Andover Town Youth 12s Blue vs Basingstoke Town Colts
This second against third top of the league clash, which was played out with Andover having home advantage. Both team knowing only a win would do, with both teams on level points and Tadley two points a head.
Having concentrated on goal kick possession, over laps and set pieces during training, Town were well equipped to improve these areas of play. The boys were confident and had applied themselves well mid week. With the abundance of talent offered by this team, selection was its usual nice problem to have.
Darren Reeves, went for the now proven three across the back, three in the middle and two strikers. With the emphasis on passing and movement and passing into space. The Blues were straight out of the blocks with instant pressure, Basingstoke not having time to settle.
The play was being built from the back, with Max Bissett, Ollie Pitts and Josh Williams stroking the ball around calmly. Jack Herdman, Matt Smith and Leo Ferro linking up and looking inventive. The two strikers Brandyn Reeves and Cayden Brooker, moving and making penetrating runs.
Jack Herdman, winning every header in the midfield. The possession of the ball was key to this part of the play, Brandyn Reeves and Cayden Brooker combining with passing and movement. The dead lock was broken with Cayden running into space on the right, charging down on goal, with what looked like a impossible angle slotting the ball home.
Daniel Butt in the Town goal, had to keep his concentration as he was having long spells without being called into action. When he was required, he exuded confidence. Today’s captain Cayden, then doubled the lead, Josh Williams powering forward and Cayden finished like you would expect the current top scorer to do.
As the half moved on, The two Callum’s came on. Callum Woods and Callum Lowe were looking to stamp their authority on the game. The next goal came from Josh Williams with a mazy run from the left, beating a number of players before dispatching a shot to make it three. The management team were both shouting to pass, Josh had the last word this time, a great piece of play.
Half time and time to settle the boys down and make some changes. Cai Jones came on, with instructions to use his pace down the left. He was given more freedom to play as the game progressed, as always causing problems every time he’s on the ball. With the blues looking comfortable, the coaching staff started to challenge the players with different position changes.
Leo Ferro returned to the field and immediately showed his pace and skill, linking well with Cai, Cayden dropping deeper and Brandyn and Callum Lowe being the focal point. Callum Woods, seemed to be every where, picking up the ball and feeding the strikers. Matt Smith came back in and went up front, starting some good play and moving well. Callum Lowe, showing skill and pace all day on the right, not his favoured position, but he is at times impossible to play against.
After a series of corners, Cayden with great movement to lose his marker to receive the ball. With a snapshot coming back off the post, to deny his hat trick. With Town going to two at the back for the last ten minutes, the midfield dominated the play. On the rare occasions Basingstoke moved forward, Max Bissett and Daniel Butt were alert to snuff out any danger. The final whistle rang out and Town claimed the three points.
What we learnt today, Cayden Brooker moved further ahead as top scorer, Brandyn Reeves supplied the ammo for Cayden today. The midfield has got strength from every player, first or second half, can also inter change positions. The defence can play out from the back and are not just tacklers, have skill and good awareness also. Daniel Butt, has great levels of concentration to go with all his other skills.
Sportsman award went to Ollie Pitts, ventured forward at set pieces and did everything well today. Man of the match went to Cayden Broker, fast becoming the complete striker. Fantastic movement and always seems to be in the right place at the right time, has added the confidence to his skill. Well done to the whole squad today, again, although certain players have been high lighted, they have been able to by a lot of hard work and un selfish play by the rest. This is the definition of a team, due to results elsewhere, Town find that hard work paying off. The Blues are now top of the league by a point. Great effort boys, this is what application, hard work and skill can produce. If this attitude continues within training and match day, the back to back championship is a possibility. We dare to dream! JP