Boys’ Football Round Up
Welcome to the first Christ the Saviour FC news bulletins for the 2013-2014 season! This is the first of many reports detailing exactly what our sporting heroes have achieved since the start of September.
It’s been evolution rather than revolution in this transition period, with Mr. Palmer replacing Mr. Barrett in the dugout and a whole new playing squad being selected; they have been working tirelessly on developing their own identity and playing style with the results becoming clear for everyone to see in the last few games.
The first match of the season was a fixture in the knock-out competition the Peal Shield, where CtS were drawn against a strong Mount Carmel team. After conceding two goals in the early stages of the first half, CtS grew in confidence and threatened the opposition goal more frequently in the minutes leading to the break. The breakthrough came after half time with two goals in quick succession, with Alister and Callum getting on the score sheet. Self-belief spread from back to front with Ramani beginning to command his back line and both Brooklyn and Andrej taking it in turns to carry the ball into opposition territory from the back. Unfortunately for CtS they were then naively caught out on the break twice as they went in search of more goals. However, it was a display full of positives and a great learning experience for the young team; there were early signs of structure, a strong work ethic and fantastic attitude running through the team.
The first round of league cluster games was held soon after at Brentside High School, with 6 games of eight minutes being scheduled for the afternoon. A different competition meant new rules and this was quick fire 6-a-side, which caught CtS cold in the first game against Oldfield that ended 0-0. The second game was a friendly, which saw Goran mark his debut with a goal and Jayce notch his first of the season with no reply for the opposition. With the wind in their hair and a spring in their step, CtS strode confidently into the third game of the afternoon, where Callum continued his goal scoring form, from an Evan assist. Shortly after was the forth game and it was to be the pick of the bunch, with CtS finding the net three times without reply, Goran (twice) and Alister getting the goals. Perhaps it was overconfidence but they conceded their first of the afternoon in the next game against St. Gregory’s, after recklessly giving the ball away in a dangerous situation and didn’t manage to find a goal of their own in reply. Edward Betham were next and this proved to be another 0-0 stalemate, despite dominating territory, possession and chances created. CtS kept their heads up and took this excellent form into the last game of the afternoon and produced an inspired display to score twice against St. Mark’s with goals from captain Harry and Alister. It was a great end to an enjoyable afternoon with the squad becoming visibly more confident in their ability and working tirelessly to constantly improve.
Brentside was also the venue for the final set of cluster games before Christmas but there would be no slow start this time round, with Goran finishing with aplomb on his left foot after waltzing through the St. John’s Fisher defence in game one. In the second game against West Acton, Alister (twice) and Callum decided to join the scoring party while George marshaled the team from goal superbly and restricted the opposition to long-range efforts. Andrej then score a goal of the season contender with a rasping left-footed volley on the turn in game 3, which ricocheted off the far post and nestled in the back of the net. It was a fitting reward for a string of dominant displays for Andrej. Nathaniel and Harry at the back formed and impressive duo of poise and play-making ability and with Evan providing constant support in midfield the team looked to be in great shape going into game 3. Game four saw Goran score an exquisite lob (bear in mind it was in a 5-a-side goal!) even though Callum did his best to make sure it was in as it crossed the line. CtS were then guilty of over elaborating at the back and will have been disappointed to have conceded for the first time that afternoon, but they immediately launched another wave of attack and saw the ball roll agonizingly wide of the far post after Evan’s shot. It was an incredibly positive response from a hard working and talented group of players who drew several positive comments from opposition on their teamwork and style of play. Well done boys!
With no more fixtures until the New Year, it’s a great chance for the squad to improve individually on a technical level and tactically as a team as we look for solutions to the problems that will face in the future, and to create a few puzzles ourselves!