|Date||Sunday 14th November 2010|
|Match||St Neots Town v Royston Town Youth Colts|
|Competition||Royston Crow Youth Football League U11 Division Two|
|Royston Scorers||Bruce (2), Callum T (2), Mick (2), Jamie C, Keiran, Tom T|
|Man of Match||Rory (Important saves in first half, good kicking and non-stop encouragement)|
Team – Rory, Brad, Joe, Jamie C, Jamie P, Tom T, Callum, Matt, Tom F, Lewis, Mick, Bruce, Keiran.
It was back to the Royston Crow League action this week after two consecutive cup games on the road and again we were away, making the trip north to St Neots on a nippy but dry morning. We found a good pitch on the rugby field that was a little bit sticky but reasonably sheltered from any wind that usually blasts across this ground. We were without Jack today and would miss his pace but we still had 13 fit and ready players. Before the kick off, both teams brilliantly observed a respectful two minutes silence in honour of all those that have sacrificed their lives for their country.
The game started with Royston pushing on with an early run from Mick but no shot as the defender did well. The boys were getting stuck in early doors and St Neots were giving as good as they got but were mainly being held back in their own half. Lewis injected some pace up the left beating his man well and put over a dangerous cross that lingered in the danger area as the defence tried to clear it but Callum forced it home for a 0-1 lead. Soon after Mick took a good corner that was flicked on by JP and Callum arrived at the back post to tap in for his and the team’s second 0-2. BUT – It was switch off time – the boys wrongly thought it was game over and defensively shut down leaving the midfield unguarded and a good move from St Neots up the right wing resulted in a firm cross being finished well for 1-2. Andy and I didn’t really have to say anything (but we did) as the boys knew they had left gaps and as they kicked off they tightened up again. St Neots were fired up by their goal and there then followed a good competitive period of play as the home team forced Royston back a bit and Rory made a series of good stops and saves until the boys scrabbled to regain a bit of control at the back, which eventually they did and we built again. A Tommy T corner found Mick but his shot was saved and a Mick corner was met well by JP with his head but this went just wide. Royston again were now back on top and got their third goal from a throw-in that Callum flicked on well and Bruce was in the right place to stick it in 1-3. Keiran put over a good corner but no-one connected. A poor corner by us left us exposed at the back and St Neots broke really quickly with the Royston defenders chasing to get back, but Rory made a great save to deny the Whites striker. For the second week running Keiran stole the show with a great solo run and goal – his tricky two feet and his twists and turns bamboozled the defenders and his calm and accurate finish was sublime for 1-4. The boys kept the home team under pressure and Foxy was doing some good solid midfield work feeding Mick but he shot wide – much to his own annoyance. The half finished at 1-4 to Royston.
Andy, Nick and I were pleased with the level of team effort and most of our forward play had been really good. Rory had been magnificent in goal during the first half keeping the Whites out with some really good positioning, catches, stops and saves and relieving the pressure with long and accurate kicks. The defence were all working hard but were being kept on their toes by a couple of the St Neots players who were playing really well and always looking dangerous. JC and JP were combining well with some good clearance headers and persistent tackling. Joe and Brad were tracking back well and Tommy T filled in reliably at the back when called upon. The midfield powerhouse of Matt, Callum and Foxy were being asked constant questions but they were showing that they had most of the answers. Lewis and Tom T were providing a bit of width and linking defence to attack well giving Mick, Keiran and Bruce the ammunition to fire on goal. We asked for continued effort, team-work and for them to keep trying to play football and create goal chances.
The second half started with Keiran continuing to assert his authority on this game with a cracking ball through to Lewis whose quick run on and shot was well saved. We were doing some good work in midfield and trying to create attacks but early in this half a couple of times the final ball wasn’t quite getting there. Callum got a knock and tried to carry on but we subbed him to protect him from making it worse. Mick was on again and a good run found Keiran on the edge of the box, who flicked it up and volleyed a crafty lobbed effort that hit the bar, then Keiran returned the favour by setting up Mick who finished the move, scoring well for 1-5. Lewis kept up his tremendous work rate creating a good chance for himself and putting in a strong right foot shot that went by the post. St Neots showed they were still in this game by getting a deserved goal back to 2-5 and then reduced the deficit further as the boys switched off to get another one back to 3-5. The Royston boys didn’t panic but they did step up a gear with Foxy winning the ball well in the midfield and passing to Mick who finished it off for 3-6 and big Bruce did well and found the net confidently for his second to make it 3-7. A good move from Mick to Bruce to Lewis brought a shot that was deflected for a corner. A surging run by Matt saw him fouled in the box and Jamie C stepped up to take it. JC took a longish run up and slotted a firm right foot shot low in the left hand corner giving the keeper no chance – top spot kick for 3-8. JC followed this up with a great header from a Tom T corner that went just wide. The scoring was completed with a powerful run up the wing by Tommy T for him to put over a strong low driven cross that wrong footed the keeper and went in at the front post for 3-9 – you deserved that one mate.
It was another good all round team performance against a spirited St Neots team that have some good players. The boys deserved this result for their hard work and desire to create and convert goal chances. Rory got the man of the match award for some quality work throughout, but especially in the first half when we were under the cosh. Keiran was fantastic all game in a few different positions and his goal was certainly a highlight. – But it was a full on team effort by everyone.