Tag : town

Tadley Saints 14s vs Reds 14s

The Reds went into this game having played some good football and getting nothing for their hard work.  The squad have trained constantly from day one and have developed massively in a short time. Having been shown what this league is all about by two good sides, the lads could have disappeared within themselves, but they continue every training session and every match to put themselves outside of their comfort zone.  Each and everyone has had a huge journey already, they have stuck together and displayed great inner strength that will carry them far.

The match started with early pressure from the home side, a corner and some pressing and this was a test for the boys. But, they started to win their battles and retained procession.  The passing was crisp and dangerous and every player was putting everything into it.

The defence looked assured and Alex Niven was winning tackles and clearing his lines. The whole back line was faultless.  The midfield was dominating every time we attacked, Ryan Blake drove the team forward at every opportunity.  Up front Callum Lowe and Dylan Cole were working hard and carried a threat every time they had the ball.

The breakthrough came with the run of play and was just reward for the teams performance. In truth, it could have been 4 or 5! The boys were knocking the ball about well and working for each other, as the half drew to a close, Town were firmly on top.

With changes made for the second half, the Reds started even stronger. The belief was so visible in each player, they realised at that moment that they are good enough to play in this league.  The second goal soon followed and again the team play was very pleasing to see.

During the rest of the match, Town scored twice more and were dominant throughout.  TJ,  Ollie Pitts and Will Harvey were composed at all times, but to be honest, every player was first class and participated in this win.  It was great to see Callum Lowe and Dan Pashley score their first league goals and another two for Dylan Cole, leading from the front!

Player man of the match was Ryan Blake and managers player was Harvey Kane! Well done guys, great efforts!

For a manager it’s important that the boys got a reward for all their hard work. I have seen some players lift themselves and their team mates, this above all is what pleases me the most. We have new challenges ahead and I’m excited to see this group of players push on individually and within the team. The boys take the credit for that performance, well done all! JP

 

 

ATYFC 14s Red vs Woolton Hill

After a long wait, the new boys of the league were finally in action.  The team were hyper by the time kick off arrived, I have to admit to being the same.  After starting in May with 9 players and one with a broken leg, we have come a long way in a very short time.

This team has been assembled with a varied player back ground, a lot of different journeys to arrive at the Reds.  Within a week or so, they were friends already, with all the banter expected within a team!

After me throwing them straight into an international tournament and 5 games in 6 days, they had some time together. The preseason concluded with 3 friendlies and plenty of training sessions, the season arrived.

For the players who haven’t played competitively before, it must have been exciting times.  It’s always difficult to choose a starting line up, especially with a full team.

Town created plenty of chances throughout the match, but it wasn’t our day in front of goal. Dylan Cole scored the Reds first ever goal, a great strike and the team celebrated together!

There were a lot of positives to take out of the display, but we were not at it in certain departments, our passing was not up to our standard and we tried to force the play individually at times.

We have discussed the display and we understand where we can improve, that’s the essence of how we will grow as a team!  It was so pleasing to see every player getting involved with the play.

Although we got beaten on the day, we have all learnt some new lessons and have a better understanding of what it takes in this league. I’m hoping for a positive response, if training is anything to go by, we will improve in the next match.

Parents player went to Eadie Shum and managers player to TJ, both showed new and existing skill on a difficult day.

We have a huge untapped talent pool within this team, we are at the very start of our footballing journey. I believe in this team so strongly, I can honestly say it’s a pleasure to work with this group! Thank you all

Two match over view Andover Town Youth Blue 13s

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This new team made from long standing known quality quantities and new and exciting prospects, the blues arrived at their new home at Augusta park. As with so many aspects this season, a new experience beckoned and the boys didn’t disappoint. This new team has shown signs recently that they are starting to gain an understanding and a new level of togetherness, this was apparent from the first whistle as Town flew out of the blocks and dominated the play. It’s worth remembering that Chineham Tigers are a well established Premiere league side, the lads dominated this contest from start to finish. It was clear that the Blues had to start taking the chances they were creating, it was Callum Woods (Little Cal) opened up the Chineham defence and powered a shot high into the roof of the net. It was no more than the boys deserved for some cultured play.

Chineham did rally in the second half, it is testament to the strength of this league that no game is a walk over, Chineham equalised and held on for a point. Town should of won this game with the amount of chances fashioned, but their free flowing play and work rate was so satisfying to watch. This was the first point within the Premiere league and with this level of a starting point for this team, anything is possible.

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It was back to the League Cup today, the Blues were on the road to fellow Premiere League opponents Oakley. Having the pleasure of playing these for our first ever game in this league and receiving a lesson on what level is required. The management team were keen to see if the boys had grown and learnt from the first encounter, we got our answer within the first minute, Town tore into their opposition and not giving an inch all across the pitch and pressing high and winning possession quickly. Every player contributed to what i would call a free flowing passing game, making great decisions and playing for each other. The energy was coursing through every play and the team were carrying huge momentum, Oakley were clearly shell shocked.

The first goal came from Neo Black, positioned on the edge of the box from a corner, calmly placing the ball home. A just reward from one of the new lads that has slotted straight into the squad. The next came shortly after, Cayden Brooker started what would end in a quality hat trick today, playing just behind Leo Ferro up top today the two complimented each other brilliantly today. Cayden’s hat trick was fashioned by effortless skill and precision and reminding everyone again his passion for goals. Leo Ferro was next with a classic driving run through the Oakley defence and placed the ball clinically into the bottom corner, Leo is showing this season a power and presence to go with his natural skill and this is paying dividends higher up the pitch.

The second half showed that the boys fitness still needs some work and the immense effort expelled during the first period allowed Oakley some possession. To their credit, they did play some good football in the second half and brought the score back to 5:4 with about 15 minutes to go. The boys battled hard to retain their lead and with less than a minute to go, Oakley equalised. As the final whistle blew, the boys could have disintegrated, but to our over whelming satisfaction they picked themselves up and fought to the end, losing in extra time.

When we got beaten in the league 8:1 by this tea, at home, you would naturally feel a little worried for the season, roll on only two games and we end full time in a draw and a minute from a win away from home. This shows just how much this group of young men have focused on training and how they have bonded into a team that fights for each other and also shows that each and everyone have a bright future in football and their lives in general. I have to mention the other members that played their part today:

Daniel Butt: Outstanding today, mentally as well as physically. Well deserved his man of the match award.
Max Bissett: moved to central defence and didn’t disappoint at all, great at making hard skills look easy.
Scott Walker: Scott is an all action player and also plays in midfield, solid as a rock.
Ollie Pitts: had a great first half and won his personal battle with his counterpart.
Cai Jones: Fantastic skill and pace, played everywhere today and was awesome at times.
Neo Black: Does the simple things really well and marshalls the back line like a boss, took his goal brilliantly.
Matt Smith: linked up with the play and put some good through balls into the front two, progress is constant and pleasing.
Jack Herdman: The most combative player I’ve ever seen, showed today he has skill and intelligence to go with it.
Max Lunn (Steve): Max is a clever footballer and used his skills to unsettle the defenders all afternoon.
Taylor Nevens: Was given the captains armband today and gave a captains performance from start to finish.
Will Budden: Wills range of passing was a joy to watch and got around the pitch well today.
Brandyn Reeves: Played a team role today and helped to drive his team forward playing an unfamiliar role and had some good passages of play.
Cayden Brooker: Took his three goals like a pro and did a lot for team play as well, clinical today.
Leo Ferro(Ronaldo) : Asked to play right up top today, played a classic Ronaldo role and never gave the defence any time.

We roll onto the next challenge, Hampshire cup game at Romsey. Another test to improve further and grow again, it’s an amazing experience to be on this journey with our football family. JP

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West Berks Warriors vs Andover Town Youth 12s Blue

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The final game of the season and Darren Reeves agreed to host the game at the Walworth. To get the game on, Darren also arranged a ref and supplied a player for West Berks, who arrived with 8 available . The Berks Manager rightly appreciated the effort and the demonstration of fair play, there is no benefit to either set of players to contest an uneven match.

A massive thanks to Colin and Harvey Heaton, Colin stepping in at the last minute to ref the match, Harvey, who plays for the 12s White, sportingly agreed to play for West Berks to make a 9v9 match. There was still plenty to play for, Town still required at least a draw to confirm out right second. The sun was bright and we had Walworth to ourselves, this may well have been our last game at the ground.

The game kicked off and Town went straight into their passing game, retaining possession and moving as a unit. Town pushed further forward and started to create a few chances, some great link up play between Brandyn Reeves and Cayden Brooker. The midfield were winning most battles and looked full of energy, Cai Jones flying up and down the left wing. Josh Williams anchoring the defence and starting attacks. James Sygrove and Leo Ferro were combining well and driving at the Berks defence, chances were being created.

The deadlock was broken by Cayden Brooker with a fine finish cutting in from the left, Cayden has recently not scored at his usual rate and for him to continue to keep making the runs and still have the confidence to shoot, shows this is his natural position. The half finished with the Blues pressing for a second, every player giving everything for the cause.

The second half started and with changes and the team took time to settle, once they got the ball down, they drove forward again. The play was focused in the Warriors half, Brandyn Reeves found himself clear on goal and clinically slotted home. Having been asked to play a little deeper this term, Brandyn still managed to score consistently and provide creativity in attack.

West Berks replied with a goal shortly after, the Blues had to re engage and continue to press the ball. Some of the passing and movement was exceptional, The two Callum’s Woods and Lowe, chasing every ball. As the pressure increased, Callum Lowe arrowed a shot into the net, he showed his ruthless finishing is still part of his armoury. Callum is also starting to add a fantastic work ethic to the finishing, giving the team another dimension.

Just when the game looked finished, West Berks scored again, Harvey Kane showed great vision and composure to guide the ball home. This was no more than Harvey deserved, he played in different positions during the match draw praise from both sides. Showed us all that at the end of the day, we all just love playing football, well done Harv!

As the match and season drew to a close, the coaching team started to relax and enjoy the style and level of skill this group of players have reached this term. Each and everyone of this team has contributed to the overal success that this season has provided, the saying “as strong as the sum of its parts” has never been more apt. Well done to Cayden Brooker for winning top goal scorer for the season, fine achievement considering only adopted the striker position during the season.

The most satisfying thing for any coach, is to see the things you have introduced and developed within the group be displayed on match day. We have seen these skill and decisions being used and evolved, the boys have also grown as people and are starting to take responsibility for their roles within a group, this is also very satisfying.

To conclude, at the start of the season, the management team were hopeful for the boys to learn at this higher level. Try to consolidate and push next season, to find ourselves with three games remaining, still with every chance of the title, unbelievable! Too win two of the three games, finish clear second and get back to back promotion, too the Premier league, unbelievable! Consider also, our fellow promotion rivals Whooton Hill, finished rock bottom with four points, shows how far these lads have come. We have all been swept away by the footballing journey these boys are on, it is why recently myself and Darren have referred to the team as a family. The kids, parents, grand parents, coaches and fellow club members have all ridden this amazing roller coaster ride and contributed to our footballing family.

I would also like to make a special mention to Pete Askew our club secretary and our Chairman Simon Timms, Pete always helps whenever asked and frequently arrives at games to cheer on and offer encouragement when needed. Simon is always there to offer advise and gives every bit of support to allow this team to operate and improve. Next episode is the Tournament season, which starts next weekend, let’s see where this will take us! Thank you to everyone who has put so much into this team and allowed us to perform at our best throughout the season. You all know who you are! JP

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The Title Rivals

The cancellation of the match last weekend, lined up a back to back fixture schedule with both title competitors within a day. The first a trip to Tadley Calleva and then at home game to Basingstoke Colts on Sunday. All three teams have headed the league throughout the season, so it was a some what fitting way to help decide the order of the top three.
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Town arrived at Tadley for an 11:00 am kick off on Saturday, they could be considered our boggie team. The Blues have been beaten by them without even registering a goal on two occasions this term. The team had worked in training on defending the long ball and countering with fast flowing wide play. The boys played this to perfection, going into half time were dominating precedings. Within two minutes of the second half, town conceded, this just intensified the boys.

They created chance after chance, Tadley barely leaving their half for long periods. But, were unable to score, time and time again the ball was cleared from the line. The final score was 1:0 to the hosts, it was clear they were all relieved at the end. I don’t think I have seen a better collective display of pure team play ever from this group.

This result effectively ended the chance of winning the league, but after that display it was secondary to what we had witnessed. The team has now raised the bar on what they are capable of, the link up play, the passing and movement and the closing down as a unit shows that not only have they got individual skill, but a passing game not seen in this league.
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The second game, Basingstoke arrived as top of the league. The Blues were going in to enjoy the game and reproduce the performance of the previous day. If this was possible, this would re enforce the belief that this team has grown again to a higher level. As before The Blues grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck, again chance after chance were created. Some great keeping from the Basingstoke stopper held it at 0:0.

Just as the half was drawing to a close, again Town were punished despite their dominance. The second half started and again the boys continued to push forward. They also do not give up, ever! The ball was constantly within the Basingstoke half, at last Town produced the finish. Callum Woods smashed home the equaliser, no more than he deserved for coming on at half time and raising the energy levels as he does.

Within 10 mins, Brandyn Reeves put Town in front, a pin point shot arrowed into the net. He also coming on and instantly having an impact. Basingstoke, to their credit battled on and fashioned a few chances, Aidan Lowe in goal, made great decisions for both games, kept the lead in tact. Then a cross from the left and a deflection sent the ball into the Blues net.

This was a setback, this team didn’t drop their heads or performance, after a sustained piece of pressure the lead was regained by Town. Leo Ferro, showed why he now commands the centre of midfield, a powerful driving run through the heart of the Basingstoke defence, placing the ball calmly into the corner of the net. The game ended at 3:2 to Town, this guaranteed second in the league.

The man of the match award for both games went to Josh Williams, for a commanding display and great skill throughout. Sportsman for Saturday went to Leo Ferro, showed every skill needed to dominate the centre of the park, great performance. Brandyn Reeves was awarded Sunday’s Sportsman, he Showed another level of vision and passing, then scored a cracking goal, great showing and reminding everyone of his ability.

A special mention to Laud for stepping in and Reffing the game, this is why we love this club. Thanks Laud, you did a great job, even when it got a bit heated! One game to go and unless Tadley lose or draw one and lose the other, we will be second.

For a team that at the beginning of last season had at least Four players that had never played a competitive game before, to today when they have learned and worked hard to first compete and then win. This commitment and skill moved them to champions and then to come within one game of that championship again at a higher level is quite amazing. The style of play is what pleases the most, this team can literally go as far as it wishes, the whole 12s Blue Family are totally proud of each and everyone of this team. JP

Andover Town Youth 12s Blue vs West Berks Warriors

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The Blues hosted West Berks Warriors at the Walworth, the back to back fixture for Town. Having beaten them in the last match, the boys were confident of another victory this time out. From the kick off it was clear it was gonna be a tougher test, Town failed throughout this match to play their usual pressing, flowing football.

From the beginning of this season the team has set its own standards of effort and ability, we have all enjoyed seeing them achieve more than we could have hoped for. Today, we didn’t play collectively, we didn’t make great decisions and maybe the responsibility of being top affected these choices today.

Darren and myself are immensely proud of every member of this team, we believe they have continued to progress on their footballing journey throughout this season. The results prove this, the passion that fuels the progress, can also be seen within the coaches, players and parents.

The line has been drawn under today, we take the positive lessons and use the passion to fuel the last 3 games. The coaching staff agree that we will focus on what has brought the success this term, enjoying the football and letting that produce the results.

We have games against our two title rivals and a chance to avenge today’s result. To win anything worth winning, it’s not ment to be easy. Whatever the result at the end, the boys have proved they have grown as footballers and as people.

Well done to sportsman Aidan Lowe, showed determination to try and push the team onto the front foot, even after taking a whack to the face. There was only one ma of the match today, Daniel Butt can be proud of his performance. Without his numerous saves and composure, we would have lost by many more.

We look to Wednesday training and start the preparation for the last 3 games in a positive fashion and refind the love of the game. After all, this is why we all set time aside to be part of this amazing team, we win together and lose together! JP

Andover Town Youth 12 s Blue vs West Berkshire Warriors Blue

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The run-in begins with this match taken place at a cloudy Walworth, Town host West Berks Warriors and were keen to put clear air between themselves and Tadley, who weren’t in action this weekend. This weeks training had focused on wing play and set pieces. The boys have shown a marked improvement with their training commitment and this is being translated into the match play and decision making skills.

With a few absentees for this fixture, the management team looked to mix the personnel up today, two of the three regular defensive players missing and two players filling in that position for the first time. Callum Lowe at centre back and Cai Jones at left back, with Ollie Pitts occupying his usual right back slot, this is another example of the strength and depth of the squad and the team first attitude. Both players, happy to help the team and give their all, the midfield consisted of James Sygrove, Jack Herdman and Callum Woods, forwards of Cayden Brooker and Brandyn Reeves, Brandyn playing the advanced role this time, having previously more often unselfishly played the deeper role this season and supplied the in form Cayden Brooker with many chances.
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The game kicked off with both teams starting slowly, both with early opportunities to break free and create chances. The reshuffled back line took a little time to adjust to the changes and gain an understanding, Town were defending from the front and pressurising the Warriors high up the pitch. Jack Herdman leading by example, every player was winning their individual battles and the pressure soon told. Brandyn Reeves scored with a sublime shot on the left, he showed a level of control and skill that has seen him often perform a play maker role for the team this season. He reminded everyone, that he is also a goal scorer when required, another example of playing for the team first and foremost.

The midfield of the Blues started to dominate the play, with Callum Woods using the creative skills he processes, with great movement from every player and all wanting to be involved. The defence had started to gel and Callum Lowe and Cai Jones were growing into the new positions with confidence and covering well with Ollie Pitts, the only real threat was the ball over the top, which the boys adapted to as play continued. CaLlum Woods then got the second goal, arriving at the far post from a fantastic delivered corner from the teams set piece specialist James Sygrove and stabbing the ball home, no more than he and the team deserved and that concluded the first half.

During the interval, the discussions were about passing and movement and for the defence to allow space for the long ball. As always, the strength of the squad paid dividends, with Leo Ferro coming on up front and Matt Smith slotting into midfield. Cayden Brooker was creating movement and dragging players all over the pitch, unselfish play and providing room for other players to expose. Cai Jones continued to provide pace and precision and a cutting edge at every opportunity, The third goal didn’t take long to arrive, with Callum Woods again supplying the clinical finish.

Daniel Butt Towns sweeper keeper, had to stay alert with the uneven surface occupying his concentration and making him apply his skills when required. Dan’s kicking today was superb and frequently turned defence into attack. Leo Ferro started to stretch his legs and take on the Warriors defence, being supported by the midfield and the rest of the team. Callum Woods completed his Hat Trick, with another great strike, he proves week in week out, effort + skill + desire = goals. Another fantastic performance today and his partnership with Jack Herdman is the engine room of the team.

The Warriors were then awarded a penalty, which they dispatched to make it 4:1 to the Blues. Another switch in positions, with Cai Jones and Matt Smith up front with ten mins to play, Cai was straight out of the traps with pace and new for this season body strength allowing him to impose himself and show his skills. Matt Smith also got stuck straight in, with great movement and reading of the game, which often see’s him in the right place at the right time. As the game ran on, the ball was played over the top for Cai Jones to run onto, with two defenders closing in, Cai out paced them and slotted the ball home, capping a great performance and sealing the win for the Blues.

To conclude, today Town showed that they have the determination to win this league and that they play as a team and can deal with different situation when challenged. You know that the team is progressing when other Andover Town managers praise and wants to watch the boys. The most pleasing aspect is that the hard work from training, can been seen translated during the match, very satisfying to see the boys understood and believe in what we are doing. Every player played their part again today, the parents could have awarded anyone of them today. They decided on Sportsman went jointly too Cai Jones and Jack Herdman, today’s win owed a lot to these two performances. Man of the match went to Hat Trick hero Callum Woods, a complete performance today. A big thanks to Eric Smith for Lino duty and Julie Butt for the great photos. The dream is alive and kicking, four games to go, win them and it’s back to back championship wins for a group of players that have grown into a major force collectively. JP

Andover Town Youth 12s Blue vs Basingstoke Town Colts

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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.

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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

Sherbourne St John 12’s vs Andover Town Youth 12’s Blue

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Due to the Hampshire Council closing the Walworth pitches, Darren Reeves made every effort to get the on. Having managed to swap to an away game, with the help of the Sherbourne management team. After a productive training session midweek, the boys were determined to get back to winning ways.

With the enthasis on team work, the boys were raring to go. The match was governed today by the leagues top referee, Town were ready to play their football. The starting line up consisted of three at the back, three in midfield and two strikers. Brandyn Reeves captaining the side today.

The match commenced with a strong start from Town, imposing their play on the opposition. Great work from Jack Herdman and Josh Williams, working hard in the centre of the park. Great pressure, but little chances fashioned. As the time ticked on, the match became a much more even contest. Sherbourne to their credit fought hard to dominate midfield, as is to often the way the Blues got drawn into a battle and not concentrating on playing their football.

Daniel Butt again showed why he is considered an exceptional talent in his position, making a string of saves when it looked a certain goal. He has put in great effort during training, he has also been allowed training with Jamie Bray the Seniors top stopper at Andover Town. A great example of when skill, effort and commitment combine. Max Bissett and Ollie Pitts playing their part to stop the oncoming attacks, with some great tackling and headers to keep Town on top.

Town whethered the storm and started to pass and move. A chance came from a corner, As the ball raced across the area, Matt Smith did well too read play and get himself in the right place, just unable to get good contact. From a set piece, a free kick from the centre just outside the 18 yard box. James Sygrove stepped up and smashed and stunning effort off the bar, Josh Williams followed up, but his header went over.

The ball then broke to James Sygrove on the right, he looked up and dispatched a superb pass into space, Cayden Brooker ran onto it and place a clinical shot in the far bottom corner. This saw Town through to half time, which finished without incident.

The second half started with three subs starting the second Half (game). Callum Woods made an immediate impact with some combative play, like wise the twins Callum and Aiden Lowe also changed the dynamic of the team and put the Blues on the front foot. As in the first half, Town started well, this pressure told with Callum Lowe classy chip over the keeper.

With The boys two up they looked comfortable, this was broken by a goal from Sherbourne shortly afterwards. This provoked a switch with Josh dropping into defence, having regrouped the boys passing it around nicely through midfield. The ball dropped to Cayden Brooker and he shot and as it rebound out, the ball found its way into the goal from a Sherbourne player. The goal was awarded to Cayden, for his persistence.

Callum Woods created the next goal, seizing the ball, twisting and turning and playing a slide rule pass to Brandyn Reeves to bury his shot with ease. Brandyn doubled his contribution to finish this game off, a clinical side foot shot. The golden boot contest is truly on.

Again, the whole team contributed towards the result and both halfs (games) were won today. Man of the match was Daniel Butt. If he believes as much as the management team and the players believe in his ability, he will be some player. Sportsman went to Brandyn Reeves, looked to supply that killer ball all game, sees passes others don’t and bagged two great goal for his efforts.

To conclude, due to results elsewhere today, the Blues are within one win of the top of the league. With a performance like today, back to back titles are still possible. They are good enough, we dare to dream! JP

Tadley Calleva 12s vs Andover Town Youth Blue 12s

The boys travelled to Popley for this rearranged fixture, due to Tadleys home pitch being water logged for much of the year. The Blues arrived early to try out the 3G pitch, this was the first occasion Town had played a competitive match on this type of surface. The pitch was also full size, which was great opportunity to see how the guys deal with additional space. Next year they move to the full size pitch, but with 11 players not 9.

The 2nd place in the league was at stake for this clash. Town started slowly, given away possession and allowing Tadley to dictate play. Tadley were exploiting the extra space well and looked to knock the ball over the top and turn the defence. This tactic produced the first goal, a simple ball from midfield, the Tadley forward was first to react and buried the shot. Leaving Daniel Butt in the Town goal, no chance.

The whole Blues Team were aware that the level of effort wasn’t what was expected, they seemed uncertain and not able to let their football flow. After some honest and forthright advise from the management team, the boys stepped up and started to compete. The midfield, started to battle and the defence followed suit, the front line ran their socks off. For the rest of the half, Town were on top, without producing many clear chances.

As the second half started, the coaching staff had asked for more of the same. The boys went at it with massive commitment, using the space and battling for every challenge. As the pressure increased, it looked only a matter of time before Town equalised. There hasn’t been a time when the boys have had to dig so deep and get no rewards. Today was that day, with 10 minutes to go, Tadley took advantage of Town over committing and scored their second.

The Blues continued to battle to the end, but it wasn’t to be. Tadley played the situation better than Town, sometimes it’s also not your day and the level of effort displayed should have produced an end product. Town will not use the pitch or any other thing as an excuse, it will need to be put down to experience and experience learned will only help in the future. Sometimes, you can’t just play good passing football, sometimes, you have to play direct and adjust to the situation.

To conclude, the management team and parents alike were privileged and proud, to see a fighting display from an amazing set of players. I haven’t mentioned individuals today, as the team showed a fighting spirit and determination that outweighed a singular performance. Having said that the parents choice for sportsman today was Jack Herdman and man of the match was Callum Woods, the two pocket rockets lead by example again today. Both started the battling against some big lads, not that that bothers them. It was a loss, but when you lose and leave everything on the pitch, you can hold yours heads high! We move to the next game. JP

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