Loxwood 3-2 Albury Tigers
Scorers: James 2, Wilf R 1
Team Olly, James, Tom, Arch, William, Henry, Gids, Wilf R.
We started with a 30 minute training session to work on the idea that we have many options on the field, learning about decision making and the brain, eyes and ears being vital to the footballer. We set up a box practice to encourage positioning & movement, communication and passing & receiving the ball. This was based on an area of weakness we identified last week. We learned how intentional the Cranleigh team were in their build up play and choosing a good option.
Onto the match… Albury brought a highly able Tigers team to Kirdford, with some skillful and energetic boys, they started well in a fast moving game and we conceded in the first quarter, due to an error that can be put down to our lack of focus.
Loxwood pressed well, and maintained our high tempo game, in a contest that didn’t settle into a fixed pattern until the second half. We went very close and hit the post twice in the first half, causing Albury a number of problems with the pressure we put them under. Wilf R started in goal and was then replaced by William as we made some changes for the second quarter.
We were creating good opportunities down the left side channel of the field, however we struggled with our shooting chances on the left foot...with Gids, James and Wilf all losing good opportunities that they would have been scored had it on the right side of play! Plus Albury had a highly adept keeper to beat who was composed and effective. Yet our link up play was improving and the boys had understood about options and being decisive and intentional with their decision making . This was pleasing as it came minutes off the back of our pre game training exercise.
After a lot of Loxwood pressure, James equalised just before the break, with a good confident finish to level it to 1-1.
In an end-to-end second half, Albury managed to get in front again, through a good passage of play to make it 1-2. We then hit the post again! and rode our luck for a few minutes. We had lost our shape with Gids now positioned in the midfield and Wilf playing as striker, the boys were tending to occupy the same space and were losing their opponents in midfield. Arch was now getting too close to James in a bunched midfield area and we now needed to change things around as it clearly wasn’t working. In short we needed to use the width of the pitch to our advantage and use the athleticism of our team to better effect.
Wilf was redeployed into defence, which gave him the confidence and freedom to run from deep and cover distance with the ball. Wilf needs space and time to work his magic. Gids went back up front into his familiar position where he could work better in tight spaces. Our throws were now becoming an effective weapon as Tom and Wilf and Henry used them dangerously to attack spaces in the Albury final third.
It all started to work better with the ball now being played down the right side channel stretching the Albury's defense, James scored again in the final quarter, with a well taken goal and at 2-2 the game was finely poised. James' equaliser was a boost to our team in the 4th quarter and we played with renewed energy and confidence. Our hard work paid off... Wilf finally got the space and time he needed as and crashed in his goal with only minutes from the full time whistle, to make it 3-2 to the Magpies. The boys averted the final Albury attacks to hold out for the win, using their energy and some shrewd game management skills.
I felt a draw would have been a fair result, yet the boys worked hard for the win. The match was exciting, competitive and played in a good spirit, with parents from both teams offering robust vocal encouragement to make it a memorable Saturday morning at Kirdford. Well done to all the boys and their families for the effort and support.
Afterwards the team enjoyed hot chocolate and some of the team ventured to the Kirdford Cafe for breakfast.
Thank you this week to the Wright, Rountree, Nicholls, Wait families for the early set up. The Nicholls family for the hot chocolate.
Your help makes a great difference.
William bossed the box in goal and played with greater intent and super handling. He is turning into a very good keeper. Would like to see him more vocal and impose himself on his defence.
Henry did very well in midfield again moving and covering both his defensive and attacking duties well. Growing in confidence. Would like to see Henry find the pass and develop the confidence to shoot on goal.
Tom blocked well, tackled strongly and took good throw ins. His dribbles are much improved and would like to see his distribution improve, he make quicker decisions and improve his focus.
Olly tackled well, covered good distance and played with passion and enthusiasm. Would like to see him stay on his feet more with tackles and improve his passing range.
Arch tackled well and helped with the breakup of play. Would like to see Arch be aware of his positioning play and not to get too close to team mates. Improve focus in game and follow instruction.
Gids ran tirelessly pulled the opposition players out of position with his constant running and was unlucky with hitting the post 3 times. I would like to see Gids work harder on tracking back in midfield and learn the position. Improve his left foot!
James played his high energy game with confidence on the ball and desire to win. His marking of a very talented and confident Albury player showed how he had identified the danger man. Would like to see James develop his left foot.
Wilf R came into his own when playing from deep. Good keeping. Improve his left foot and focus.
To work on
Positioning and tracking back. Not bunching up.
Listening to instruction.
Not to coach the coach! and request to play in favoured positions at the end of the quarters.