Junior Round-Up | 18th – 19th September
WD&C U10s Orcas v Altrincham Juniors Phantoms
After what was starting to feel like a never-ending run of defeats, U10s Orcas pulled off a hard fought and well deserved victory on Saturday morning. The Phantoms had beaten us 8-1 back in May but our boys were geared up for a battle from the start and thankfully broke the habit of shipping early goals. Instead they passed quickly and confidently, pressed and harried, and were rewarded around the ten minute mark when Seth launched a long range free kick into the box. Its power caught everyone out, the ball flew through the crowd and into the back of the net. This spurred our opponents to rally and equalise a few minutes later after a mix up at the back. Even so, they still struggled to break out of their own half at times. Eventually our persistence paid off: captain for the day James H slotted a chance away to take us into the break 2-1 up.
The second half was similarly tight, with the Orcas dominant for spells and creating good chances, then losing shape a little, holding onto the ball too long and inviting unnecessary danger. Tensions rose (mainly among the coaches and parents) as the final whistle drew closer. We worried that the boys might run out of steam in the heat and let it slip away. They were well up to the job though, holding out resolutely for the win and rightly celebrating it like a cup final.
PoM: The whole team.
WD&C U11 Hawks v Egerton Lions
Hawks staged another storming 2nd half comeback at a sweltering Hardy Farm.
Sam put West ahead after great work from Bertie while Noah pulled off some great saves to keep the Lions out. In fact, Hawks kept the Lions caged in their own half for most of the 1st half with some lovely football, Joe again impressive down the right flank. But the visitors roared ahead as a nippy lion cub latched onto long balls over the top.
But Hawks came again as the sun rose higher in the sky. Rudy powered home two blockbusters past the Lions keeper as Hawks flew forward. Mars Bar Player of the Match Abu Bakr mopped up any danger at the back but the Lions just held held on.
WD&C U14 v Ashton on Mersey Cyclones 14-0
West U14s enjoyed a goalfest as they racked up 14 goals in a one-sided affair at Hardy Farm.
Yaseen was the main beneficiary, bagging six goals as well as the Player of the Match honours, in a virtuoso attacking display.
It could have been a lot more as every West player saw an opportunity to get on the scoresheet, while Alfie had so little to do in goal he took to sunbathing in the second half.
It was a real shame for Ashton who simply couldn’t cope with West’s midfield and attack.
West were dominant from the start and it was clear Ashton were not going to be able to deal with Yaseen’s pace. Time and again he raced clear onto through balls but his goal radar wasn’t working initially.
It was no surprise when West took the lead – the only surprise was it wasn’t Yaseen who scored.
A lovely piece of skill by Ted saw him turn away from a defender on the byline and he cut the ball back to George for a simple finish.
Ashton briefly threatened through a goal mouth scramble, but that was just a brief interlude before the flood gates opened.
Yaseen bagged a quick fire hat-trick, interrupted by another from Ted to put West out of sight before half time.
As the crowd started shuffling uneasily, wondering if we should take some players off, George (from a penalty he had won) and Yaseen again added to the tally to make it 8-0 at half-time.
The second half offered no respite for Ashton even when West went down to 10 players briefly due to William sustaining an injury in a heavy challenge.
After Tom added a ninth, Ted completed a hat-trick – one cool finish after being put clean through and another a tap in after great work from Tom – while Yaseen racked up his sixth after a defender’s clearance cannoned off him and into the net.
Ashton offered a little more threat, but even the ref started feeling sorry for them, waving play on despite a clear offside in one attack. The crowd were hoping for at least one goal back, but it was never going to come.
As Ashton heads went down, West relentlessly drove forward.
Jacob H then got in on the act. After putting in a fantastic performance in midfield he got two deserved goals, one a long range thunderbolt and the second a lovely header.
Although ridiculously one-sided, West were excellent throughout – they were just on a completely different level. They consistently won the ball to launch attack after attack. Although the strike force took the honours for the goals, the passing from midfield was lovely to watch.
Three wins out of three to start the season – let’s keep it going lads!
Goals: Yaseen (6), Ted (3), George (2), Jacob H (2), Tom
WD&C U16 Magpies v Mersey Valley 8-1
The rollicking start to the U16 Magpies season could have hit the cobbles today, as on paper, the assembled Mersey Valley unit represented our toughest test so far. A few words of warning and Intel from the Badgers coach helped focus our minds on the defensive role required from our high flying birds.
We had great possession and a couple of good chances in the first 10mins or so, but it was 2 great saves from stand in keeper Ollie that kept us in the game. Finally, with a press that Fleet Street would be proud of, we started to force mistakes and create more opportunities. Last weeks poacher turned maker as Tyler cleverly crafted our first 2 goals for Zeno and Joe respectively. Zeno made it 3 at half time as the over caffeinated coach was finally able to relax a little.
The game had some industrious, Ill timed tackles and professional fouls/handballs that would have seen red brandished like a bull fight in an adult game, but went unpunished as the veteran ref struggled to keep up with play or control the testy teenagers. The coaches even had a heated disagreement about how football should be played. The preferred method was on display in the second half as the now chirpy Magpies passed their way through and round the tiring opposition. 5 second half goals went unanswered as Mersey Valley resembled an outback fire crew putting out blazes all over the place.
First Adeyo struck a long range free kick like a tracer into the bottom corner, Zeno grabbed his hat trick, Tyler laid on another for the Hitman’s welcome return to the goal tally and Tyler finally got his goal that his all round team play deserved. My pick was another flowing move with Joe bursting forward from right back, Ioannis once again threading an inch perfect pass for Harvey to finish first time on the run. Oof. 8-0. The Valley was well and truly flooded. Only then did the defence spring a leak as the Sonny/Kit partnership that had stifled their niggly danger man with the kind of understanding that should come from the offspring of 2 mothers that schooled together! 8-1 with a late consolation.
The Magpies won both the football and the moral battles today as they fly high at the top of the league and soar up on the lofty Hardy Farm thermals of joy.
PoM: Adeyo. Box to box physicality, craft and inspiration. Bravo.
Goals: Zeno (3), Jack, Adeyo, Joe, Harvey, Tyler
WD&C U18 v Sale Communities U17 2-1
West U18 played their third game of the season ( 1 X friendly & 1 X division setting game) and coming off the back of 2 defeats with 18 conceded and only 3 scored we entered the field at Sale High against a decent Sale Communities u17 team with some trepidation. Thankfully this game was different to the last and we dominated from start to finish. Only some great and lucky keeping and poor finishing kept the score at 1-0 along with 4 strikes of the woodwork. Sadly a breakaway made it 1-1 but a goal from a charge down of the keeper restored the lead. One opposition player seemed set on winding up the testosterone fuelled u18s and eventually got his way with a mass brawl the result and 2 red cards (1 each) given out. No more goals and a first win but not a great day with several players nursing a few bruises from well aimed punches and MOTM facing a 3 match ban.