Division 2 Champions
By Daniel Halstead
Fifth win in a row seals the title
A long season comes to an end at the end of April with an away trip to Mangotsfield Colts. We were deprived of Harry and Olly due to competitive golf commitments, but we still had 13 to choose from. We tried to mix up our team up a little bit to try and take the game to Mangotsfield with a front three of Harvey, Elijah and Mike. Joel moved to anchor the midfield from the start behind James and Kyran. Our back four from the outset was Liam, Max, Joe and Cody ahead of Toby. Josh and Dex took the 2 places on the bench.
We set out to try and pass the ball, be brave in possession and be rigid at the back. The first 10 minutes flew by without anybody really getting a hold of proceedings, but after that we slowly grew into the game. A corner from the right was bent in well by Joel and Kyran's header was tipped away by the keeper with Mike turning the rebound over the bar. A few more chances came with Elijah and Mike both having efforts on target with the latter forcing the Mangotsfield keeper into a good save. Joe and Cody were effective at the back given this was their first time in central defence together, but Joel was also getting through loads of work in front of them too. Max was really comfortable at left back in a role he has come to make his own over the season. Liam was doing an equally good job on the right, but he was adding a threat moving the ball forward and joining play up well, especially with Harvey wide right. In fact it was that combination that brought the breakthrough as a backheel on the halfway line from Liam sent Harvey off. He raced away past one defender, then directly pressuring another on the edge of the area. He breezed past him and then arrowed a powerful shot from the right into the top left corner to get his 30th goal of an unbelievable season. This goal was probably the best of his 30 scored. This settled us down a little and we were a little more methodical about our play as we tried to get a second, but half time intervened.
Josh came on for Max and Dex came on for Joe. We moved Elijah and Mike back with Cody and Dex joining Harvey in the front three. We played with a lot more control in the second half. It appeared that Toby did not have a single save to make during the game, but he was alert throughout and distributed the ball well when needed. Elijah and Mike closed down the defence and we looked to stretch the lead. This came early in the half when a passing move from James to Kyran saw Kyran shift the ball to the right of the area where Dex got the ball out of his feet and powered a shot to the bottom left. A good save only saw the ball break to Harvey who was following in and doubled our advantage. Another goal followed soon after when Liam slide a ball through to Cody who lifted the ball past the onrushing keeper to break his recent goal drought. Joe came on for Joel who had run tirelessly. More chances followed, James had a freekick that failed to get off the ground and we had some more dangerous corners. Elijah broke free from defence and looked to have been fouled by the keeper, but the referee was not convinced. Max and Joel came on for Harvey and Cody as we saw out the final five minutes of the season and youth football for that matter. A 3-0 win and convincing performance.
Moreover the win sealed the Division 2 title for the team - a great result to the end of the season.
Man of the Match: Liam Noble – played the full back role to perfection. Never caught out of position defensively, whilst being an effective option going forward linking play up well and creating 2 goals for the team.