Winklebury Wizards vs Andover Town Youth 12s Blue

Having started the new year with a win last time out, Town were looking to repeat this. The team travelled to Basingstoke on Sunday for this fixture. Winklebury, who have recently tasted life in the top division, are mid table and will always give a good game. Training had gone well mid week and confidence was high within the squad, every player was eager to play there part.

The game kicked off with Town playing from right to left, the now standard 3 at the back, 3 in the middle and 2 strikers. The boys are starting to banish the belief that they start slow, as they shot out of the traps and applied pressure from the whistle. The midfield retaining procession and adding a bite to the attack, the strikers creating movement and pulling Winklebury’s defence around. This pressing paid off with a goal from one of the unsung hero’s of the team, Matt Smith ghosting in at the far post to slam the ball high into the net, this was probably the biggest cheer I’ve heard for a goal this season. Matt’s attitude and dedication to the team is well documented and his passion and determination to improve was demonstrated recently with a heart felt and honest assessment of the lack of discipline during training and match time. This frustration was born from his desire to learn and improve himself, this is also the reason he is held with such high regard by the coaching team. This also shows that if you put the effort in and are willing to learn new things, you can do anything, Matt shows new skills every time he pulls on his boots. He has been threatening to score goals for ages and it’s fair to say has been very unlucky previously, the celebrations showed how much it meant to us all.

Within a few minutes Andover had doubled there lead, Jack Herdman, shot thundering past the Winklebury keeper. Jack had been at the heart of all the good pressure from the start, the effort that Jack produces week in week out means he finds himself in the right place more often than not. Town then appeared to relax and Winklebury sensed an opportunity to attack. They pushed forward and started to create chances, Darren Reeves, urged the team to contest every challenge. The goal soon followed for Winklebury and it was no more than they deserved, Town needed to show some character and regain control of the game.

The second half started with changes and as with the strength of the squad, the game is considered 2 half’s and 2 games. The first game was won 2:1, the boys were keen to beat them in the second half. They started strong and re established control, when they won a free kick around Winklebury’s area, the ball fell to Jack Herdman and he guided the ball back in over the keeper and just in the underside of the crossbar. Jack wasn’t gonna be stopped today and soon completed his hat trick with a typical never give up attitude, running on to a through ball and having a one on one with the keeper and stabbing the ball home. He deserved this, as he has shown this every weekend and he will always put his head where most wouldn’t put there feet, he has a massive desire to win and this display eared him the Sports Man Award today.

Winklebury hit there second goal, one to forget for Town and they will have to learn from, but this Team is not about to give in easily. The next goal came from Leo Ferro, Leo learn’t a few things about the great English weather at training this week, when his hat froze with ice. He certainly wasn’t frozen during this game, with his penetrating runs down the wings. This effort provided him with the next goal for Town, driving in and out pacing a few players and slotting the ball low and hard. Great skill and accuracy and he has adapted well to the conditions and the new culture of English football well and is a important part of the team.

Callum Lowe again got on the score sheet with another trade mark run and sublime finish, he always seams to score when he gets the chance, that put the game to bed and move the blues into a commanding position and keeps them in the hunt for the lead of the league. There were other great performances today, Daniel Butt produced an amazing performance in goal, with save after save and faultless handling in slippery conditions. When the opposing manager praises your display, you should be rightly proud of your ability. This display earned him Man of the match reward, when a team scores 6 goals and the keeper still gets the MOTM award, says it all really. Max Bissett was almost telepathic at the back, reads the game so well. Brandyn Reeves and Callum Woods also showed some good moments to start attacks, but, this performance was all about the squad, every member of this squad put in a fantastic effort and showed immense skill. There were players mentioned today for there input, this was a win for the team fashioned by the team. A great performance and proof that if you apply yourself to training and match day and use the skills you have and have gained, you get the rewards.

The coaching team are aware of the abundance of strength and depth of this squad and if we can carry on with the improved attitude to training and match day, this Team can achieve whatever it sets it’s sights on. JP

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