Under 9 Red Match Reports 2016-2017
Swindon Supermarine Giants v Robins U9 Red
Unbeaten run comes to an end
Our seven month unbeaten run was brought to an end, but it was fitting it was ended by a very talented and technically gifted Supermarine team in a high quality match. After a convincing run of performances, this was always going to be an extra test for the boys against one of the strongest teams in our age group and we were excited to see how they would adapt.
Ahead of the game, the teams and all present observed an impeccably respectful minutes silence to mark Armistice Day. As the match kicked off, the team quickly realised they were in for a different type of challenge with Supermarine dominating possession in the early stages and moving the ball intelligently, leading to them taking a deserved early lead. The same pattern continued for the remainder of the first period with Robins having to work overtime to stay with their talented counterparts and it was commendable that we only trailed by a single goal as the first quarter drew to a close.
Supermarine continued their excellent football at the start of the second period as we valiantly held on, but our boys gradually started to find their feet in the game and slowly started to string our passes together. Always wary of Supermarines lightening counter attacks, we started to ask some questions of our own as an excellently contested second quarter ended without further score to leave us 1-0 down at the half-time break.
With confidence growing and the boys reminded "They ain’t Real Madrid!" by one of their team mates, Robins started the second half with renewed belief. Playing higher up the pitch and closing Supermarine down with added vigour, it was the Red and Whites holding the territorial advantage and putting our visitors under a period of sustained pressure. We were so close to an equaliser as a snap shot from Luca shaved the post, but we were not to be denied for long as another Robins attack culminated in Fraser drilling a smart finish into the far corner giving the keeper no chance. We had maybe rode our luck in the early stages but no one could deny we deserved our equaliser.
However our lead was to last for only a few minutes as an unfortunate handball led to a free-kick on the edge of our box which, despite Robins being back in numbers, was superbly curled into the top corner to restore Supermarine's lead. For the remainder of the third period both teams went toe to toe which was thrilling to watch, but there was no addition to the score.
The boys came in breathing hard as we let them know they had just played their best period of the season and reminded them they were matching one of the best U9 teams around and holding their own. But could they sustain it?
Normally having their matches wrapped up by this stage, Supermarine went through the gears and came out hard at the start of the fourth period. With Robins having only two subs compared to Supermarine's four and with Jaydan carrying an injury, our boys started to tire. That isn’t to make excuses as a key reason we were so tired was due to Supermarine's excellent use of the ball which required our boys to chase and run like they’d never had to before. This clearly took its toll as Supermarine continued to let the ball do the work and moved into a 3-1 lead with a strike from the edge of the box. Robins continued to push hard but were now swimming against the tide as the fresher legs of Supermarine took control of the match. A fourth goal followed with a fifth added at the death as the game drew to a close.
A somewhat harsh score line on the boys considering we passed the 40 minute mark trailing by a solitary goal, but no one could argue that an excellent Supermarine team deserved the spoils on the day. As much as the boys were disappointed to lose, we have no doubt they will take a lot from this match, much more than they would hammering lesser teams, and they will use what they have learnt to raise their game to the next level.
Another great feature of the match was the excellent rapport of the two sets of supporters who mingled and chatted as they enjoyed the game together. And as further proof of the excellent spirit the game was played in and the mutual respect on show, both sets of players enjoyed a joint team photo after the match.
Our next match? Swindon Supermarine Giants away in a Trophy Event match!
Player of the Match
Chiseldon v Robins U9 Red
Away win seals Autumn Trophy Event for Robins!
We were back on the road for this 3rd and final game of the Autumn Trophy Event, this time away to Chiseldon, a team we hadn't faced before. The boys were well aware that silverware was on offer, after all that is one of the key purposes of Trophy Events, with them designed to be short-term experiences helping children learn about winning and losing in an appropriate environment. But whilst we wanted the boys to be excited and motivated at the prospect of clinching a trophy, the message was the same as always: Enjoy yourselves, play your football, try to apply the things we talk about in training, work together as a team and the score will take care of itself. And it's fair to say that's exactly what happened!!
What followed was a performance of power, speed, no shortage of skill and ruthless finishing that Chiseldon struggled to live with from the first whistle. On a small pitch we challenged the boys to move the ball quickly and use the full width of the pitch. The boys did just that zipping the ball around on a damp surface and interchanging positions intelligently to create chance after chance. It was to the credit of the Chiseldon keeper that we were only two goals to the good as we passed the quarter mark, but our boys did not let up and a goal rush soon ensued, including a standout flowing move which saw the ball moved from our goal keeper to the back of the opposition net through five players in just 6 passes!
With the game over as a contest early in the second half, we set the boys a further challenge of continuing to play a team game rather than going on a personal goal hunt. The boys rose to this challenge admirably with a number of the players passing up legitimate shooting opportunities to lay-on a certain goal for a team mate. And symbolic of what an outstanding team performance this was, each of the 9 players in the squad for the game got on the score sheet!
Robins U9 Red v Statton Juniors Wolves
Game 2 of the Autumn trophy event campaign gave us a home tie against Stratton Junior Wolves and it was clear from the first whistle that the boys would have to earn a victory today. The early stages of the match were evenly contested with Robins probing passing creating several "nearly" opportunities but Stratton asking lots of questions at the other end. Stratton were particularly dangerous from set pieces with a series of excellent deliveries from corners and free-kicks meaning Ned Drummond had to be alert in the Robins goal to repel a period of Stratton pressure.
Having stayed firm in defence, Robins responded with pressure of their own and having pinned Stratton back in their final third, Lewis Tilling converted from close range to put us in front. The match remained fiercely contested with half time approaching but a superb combination of quick fire passing put Sonny through on goal and he made no mistake with a composed finish into the bottom corner. As we were preparing our half-time talk it was suddenly three!! Energetic pressure from the Red and Whites caused confusion in the Stratton defence and our front line reacted quickest to poke in an opportunist goal.
The boys' efforts deserved a half time lead, but the 3-0 score line didn't do justice to how close a contest we were in. As anticipated Stratton came roaring back at us and pulled a deserved goal back at the start of the second half. It was game on!
With an extra spring in their step the Wolves were suddenly in the ascendancy and Robins were firmly on the back foot. The boys have demonstrated on several occasions the strengths they possess as an attacking force, but again they gave further evidence of their development as all round footballers, and as a team unit, by keeping a persistent and powerful Stratton team at arms-length. Stratton kept coming at us but the boys held firm.
With Stratton continuing to hold the territorial advantage and it clear the next goal would be vital as we moved into the final 10 minutes, Harry, bringing the ball out from the back, picked out a superb driven pass opening up the Stratton backline which Luca took brilliantly in his stride to power through and give the keeper no chance for a 4-1 lead.
With the wind now taken out of the Stratton sails, Ned Drummond, now playing in midfield, put some gloss on the score line with a lob from halfway line – but to his credit Ned was the first to admit that it was an attempted clearance!!
The score line was harsh on Stratton Junior Wolves, but Robins deserved the victory and demonstrated several admirable team and individual qualities in gaining the win. Now just one win from silverware!
Player of the Match
Hungerford Juniors v Robins U9 Red
Robins get Autumn Trophy Event campaign off to a flying start!
The first match of the Autumn Trophy Event campaign saw us hit the road to travel to Hungerford Town. The boys started strongly moving the ball well and fashioning chances which was rewarded on the scoresheet with goals from Luca Moccia and Charlie Rutzler. Hungerford replied with a goal of their own but a second goal from Luca, this time a stunning long range rocket, saw Robins take a 3-1 lead into the half-time break. They say a two goal lead is a dangerous lead and this proved true with a combination of admirable Hungerford resilience and possibly a touch of complacency from Robins seeing the hosts storm back into the contest with two quick goals to leave the match level at 3-3.
With the match entering the final quarter and the game in the balance, extra-time was looming. However a growing feature of this talented Robins squad is the ability to dig deep and pull something out of the bag when it's needed. And that’s exactly what the boys did reasserting their authority on the match. With the minutes ticking down Sonny Lowe put Robins back in front and he repeated the trick a few moments later to give us some breathing space as we closed the game out. The campaign was off to a hard fought but well deserved winning start.
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