Boys’ Football Team Hit Super Sixteen At Clusters Finale
The CtS Boys’ Football Squad recently secured their place at the Ealing borough finals after coming through their last set of clusters in scintillating fashion - scoring 16 goals and conceding just one en route to dropping just 2 points from 8 games.
The first game against St Jospeh’s saw Yiannis start in an unfamiliar striking role, much to his own amazement. He put in a man of the match performance with a goal (with Goran providing the assist) and an assist for Daniel without the opposition having a shot until the last minute. It was a solid start but all of the players felt that there was more to come from them.
Oldfield were the next opponents and Milos mark his clusters debut with an assist for MOTM Max, who had previously provided two himself for Goran and Yiannis. There was a feeling that the freedom of expression was returning to the play, with the side using spaces well and dominating in both attack and defence.
St Mark’s were next and proved to be a stern test, with Milos securing all three points from an acute angle from Goran’s assist. Despite the low score, CtS produced an exhilarating display full of confidence and verve but the most pleasing aspect was the refusal to accept a draw and to keep on playing their brand of high tempo carpet football. Although Milos scored, it was defensive stalwart William who was MOTM as he snuffed out danger before it appeared and prompted wave after wave of attacks, playing probing passes into the midfield or strikers to keep CtS on the front foot.
North Ealing were up next, and it was a low-scoring and tense affair with skipper Goran striking a fantastic free kick low into the bottom corner to claim all 3 points. It was the icing on the cake for a faultless MOTM display from the Captain, who once again was driving the team forward at every opportunity and keeping the ball moving quickly, trying to exploit any weaknesses in the North Ealing rearguard.
Goran was rotated in the next game against Vicars Green so William took the captaincy, as a reward for his faultless displays and selfless attitude. The team responded with controlled display, reflected in the 4-0 scoreline. Daniel was MOTM claiming 2 goals and one assist, but Alex ran him close with 2 goals himself and Max once again claiming an assist.
In the next game against Edward Betham Daniel started in an unfamiliar striking position and responded by setting up Milos for two straightforward tap-ins. The goals were just rewards for Milos’ intelligent movement and workrate, both in and out of possession, which lead him to claim the MOTM award. Goran added a third goal as once again Matej was a spectator in goal, not having a single shot to save throughout the entire game.
Grange were up next and Matej produced an outstanding MOTM performance to keep a clean sheet and provided an outlet for the team as they recycled the ball from front to back, probing for an opening. In the end the breakthrough came as the opposition ‘keeper’s momentum made him handle outside the area. His bad fortune was CtS’s good luck as Goran went on to convert the resulting penalty and the match ended 1-0.
The last match of the clusters against St Gregory’s saw CtS concede a goal for the first time in 8 matches. Whilst trying to play out from the back, possession was lost and in the moment of transition the defensive shape wasn’t recovered quickly enough and St Gregory’s exploited the space at the far post for a simple tap in. The silver lining was that the goal was scored early and the response from the team was outstanding. The tempo of the passing and off the ball movement increased and eventually the resulting pressure was rewarded as the attacking trio of Goran, Max and Alex eventually forced an error and an own goal was scored. Alex’s contribution earned him the MOTM award as he kept the ball well in advanced positions and it was his pressure which lead to the own goal.
The results from the day mean that CtS finished their group in first place so will now go to the Borough finals, with the chance to represent Ealing at the London Youth Games in March. The squad can be proud of their efforts over the entire season as many opposition coaches remarked on not only how well they performed but also the spirit in which they played. Well done!
Please see the gallery for pictures of the team with their trophies and team mascot Alen.