Junior Round-Up | 30th May – 15th June

WD&C U9 Orcas vs Sale Utd Wizards

If you want goals, come to an Orcas game. Always great for the neutral.

It would have been nice to sign off the season with a win but the Wizards had different ideas and in what seemed like no time were 7 nil up. A few times recently we’ve been slow to switch on and the glorious sunshine was definitely a factor – some boys were already flagging from the warm up. Once they settled their nerves and started to pace themselves (and gained an extra man) the game changed completely. We finally started putting them under real pressure and scored 3 to lift the mood.
The game remained evenly matched after the break. With their star player sportingly in goal they lacked the same threat but were generally able to keep our attack at bay. As the second half looked like finishing goalless, the Wizards snuck one in out of the blue which seemed a little unfair; the boys deserved to get something for their effort and attitude.

Goals: LJ, Liam, Riley
PoM: LJ – strong tackling, calm passing under pressure and a trademark finish to start the fightback.

Egerton FC Lions v WD&C U10 Hawks

Hawks made the long journey to Egerton in a Europa Cup group deciding shoot off. Travel delays and visa problems at the Cheshire border disrupted preparations and the Lions swept into an early lead that Hawks never recovered from.

The giant keeper almost literally filled the goal and pawed away shots at will like a cat toying with mice. Hawks hit the bar, the post but the ball wouldn’t go in.

Now we can concentrate on learning the offside rule as we move to 9-a-side football next year.

Lymm Rover Predators v WD&C U11 Kestrels

Semi final of the Europa Cup, Scotland Group.

Kestrels had faced Lymm before at Hardy Farm and they seemed to crumble under the pressure of our swooping attacks as we completely dominated play.

This time though, the Predators seemed to embody their name at their home pitch for our evening midweek game, as they put up a much stronger fight.

We kicked off with Jude in goal, Seain, James and Archie at the back. William and Fred at left and right mid respectively. Benjamin and Elliot working as a midfield duo and Lucas upfront.

Kestrels pinned them down in the first half with Seain, James and Archie keeping keeper-Jude safe. We opened strong and soon saw 2 goals within 2 minutes from William and Benjamin, and they assisted each other. Followed by a solo attack and goal from striker, Lucas, who seemed to dance through the predators defence and just cheekily roll it past the keeper. We quickly identified a couple of their superstar players, one of whom was pressing constantly down our right, but Seain was having none of it. He made light work of stopping him in his tracks with his firm, fair tackles and clearing the ball down to a waiting Fred. With no return from predators in this half the kestrels could taste the final.

After a half time reality check and a couple of changes we went out feeling confident. We’d moved Jonny into goal, Jude came out of goal to go upfront, and Jacob replaced Seain at RB. However, with the setting sun now in their favour, they were quick off the mark scoring in the first minute of the second half. It didn’t take them long to follow it up with another either but kestrels were determined, and we sat back and defended. The boys all got stuck in and rallied to keep us in the lead, everyone put in a shift to protect Jonny, but the few that got through were met by some great saves! The predators were shouting for one more to go to penalties, but Kestrels had other ideas. We managed a few really well played attacks but they’d changed keeper, and in goal stood a confident Schmeichel-esque young lad, and he made some fantastic saves! One last attack from the predators saw us take the ball from them and used the opportunity to launch a counter attack. Fred was bombing it down the right, supported by Benjamin, Elliot and Jude, all desperate to make the final. The referee finally blew for the end of the game.

Yes!! Kestrels were elated! The fans went wild and even had an air horn to make it known that West Didsbury and Chorlton U11 Kestrels were through to their first cup final!

Our Kestrels aren’t like most other junior sides who have a core of player who’ve been at a club together since they were 6/7 years old. These boys formed this team last season at U10, and they had a difficult first season winning just a handful of games. They’ve worked so hard to get to where they are today. They even completed at-hom challenges during lockdown to keep them fit and engaged with football. As coaches (and parents) we could not be more proud of them.

PoM – This is a ridiculous decision this week. We’ve never seen them pull together and have such hunger. But after some careful consideration it’s awarded to Seain for his Gandalf-like attitude in not letting their number 9 pass!

Sale Communities U13 v WD&C U13 1-1

Starting line up: Alfie (GK), Ted, Jacob, Cameron, Zach, Kofi, Tom, Isaac, William, Mark, George Subs: Frankie, Kenta

West U13s finished their league season with an entertaining and hard fought draw away to Sale.

With an outside chance of sneaking into third place West started the match on the front foot as they went for the win. Tom went close early on with a shot that just went wide, but we didn’t have to wait too long for the opening goal.

William’s pace was proving problematic for the Sale defence and he latched onto a through ball and turned inside the keeper only to be hauled down. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty and Isaac confidently sent the keeper the wrong way to put West 1-0 up.

West were on top and pushing to increase their lead. William again raced clear and pulled to ball back for George whose shot was well saved.

The Sale keeper denied Frankie before George saw his effort cleared off the line from the resulting corner.

But Sale were gradually getting themselves into the game and their strong midfield began to get the upper hand. Alfie saved well when their pacy striker was sent clear and then recovered quickly to complete the clearance.

He was in action again minutes later as the Sale striker won a battle with Cameron, only for Alfie to rush out and save brilliantly.

In between Kenta had again shown that Sale were susceptible to pace as he latched onto another ball over the top only for his control to let him down at the crucial moment.

Mark, who was working hard on the left wing, brilliantly nutmegged one of the players and laid the ball back to Tom, but his effort curled wide.

The second half saw Sale start strongly and after a fabulous last ditch tackle from Tom to deny one chance, it was no surprise when Sale drew level – the only surprise was that it was a fluke.

I’m sure the Sale player will claim to have shot from an impossible angle, but it was a cross and it looped perfectly over Alfie into the far corner.

West’s defence was working overtime, with Cameron and Jacob in particular constantly breaking up attacks. Sale missed several good chances including one where neither striker seemed to want to shoot and instead they passed it backwards and forwards in front of the goal until Frankie intervened.

But the momentum suddenly swung back to West and William won another penalty. Unfortunately Isaac’s effort was saved by the keeper and Tom put the follow up wide.

William was again proving to be the thorn in the side of the Sale defence and his speed took him clear again but his effort flew over the bar. Minutes later he created a chance for himself on the edge of the box with a lovely turn but his shot went wide.

An excellent end to end battle with the draw probably the fairest result. The point leaves West hopefully secure in fourth place after a fantastic effort in a competitive league.

Goals: Isaac (pen)

Timperley U15 Devils v WD&C Magpies 4-1

A truncated season finally finished in the cricket season on a hot and sunnyTuesday at Walton pk. The wounded, flapping Magpies took on the midtablers of Timperley. Having negotiated some shared points in our recently cancelled final fixture, all the Magpies had to do to assure relegation to a hopefully more competitive league was avoid victory. This fact was not mentioned of course, but the boys set about the task wonderfully well by demonstrating a couple of trademark lapses of concentration to allow the Devils in twice to race into a 2 goal lead. The Magpies then seemingly covered their tracks devilishly by playing well for the rest of the half. We looked a much better outfit in our final 2 games as we passed long and short to vary the points of attack well. The actual focus for the last 2 games has been to work on these tactics to prepare us for a more positive season come September. 2-0 @ HT, we didn’t look inferior to this team in ability. They, as have many before them this season, were hungrier to get to the ball first, sharper and more effective in the tackle and more clinical in front of goal. If the Magpies are to turn these negative experiences this season into crib notes, these are some useful take home messages.

Aki shuffled the pack like a card playing Vegas hustler as the heat took its toll on the sunny side of the pitch. The not-so-Hulking, less than giant form of Charlie in goal repelled a fair few attempts from the Devils as both teams hit post and bar at will. A great through ball and 1st time finish from Tyler somehow stayed out at a crucial point in the 2nd half that may have turned the game in our favour. Fine margins.

A 3rd was conceded from a harsh (ball 1st, not man) penalty and the wind could have left the good ship Magpie’s sails. Not so this outfit, who have faced a tidal wave of footballing adversity this season. Ioannis scored a neat goal from a nice through ball via the overlapping full back (Ralf) to give us some hope. Alas, a 4th for the Devils soon burnt any idea of that and finished us off.

A familiar sinking feeling following another defeat echoed through our Magpie skeletons as glum faces looked back sullenly at the coaches. In a rubbish year, these boys should be well equipped to deal with adversity and tough times. We finished the campaign bottom (of sorts with one team dropping out) having played 14, Won 3 Lost 10 and negotiated the all important draw to avoid placing one place higher in a league too far. Goals scored compare favourably to most league teams, but the ones against are the highest. Team defensive patterns shall be worked upon by Professor Aki over the summer, hopefully a goalkeeper found from somewhere and a much needed rest will provide the tonic we need to come back and enjoy a new start. Forza Magpie shall swoop back next season…

Goals: Ioanniesta (Ralf assist)
PoM: Ioannis – a snarling, Greek warrior in the midfield.

Sale U17 v WD&C U17 5-2

U17s ended the league campaign with a 5-2 defeat against second place Sale communities. 2 goals for Daniel had made it 2-2 at half time and for 15 minutes of the second half West looked the most likely to win but a very soft pen and a couple more goals finished us off and we end the season in 4th place. Top half means the management team hopefully keep their jobs for the final season!