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U7s - Match Report

Congleton Rovers U7s Vs Vale Jr U7s

(Chris Lawton 19/11/2019)

Congleton Rovers JFC U7s  Vs  Vale Juniors Congleton U7   (Score Withheld)

(Match Date: Saturday 16th November 2019)
Yet another week of heavy rain caused problems for matches throughout the county. However, due to our state of the art facilities, the ‘El Classico Congletono’ was able to go ahead. The majority of players within these two teams share school playgrounds and classrooms together and therefore friendship bragging rights were certainly at stake.

As the players of both teams arrived, there was a clear sense of excitement surrounding this fixture. Rovers and Vale Jrs players both decided to warm up in their teams but on the same pitch. However, it wasn’t long before both teams had forgotten about warming up and began performing a Haka/Fortnite dance off challenge ritual to each other (This actually happened!). Both sets of managers briefly watched on with confusion before carrying on with marking out the pitches.

Match 1:
Before the match began, Troy asked Chris politely if it would be ok to say a brief prayer to the team. The team gathered around Troy and listened intently. Troy bravely said “Dear God, please let our teams win today. Amen!” The players followed with an “Amen” of their own and got back into their match starting formation.

For the first few minutes of the match neither team could settle on the ball, with each team winning and losing possession in the middle of the pitch. However, once Rovers had settled, Captain Alex started to take a hold of the game by regaining possession and calmly passing the ball out to the wings for the lightning quick Troy and the nimble feet of Harry to get on to. Now that Rovers were getting more joy further up the field, striker Will B became an absolute menace for the opposition by closing them down quickly and driving towards their goal when in possession. This was a continual process until the half time whistle was blown.

During the half time team talk, morale boosting high fives were chucked around between team mates and the substitutions were made. Mason replaced Harry, William replaced Troy, and Captain Alex replaced the rarely tested Arthur in goals. When the second half began, Rovers commenced in a similar manner to the first half by continuing with unrelenting pressure to the Vale Jrs team. The fresh legs and experience of the substitutions proved to be highly effective throughout the second half with Rovers continuing to control the game until the end of the match.

Match 2:
We welcomed Rex into the team for the first time and as he always in training was a rock in goals. Thankfully he wasn’t called upon too much in the first half due to some solid defending from the captain Ollie Cotterill who had a fantastic game with some wonderful through balls to his forward players. In midfield Martha with her silky footwork and Fletcher with his presence and anticipation for the game provided some great defensive cover as well as attacking play for Dexter, who started as striker and as always, his skill and pace proved tricky for the opposition to handle. Despite a flurry of good early chances, it was a fairly tight first half.

(Cliche warning!!!) It was a game of two half’s, both teams made changes at half time and after some great possession in the first half we were put under pressure in the second. However, substitutes Jayden, Logan and Dillon provide pace, width and great work rate to ensure we finished the game strongly. Dexter went in goals for the second half and pulled off some worldy saves, one of which was certainly for cameras and worthy of a MOTD review. Rex showed also showed his quality as an outfield player.

Match 3:
Both teams got off to a slow start which certainly proved to be a scrappy beginning to the game. After a short while, both teams began pressing high up the pitch and then hitting each other on the counter attack. Goalkeeper Alfie became key to getting the ball forward quickly by hitting some swift drop kicks down the pitch whenever he could. This allowed the vigorous Ollie N to use his seven lungs (may as well have had) to continuously chase down the Vale Jr defenders. Once Ollie N had regained possession, he was usually supported by Matthew and Ollie W on the wings who both worked tireless to support, attack, and defend at key moments of the game. Jack who was playing in defense also pushed up whenever he could to help recover any stray clearance by the Vale Jrs team.

At half time changes were made to freshen things up. Xander replaced Alfie in goals, Jude, and William C replaced Ollie N, Jack, and Oliver W. The change of personnel helped to keep the tempo high, particularly Alfie who carried on the running from the industrious first half Ollie N. In addition, William C and Jude allowed Alfie and Matthew to have freedom to go forward by showing great awareness and shape throughout the half. The match came to a close and the Rovers players respectfully shook hands with all opposition players/friends.

Congratulations to all the players that scored goals this week.