek and encouraging signs from the new lads! Combine that with Tom S being composed and strong and Kibby and Besty playing well out from the back and Mole `the voice` from start to finish.
All good - but we have a squad of 13 and I still feel we need a couple more with us with the schedule we have next season with 3 x cup games and the assault of Div 1 - so ask your friends, and if you don`t have any friends, ask someone else`s friends.
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