Well done to the Under 18 Boys who played their league match against a combined Richmond/Indian Gymkhana team on Sunday...
A good start for us, we had a few opportunities in the first few minutes until a quick move by RichGyms had them coming into our D. In goal, James, borrowed from our Under 16 squad, made a great decision to come out and meet the ball and swept it away with ease (not as easy as he made it look).
We finally got the ball back up the other end and Max got the first goal. Ben, borrowed from our Under 14 squad and playing his first U18 match for our opposition, had had to make a few saves already and there wasn't much he could have done about that one. A short corner was given shortly after and Charlie's drag flick was well taken for 2-0. RichGyms under much pressure and our guys linking well from mid to front, Max got his second for 3-0.
Then we started thinking it was too easy. Or RichGyms got themselves more organised - or maybe both. It was good to see the opposition working hard despite the score-line, and we suffered for a slight dip in concentation. They got through and made it 3-1 (but only after James made several more good decisions, saving all up to that point).
Then it happened again - some good end to end play and we had chances but we let our guard down again, and again they got in to make the score closer at 3-2.
We started passing better through the midfield and quicker out of the back. With better play and more intensity, we won a couple of short corners for our efforts up front. Two drag flicks were saved by Ben and we went into half time with the slight (not quite enough to be comfortable) edge.
With the swap of ends, we came out fighting in the second half. We had lots of subs - and Max's virus of the week before had caught up with him so he sat out this half (two goals when not feeling well!!) - so were going to make sure everyone worked really hard. Elliot was an example of this and probably should have had a short corner but the call was made for the opposition who restarted a free hit outside the D - but not for long. Elliot battled to get the ball back and on a mission got through on goal going past about three defenders for our fourth goal.
But RichGyms were not done either and won their own short corner - great save from James - and then another which was too fast and hard to do anything about. Well taken shot for 4-3.
Time now running out and we preferred not to get robbed at the last minute (remembering the Worthing equaliser for 4-4 on the whistle!). The linking and positioning and running of our guys was now well warmed up and in a quick attack from back to front, the ball got to a running James W who struck really well from the edge of the D for 5-3.
With more good passing and control, trying to keep the ball and be constructive and positive to the end, the final whistle blew.
Well done to all. And especially to our keepers, James and Ben, both GHC from younger squads, who both rose beautifully to the challenge!
And also massive thanks to Tanner Bottomley for coaching the team today! Really well done.