|Date||Sunday 3rd October 2010|
|Match||Biggleswade United Youth v Royston Town Youth Colts|
|Competition||Royston Crow Youth Football League Div 2|
|Royston Scorers||Bruce (2), Mick, Jack, Matt|
|Man of Match||Callum – Inspirational and industrious with a heart of a lion|
Today’s league fixture saw us travel to play Biggleswade United on an overcast, windy and wet day. Biggleswade have started the season reasonably well and we knew we were in for a competitive game. We have a good and versatile squad and the boy’s confidence in their own abilities and their strength as a team unit is good to see. The pitch and goalmouths were in good condition despite the weather and it was game on.
The boys warmed up enthusiastically and looked keen to get going in the horrible weather conditions and the game started with Royston in the ascendancy forcing the Biggleswade defence deep into their own box. This early pressure brought three corners, all sent over dangerously by Mick, with the Biggleswade keeper dealing very well with the first two, only for the third to get away from him and it fell to the alert Matt who struck the ball firmly into the net for an early 0-1 lead. Mick was having a lively first few minutes and was linking well with Bruce upfront. A foul on the edge of the box gave Royston a free-kick and Mick stepped up and sent in a fine low drive that pierced the wall and hit the back of the net for 0-2. Some strong defensive work followed with both Callum and Matt dominant in midfield being ably supported by Jamie C and Jamie P behind them. The solid full back work of Brad and Joe was excellent all game as they stuck like glue to their players and hardly ever let them get by on the overlap. We had Lewis and Foxy working hard on the wings but the ball was not really getting any width as most of the play at this stage of the game was in centre midfield. A great tackle and pass from JC set up Mick but his quick shot went over the bar. Biggleswade kept fighting and it was a close game of tight play. Another free-kick was sent over brilliantly by JP but no-one could quite get on the end of it. The competitive first half finished at 0-2.
Andy, Nick and I liked what we were watching but felt we needed to exert a bit more pressure early in the second half. We felt the game was a bit narrow and the ball not coming to the wings so we switched to a more attacking 4-3-3 line up to suit this pattern of play, leaving the hard-working Matt, Callum and Jack to keep the midfield tight and give good supply to our now three pronged attack.
This switch in formation seemed to help us and the boys surged forward with Jack putting in a good fast run at the start of the half but just ran out of pitch before he could shoot. Again we surged forward and Mick showed some good feet and drove down the left and put over a probing cross that Bruce tapped home for 0-3. Some strong work by Foxy forced Biggleswade back again and this time his well timed pass was collected coolly by Bruce, shifted out of his feet and shot home convincingly for a commanding 0-4 lead early in the second half. The Royston scoring was completed following some combative tackling in the midfield by Callum finding Mick’s feet well and for him to play a sublime lay off pass for Jack to run onto and shoot firmly into the net for 0-5. Despite the score-line Biggleswade did not roll over – they stepped up their level of play and came back at the Royston boys with conviction. They grabbed a goal back with a bit of direct play up the middle for 1-5 and kept up a period of consistent pressure that the Royston midfield and defence had to deal with. We reverted to 4-4-2 and this seemed to settle us a bit and coupled with some good handling by Rory in goal the boys absorbed this pressure brilliantly and continued great work by both Callum and Matt gave good protection for the defence and when this line was bypassed JP and JC mopped up and cleared well with both Brad and Joe superb throughout the whole game, with an alert Joe clearing a shot of the line brilliantly following a good half save by Rory. Up the other end Bruce ran onto a good pass but shot wide with the goal and his hat-trick there for the taking. Not deterred, some strong work by Bruce fed Jack whose shot also went wide and Brad got forward driving a low shot in that was well saved.
It was all in all a very pleasing performance against a resilient and dogged Biggleswade side. The boys defended brilliantly at times and always looked a potent force going forward. Special mentions for Callum who was fantastic all game, Matt who along with Callum bossed the midfield tussle, Brad and Joe who were simply great, for Mick in the first half and Jack in the second. It was a top performance by everyone in a tough game in tough conditions.
Team Rory, Joe, JC, JP, Brad, Callum, Matt, Jack, Mick, Bruce, Foxy, Lewis.