Loxwood Whites vs Fernhurst (Garth O'Mara & Marcus Trench)
A big thank you to Fernhurst who agreed to this unscheduled fixture to provide an excellent game
It was a tough game in terms of numbers for both teams (at each end of the spectrum) as Fernhurst were reduced to their minimum and Coach Andy had the challenge of 10 players to rotate. That said a lot of organisation had been put into this game, friendly or not it was being taken seriously and there was a breakout of written down team sheets with a formation. (Andy must have been on some FA course over the past couple of weeks!)
With no game for the Loxwood Blacks, Coach Paul took on ref duty and made an immediate impact with a retake of the kick-off. I can only assume the TV cameras weren’t ready.
The game started with some decent Loxwood play, Angus in particular spreading the ball Hoddle-esque to right hand side out to Cosmo on the wing. A lot of good pressure ensued. Jodi was on fire from the start and bursting from midfield hit a blistering shot that the opposing keeper couldn’t hold. 1-0 Loxwood.
It then got better, last month I saw Barcleona, last month I saw Messi, this month I saw Big Ben. He nutmegs someone, slots it through, Jodi runs onto it and blasts it into the top corner, its 2-0 and the tens (maybe 2 tens) of fans go wild. Fernhurst re-group, Loxwood back off and pressure from the left and a really well executed shot from a tight angle makes it 2-1.
The number 3 and number 8 from Fernhurst are proving to be great players and maintain their quality throughout the morning – Chris has to be very assured in goal and is proving to be a safe pair of hands.
Loxwood progress towards the opponents area and a deliberate foul brings a player down. The Loxwood wives (Tessa) scream “penalty!”. Instruction is provided to them explaining that the foul has to be in the area. VAR declares it was only 6 feet away and a free kick is given. Nice chip from Jodi and Big Ben just misses with his head.
Jodi comes off for a well deserved break, Cosmo is on and tracking black with huge effort. Rafferty is assured. The boys see it out. 2-1 for Q1.
Game 2 – Loxwood Whites 0 Fernhurst 2
The mood changes, right from the start. Fernhurst loaded up with 17 packets of Haribos are up for this. They charge at Loxwood and the Whites decide that they can no longer tackle. The useful #8 again cutting through the Whites defence. The inevitable happens and a break from midfield has #8 on it – BAM! 0-1.
Loxwood respond, a lovely 1-2-1 between Big Ben and Smiley Ben but no-one on the end of it. Fernhurst win a free-kick, it flashes across the face of goal. The ref pulls back a goal kick – my word this guy is pedantic – where did we get him from? Oh yeah, he is Coach Paul! Luc is persistent in the middle of the field but Loxwood are guilty of not chasing back and results in a great save from Marco being required.
It’s end to end – literally 3 chances in a row and some route one kicking being new feature of U10s play. Its another decent break from midfield. Goalkeeper Marco does get his hand to it but its a stinging shot from the number 3 and the ball sails past him making it 0-2.
Coach Andy goes Mourinho mode – a triple substitution. A result of a change of tactics and some people complaining “its my turn!!!!” :-) Fair enough! Change of plan!
Jodi continues his great play, a nice turn on the ball but cannot get his shot in. Marco saves another on the near post. Jodi brings a great save from the keeper and he is winded. A lengthy stoppage. The game ends 0-2
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The pressure is on. 2-0 up, 2-3 down and its tense. No heads have dropped. Fernhurst are doing fantastic. With limited players legs are tired. The big pitch is wearing on 6 a side. The scoreline is wearing on the crowd! Game 3 is as tight as it gets.
The Fernhurst keeper does well. Cosmo slots through to Jodi but is denied. In an obvious attempt to remove the pressure the Loxwood goal blows over. Chris inbetween the sticks is unfazed as he picks it back up – you wouldn't get this level of excitement at the Ethiad! Jodi gets away with an obvious hand ball but a last ditch tackle from Fernhurst dispossess him – probably fair! There is good pressure from both sides but it finishes 0-0 and into the final quarter with the score poised at 2-3!
Game 4 – Loxwood Whites 1 Fernhurst 0
.. and so the final quarter began with much pressure on the whites who after a 2-0 result early on found themselves in a familiar, yet frustrating position 3-2 down overall
Marco returned to goal with Angus in defence with Big Ben up front and solid midfield strength with Smiley Ben, Cosmo and Raf
There was pace and determination from the get go with Angus not missing a trick and preventing pretty much all advances and pressure from their determined no. 8 (who was ridiculously pacey and clearly had eaten the same growth hormones for breakfast as the rest of the team..)
An immediate attempt from a BB and Cosmo duo sadly didn’t give us our equaliser …
Another whack from Angus gave BB another chance but an unlucky freak gust of wind caused his shot on goal to go a little over (likely a backdraft caused by their giant goalie moving forwards and filling the space with his massive hands… [we all spotted him drop his car keys though]
then seconds later, it’s Smiley B… he’s in the right place at the right time but with Fernhurst literally blocking out the sun, he had nowhere to go and couldn’t convert it to give us our equalizer… the pressure was unbelievable - there were many assistant coaches with Andy L reffing and our lads weren’t short of encouragement!..
then what’s this, Loxwood are determined despite more pressure from Fernhurst who are using every trick in the book to fill the pitch – a stunning run for Cosmo and Ben provided the whites with another chance, but we were sniped again by the ever present Fernhurst no. 8
but then a massive run from Fernhurst (probably as they knew it was opening time soon) and they advanced – could it all be over – an amazing duo led a charge but Marco intercepted and we didn’t concede
a quick sub sees Jody return to put some pressure in midfield with Chris– the pace goes up another gear with an immediate close call but the belting Jody and BB partnership couldn’t quite close the gap for Jody to convert yet another shot…
arrrghh we just cant finish down again …no one wants this… it’s nail biting - the Fernhurst supporters are looking nervous and clearly planning a swift exit with some power glares from Steve S landing well…. We weren’t going down without a fight ! Step-in Coach Andy, had some agonising sub decisions with a big squad of 10 but only 6 on pitch…
we’re into the last few minutes.. it’s literally agonising – the lads want it so badly !!
Luc gives Angus some relief in defence and Willem comes on for Raf… its tense and this is football on high octane – the sense of want and regret for some earlier mistakes is evident in the faces of our brave whites… they are NOT going down today…
An advance by Fernhurst is intercepted by a run forward by defender Luc who belts it long to find jody…. Jody runs up times it , pauses and belts it into the corner past Giant Haystacks in goal to equalise overall and finish the quarter 1-0
Well done guys !
Perhaps not the win we needed but wow what a fight!
Both teams shake on it and cheer – Steve S releases the power stare on the Fernhurst end and our visitors are safe to leave…
Andy brings the lads in for a talk.. (this part I am afraid there was no press allowed)
Overall Loxwood Whites 3 – Fernhurst 3
A big thank you to Fernhurst. Agreed to the re-arranged game with limited players. All games played by both teams in the right spirit! Excellent morning!
Our passes allowed once again to see Angus take the player of the match and give his piece to Camera…….
Blacks Training Report from Coach Paul
Another great week of local fun football :-)
Next week the Blacks are at home to Cranleigh and the Whites are away to Milford. Looking forward to seeing you all there!