U16B's can't hold back the tide...
stormy weather and a man down...
Match Report (Lost 1-7 in goals and 10-11 in players)
A tough day for all concerned today (Marlow bridge closed!), storm Angus missed us but there was a tidal wave of red shirts and hockey balls on its way. Sometimes being a man down does not matter too much but Marlow had eleven strong players that knew how to isolate and overload on our midfield and defence and exploit the extra man. A key aim for our boys is to be able to do the same when we play with an extra man.
We took a tactical risk to play with just Max and Will in midfield as a dynamic duo with Max Reed hoping to step up from sweeper sometimes as a deep centre mid and Ed to maraud from right half thus allowing us the luxury of three forwards albeit Oli and Harrison also having defensive duty to come all the way back to our 23m shadowing their outside players. Tough on fitness.
Marlow were a good outfit with very good ball pace, some strongly hit passes and with good passing tempo were able to bypass the midfield and either hit Nihal on the edge of our area or hit even higher forwards. Hence they scored 4 by halftime and William had to make plenty of saves and watch a few go past the post.
About us. Actually the defence worked really hard and intercepted or tackled many times and we were able to get away and break from the back (just like Leicester City). Harrison remembered to cut back inside from left wing, Marcus was available as target man and several times after good moves Oli was around the back of the defence and we were sniffing a goal and won a short corner. Will and Max showed tenacity and teamwork covering their space and trying to work out how to channel the attacks away from goal.
Max Reed went confidently aerial and really helped clear our lines but Max H often met with 2 or three players swarming around him so we could not always start a second phase move.
Second half. Whilst William (man of the match) made more saves with feet, pads and hands all in good form the rest of the boys showed amazing resilience and composure under fire. Really well timed tackles. All defenders (Max, Nathan (crucial interceptions!), Ed, Lukas) showed great maturity coming out with the ball and then completing safe passes to our midfield or forwards...this is a solid style to build on. Max and Will talked to each other and changed sides and worked together more effectively as the game went on. We began to string several passes together by helping each other down the right and with Oli trying changes of pace and patient dribbling we created several pull-back chances and close-in saves. Marcus finished off one such move and he and Harrison had other chances too.
All in all 4-10 might have been a more believable and deserving result.
Before the game, the boys were asked to work on working together, getting more passing tempo and flow into the game and buddying with the players around them, building trust and faith in each other. They have shown they are 100% resilient and hard-working and the last move of the game from our 23m line to a shot with proves they can make a controlled, classy multi-pass play.
Everyone played their hardest and best and even stretched themselves beyond previous performances. These individual improvements are important and mixed with learning and consciously executing some better strategies and repeating things with teammates that work I am sure the boys will start to collect some little victories and build up to surprising these teams when we play them again.