by wayneholt · 10/05/2021
A superb 1st half from the Hawks saw them score four times as they overcame the conditions at a soggy Hardy Farm.
The first three came from the scorers' weaker foot and featured quick thinking short corner routines. Mars Bar PoM Noah bagged two as Hawks moved the ball around well between the puddles.
The 2nd half was a more even affair as conditions worsened but there was time for Angus to grab his first Hawks goal.
Starting line-up: Alfie (GK), Zach, Cameron, Jacob, Kenta, Kofi, Isaac, Tom, Frankie, Ted, George - Subs: William, Billy, Mark
West U13s mounted a stirring second half fightback coming from 3-0 down to seal a fantastic 3-3 draw against a strong Wythenshawe team.
Goals by William, Ted and Jacob secured the point after a hugely positive second half by the whole team.
The game had started quietly but it was quickly evident Wythenshawe had an excellent footballer out on the wing. West set out to man-mark him, but it was clear Wythenshawe were going to rely on him as every attack was built through him.
After a quiet opening it was the winger who created Wythenshawe’s first goal, racing down the wing and firing in a cross that Alfie blocked, but the ball then cannoned off Zach for an unfortunate own goal.
West were struggling to create anything going forward and the Wythenshawe winger was proving a real thorn in their side meaning two or three defenders were being committed all the time to try to stop him.
It was no surprise when he increased the lead, skipping past a defender at the edge of the box and firing an unstoppable shot past Alfie.
A third soon followed when the Wythenshawe striker found time to turn in the box and lay the ball off to the other winger for once and again the shot was too powerful.
West kept going and with added pace up front they started to create some chances towards half-time with William racing through twice only to be denied by the home keeper and a nasty bobble.
A change of formation at half-time saw West go for it in the second half with three up front. The signs that Wythenshawe’s defence would struggle with pace were capitalised on and George did a fantastic job dropping into the pocket behind the front two.
With the midfield and defence fighting for every ball it soon became clear that once West had the ball passes behind the defence to run onto were going to bring dividends.
Ted and William were causing havoc with their pace. Ted got clear twice only to be denied by some excellent goalkeeping.
At the other end, Frankie was doing an excellent stand in job as a replacement for Alfie, making some solid saves.
West pulled a goal back from a corner, William latching onto Jacob’s cross to side foot into the roof of the net.
West suddenly had hope and they were sharper in the tackle and there was a sense of panic going through the Wythenshawe team and coaches.
Chances kept coming for West as the strikers ran the Wythenshawe defence ragged. Ted was finding lots of space and one cross came to Kofi who shot well but again the keeper saved. Ted then broke clear only the see the keeper again make a fantastic fingertip save.
Time was running out and when George’s half volley shaved the post it looked like it was going to be an honourable defeat.
But two goals in the last five minutes secured a brilliant draw.
First Ted broke away again and this time he slotted the ball coolly under the keeper. With West being urged forward by coaches and supporter they piled the pressure on.
Minutes later Isaac’s corner was met by Jacob who headed a brilliant equaliser.
The celebrations by the players at the final whistle showed they knew what they had achieved. A fantastic second half display and deserved draw.
Goals: William (1), Ted (1), Jacob (1)
PoM: The whole team for the second half display.
If there is a clandestine, mutinous plot to finish in the relegation places, then the mission is nicely on track. The Magpies have not re-started well since the resumption post lockdown, and another, patchy, mediocre performance had the Magpie players and coaching staff spitting their own feathers at the final whistle.
Their were some good passages of inter play, and decent advances down the flanks but as has been the case since the resumption, our attacking thrust was akin to that of a sugar loving old gramps. Toothless.
Another calamitous goal was the only difference at HT as we went in 0-1, but were at least in positive spirits.
A notable mention to last week's liner and simmering volcano Dom, who undeterred from last week's touchline confrontation, found himself cartwheeling amongst the booted parents as he took a comedic tumble. Pride and ankle a little sore, he showed more stoicism than our Magpie team could muster as he heroically took the flag for the 2nd half.
I need to bend a Solskjær's ear for his half time team talk manual. Despite the positive chat, technical and tactical pointers, the only thing we bossed in the second half was the whinging, back chat and card count as the building frustrations spawned by our losing streak masqueraded into a loss of composure on the pitch.
Soft goals and toothless may sound like a set of criminal twins, but the Magpies and their coaching staff need to rediscover some belief, basics and attacking thrust. Final score 0-3.
Could a friendly versus local rivals St John's next week provide a boost or further burden?
Have the boys got their holiday brochures out? Are there too many questions for the coaching staff to answer??
Harrumph. Perhaps we need Dom to deliver a tea cup rattling, Churchillian speech next week. Answers on a postcard welcome.
U17s played against regular opponents over the past few seasons, Brooklands Dragons Cosmos and the games have always been close. This time we conceded 2 early goals and looked shell shocked before fighting back to 2-2. We conceded again to go 3-2 down but came back to make it 3-3 at half time. After a stirring half time team talk the defence tightened up and we only let in 1 more goal. Unfortunately we didn't score any and lost 4-3. Player of the match was 2 goal Benji. Other goal was by Daniel. The match was also notable as we received our first ever red card with Wilf receiving his marching orders after a mass brawl following a foul by him but a nasty retaliation from the fouled player who was also sent off. Some work to do on managing these sorts of situations. Final score Brooklands 4 WD&C 3.