Raptors U9’s earn draw in tight contest against Horsley Eagles

Horsley Eagles v. TAFC Raptors U9s

2 - 2

RAPTORS U9’S, EARN DRAW IN TIGHT CONTEST AGAINST HORSLEY EAGLES.

20/01/2018
Toms Field. Horsley
Score 2-2

The game against Gemini U9’s the previous week is thankfully now a distant memory.

This was the performance we had hoped for to start the new year. The passing and desire to win had all returned and the team showed great spirit to come back from 2-0 down.

The first half saw the Raptors passing back to its best. Lennon Chalmers and Cormac Sims both made driving runs down the right side.

Hayden Elliot stood out playing in an unfamiliar left midfield role, running up and down the left flank, covering huge distances, attacking and defending all at once!

Jarvis Moore made a great save, tipping a long range effort from Horsley on to the bar. The Raptors held on until the dying moments of the first half when Horsley broke the deadlock.

The opening ten minutes of the second half saw the Raptors pinned into their own penalty box, soaking up wave after wave of attack until the inevitable happened and we conceded again.

Not to be deterred the Raptors bounced back immediately from the kick off. Jarvis Moore pounced on a loose ball, broke free of the opposition defence and beat the goaly in a one on one situation.

The goal lifted the Raptors (and travelling supporters) spirits. Lennon Chalmers playing in right midfield, spotted Jarvis’ run up front and curled a long range Beckham esque pass to his feet and Jarvis once again beat the goaly.

In an almost identical move a few moments later it could have been 3-2 to the Raptors. Chalmers long range pass picked out Moore whose shot was blocked by a defenders arm. In the absence of VAR technology, the referee deemed this to be ‘ball to hand’... which was probably the correct decision. The Raptors held on in the final minutes with some great saves by Cormac Sims to earn the team a well earned draw!

Hopefully the result will give the team a lift and we can go on to secure our first win of 2018!

GO RAPTORS!

In the end 2-2 was probably a fair result as both teams played very well.

Sent from my iPhone

First game of the new year for Dragons a record breaker. Probably.

TAFC U10 Dragons v. Kingswood Blues U10

2 - 1

The Dragon’s enjoyed a luxury late morning KO at Udney Park after a clean sweep there the week before helped the boys back into playing ways post Christmas break.

The well drilled Kingswood Blues presented a tough challenge on their home turf and expectations were of a tight game. The final score suggests as much, but the reality was an impressive Dragons display containing everything a convincing win should, bar a large increase to the ‘for’ goals column.

The story of the match was two halves of confident build-up play creating possibly the highest number of goal-bound attempts without scoring that under 10s football has ever seen. Guinness World Records will report back. The first half saw centre backs Bishop and Firebrace feeding the voracious appetites of Danson and Holloway whose drag-backs, spin turns and layoffs into the paths of strikers White and Humphries were reminiscent of a best of FIFA ’17 out-take reel. However, White’s sole conversion - a tap in after fine build up play - felt like scant reward for such imposing play from the Dragons.

A couple of well-judged interceptions from keeper Atherton and a few great examples of playing simple balls back towards their own goal showed the Dragons handling the pressure generated by a determined Kingswood side very well indeed.

The second half saw birthday boy Humphries take leave to stuff party bags, bringing Max Bayon’s expansive game into play. The broader attack created the change in dynamic the Dragons needed to maintain their superiority, creating chance after chance but like the first half the Blues goal led a charmed life. Against the run of play, the Blues equalised with an innocuous free kick punted goalward from outside the box, inadvertently flicked goalward by Bishop to level at 1-1.

The Dragons did more than hold tight. They neutralised the Blues inevitable post equaliser surge with a display of calm control through the back and flanks, driving even more opportunities as the half wore on. The deadlock was finally broken in late, dramatic fashion. Bodhi White ran onto a Blues half-clearance after sustained Dragons pressure. His first time shot/cross took a slight but meaningful deflection looping the ball over the well-worked visiting ‘keeper where the persistent Liam Holloway had stolen away unmarked at the far post - making his cushioned diving header a formality to seal the result with literally the last touch of the game.

A fine Dragons performance from back to front. Despite the exciting finish and the significant numbers of attempts creatively fashioned on goal – it’s telling that the MOM award went to Herbie Bishop, whose role in the game - and in general in an increasingly impressive team unit, showed the increasing value of the steady specialisation the boys are embracing with aplomb.

Line-up: Atherton, Bishop, Firebrace, Danson, Humphries, Holloway, Bayon, White

Go Dragons!  Next up Oxshott Royals Reds (H) 20.1.18

Bobcats tamed on frozen hillside

Beecholme Bobcats v. TAFC U12 Girls

2 - 2

Beecholme Bobcats 2-2 Teddington Athletic FC U12 Girls

7/1/2018

The table-topping U12s got 2018 up and running with their first draw of the season in a hard-fought game in cold, wintry conditions in the delightfully-named Nork Park.

Despite being halfway up a hillside on a pitch carved into the cliff face to develop a grassy wind tunnel that chilled spectators and players to the bone, Teddington started strongly. Milla’s curling left-wing crosses immediately caused alarms in the home defence with Jess O’Shea narrowly failing to convert one good chance. A short corner brought the breakthrough on 9 minutes, Chloe taking the ball from Milla, jinking past a defender and delivering a perfect ball to the near post where Jess O’Shea darted across her market to exquisitely flick home the opener.

At that point, it looked as though Teddington might be on for a good day against a team that have traditionally been tough to beat. But just three minutes later, and against the run of play, Beecholme equalised with a fine drilled finish into the bottom corner. Teddington regained the lead after 19 minutes when Milla’s cross found Chloe who finished well into the top corner to make it 2-1 and in the final minutes of the half Teddington dominated, twice going close to extending their lead through fine efforts from Chloe and a surging JJ.

They were left to rue those missed opportunities just four minutes into the second half when they found themselves out of position and outnumbered as they vainly defended a counter-attack and could only watch as Beecholme’s energetic midfielder ran from the halfway line to slot home the equaliser.

For the remainder of the half, the game ebbed and flowed, but never really caught fire as the biting cold left everyone waiting for the final whistle. There was plenty of endeavour but neither side could find the winner. One brilliant run from Milla nearly ended with a goal of season contender but the Bobcats keeper smothered, as she did again two minutes from time when Gemma burst clear with an eye on extending her pre-Christmas goalscoring run. There was just time for Beecholme to nearly snatch a late winner but the game ended level with both sides deserving of praise for their level of effort in hostile conditions.

 

TAFC team: Sophie, Beth, Vivie, Izzy, Gemma, Milla, Ava, Scarlett, Johanna, Chloe, JJ, Jess

Goals: Jess O’Shea, Chloe

Player of the Match: Milla

Mature Dragons performance maintains winning run in deepest Croydon

9.12.17
Shelton Athletic U10 – 0 TAFC U10 Dragons – 2 (Danson, White)

Up with the larks and a cross-country dash to the wide expanse of Shelton’s home ground – nicely defrosted by the pixies and their mini hairdryers – the Dragons took formation against similarly football-minded side Shelton Athletic.  A classic 7 a side match with no subs available for either team and a worried Management duo knowing several sleep overs had taken place the night before.

It was to be a game of two halves – not the end-to-end ding-dong you’d expect if you just read this line in the Guardian/Times/Telegraph. Eh? Oh sorry, Sun/Mirror/Other Rag of choice…but an extremely useful experience nonetheless.

The Dragons started well employing a high press and early signs were positive as lone stand in striker White benefited from a tuned in midfield trio of Bayon, Goodall and Danson. Goodall showed perseverance and solidity on the right side of midfield – a towering performance that bodes well for the post-Christmas break. Go George.

The breakthrough came quite early, with build up through Bayon and White, and a neat layoff to Danson who needed no prompting to open the Dragons account for the day.  On the stroke of half time White’s constant terrier like hounding of the opposition defence paid dividends as he created his own space to slot home to make it two to the Dragons without reply to take us to half time

The second half didn’t so much let Shelton back into the game as much as the Dragons eased off somewhat from their more intense first half display. A deeper set team allowed Shelton to come forward more often but the assured nature of how the Dragons dealt with it was inspiring, – none more so than the back three trio – goalkeeper Atherton’s confident handling and punching, and on-way-to bona-fide superstar centre back pairing of Firebrace and Bishop – the latter earning a well-deserved MOM award – whose second half efforts were workman like and showed again how this team is developing maturity beyond its tender years.

Not a classic performance, but touches of class were evident and if this Dragon side can win and maintain a clean sheet away from home while not playing to their best for the entire 50 minutes, we’ll gladly add it to the memory banks to draw on in future games.

Last 6 matches results: L L W W W W

Go Dragons!  Next up Kingswood Blues (Home) 16.12.17

 

Visiting dignitaries approve Dragons latest win

TAFC 10 Dragons v. Cobham Comets

3 - 0

A higher than usual ‘Grandparent quotient’ witnessed the Dragons extending their unbeaten run to three wins in a row. We should marvel at their excellent timing and of course delightful pitch-side etiquette. The stakes were high as the Dragons sought to avenge a 2-1 defeat at the Comets in the first game of the season.

A Dragons side missing talismanic attacking midfielder Bodhi White found good balance from back to front with regular centre-back pairing Herbie Bishop and Jack Firebrace underpinning an attacking midfield trio of George Goodhall, Felix Danson and Liam Holloway.

The midfield generals made their presence felt in the first half as Holloway drilled a long range shot against the bar before Danson opened the scoring after sustained pressure – and great following up - from the Dragons. Despite missing a penalty, the Dragons went for their half time oranges with good reason for optimism – one up and a solid defensive performance.

Early in the second half the Dragons prolific opportunity-engine delivered again as neat interchange play set up Seth Humphries to slot in after Max Bayon and Zach Littig had bossed the left and right-hand channels respectively for a sustained period.

Then the Dragons hit the pause button, allowing Cobham back into the game possession and opportunity-wise – obliging Dragons keeper Jacob Atherton to earn his corn and a man of the match award to boot. Three fine saves in a row including a strong handed flick onto the bar of a bullet-like shot heading **top bins** secured the accolade and kept the Dragons ahead.

The Dragons re-engaged only to find Cobhams keeper also in inspired form but Seth Humphrie’s predatory instinct was rewarded with a second goal after a weak clearance from the otherwise sterling Comets keeper was dispatched with style.

Three-nil it finished. Another assured performance from the Dragons – a clean sheet to top off a solid attacking display. Grandparents welcome every week.

** apparently this means “top corner”

Go Dragons!  Next up Cobham Comets (H) 2.12.17

Jupp’s goal ends Epsom Albion’s 100% record!

TAFC Seniors v. Epsom Albion

1 - 1

TAFC seniors had another tough fixture this week – after taking a point from the second-placed team in the league last week, this week’s match looked even more challenging – against top-of-the-league Epsom Albion, who had yet to drop a point and whose goalscoring record was a somewhat intimidating 30 goals for, 1 against. By the end of this fixture their 100% record had fallen as a brave and motivated Teddington team battled out a 1-1 draw.

It was another spirited performance and with two clear penalty calls declined by the referee, Teddington could even have won it, though Epsom could equally have taken the three points with a series of corners towards the end of the match threatening the Teddington defence. In the end a draw was probably the fair result.

As always, the TAFC team supported each other and worked well, with everyone pulling their weight. Conor Whitmarsh and Sam Willis were as strong and relilable in defence and midfield as ever; Nick Jupp contributed strongly as always and scored a great header for Teddington’s goal, from a well-taken corner by Oli King. Nunzio Amitrano showed great managerial leadership from the touchline and Tom Hodgson complemented that with strong on-pitch captaincy. Jack O’Mahoney, standing in for the regular keeper, Alex Smithers, provided a safe pair of hands – no-one could do anything about the Epsom goal, a long shot that dipped into the top corner.

Keep it up, seniors, you are really finding your form now!

Raptors just miss out in thriller against Coulsdon Colts

TAFC U9s Raptors v. Coulsdon Colts

1 - 2

Bushy Park 02/12/2017

Score 1-2

The result didn’t go our way, but this was a great game to watch and a very spirited and committed performance from the Raptors. Physically the opposition were a great deal larger in size and strength, but the Raptors more than matched them today with our pressing and ‘getting to the ball first’ which we have found is necessary to compete at this level.

The Raptors were outstanding in defence today. Aaron Lear looked very composed and mopped up any loose balls that came his way. Cormac Sims put in a man of the match performance, refusing to let the opposition pass at all costs and turning defence into attack with some accurate passing out to the wings.

The first half was very a even affair but it was Coulsdon Colts who scored the first goal after a few minutes of dominance.

The raptors responded shortly before half time. The goal was a managers dream; passing in a triangle from Tom Mullins, Max Rankin and Lennon Chalmers that unlocked the Coulsdon defence and ended in a lethal finish by Lennon from a tight angle.

The Raptors started the second half positively with Finlay Simms breaking up the opposition play and Daniel Jolly rampaging down the right wing.

A powerful Coulsdon number eight proved too much to handle as he bundled the ball into the Teddington net in the second half, slightly against the run of play to score what would be the winning goal.

The Raptors looked deflated for a
few moments but soon recovered and began to press for a goal.

We nearly snatched a late equaliser in the dying minutes after a goal mouth scramble from a corner resulted in a great save from the opposition goalie.

Takeaway from the game today: at times the boys could try and lift their heads up and look for a pass when in possession. Their commitment today cannot be questioned and a win surely can’t be far round the corner.

Go Raptors

TAFC Seniors may be the new kids on the block but results are coming in…

TAFC Seniors v. Epsom Albion Reserves

1 - 1

TAFC Seniors have only been together since September and the team is a merger of several old TAFC teams, one of which was a founder TAFC team of 9-year olds in 2006.  The present team has an age range of 19 to 28 and the two ‘old men’ in the team, Adam O’Mahoney and Nick Jupp certainly pull their weight, with the former on the score sheet most weeks and the latter providing a central core to the defence. 

 After a few disappointing results at the start of the season while they were getting to know each other, the team is now settling into a rhythm and the results are starting to come.  Nevertheless last Sunday’s fixture was a daunting one – to second placed Epsom Albion Reserves.  However the Teddington team totally dominated the game, despite the absence of Theo Walcot, one of the star players. 

Their consistent onslaughts on goal should have resulted in a huge victory margin, but some nifty goalkeeping, the woodwork and sheer bad luck prevented this.  Adam O’Mahoney scored the only Teddington goal, his brother Alex netted too but was judged offside, and sadly Epsom’s only attack on the Teddington goal resulted in an equaliser. 

However, a draw against the second-place side in the league is no disgrace.  Tom Hodgson was outstanding as ever, showing skill and leadership on the pitch, but every member of the team played their part.  Team: Jack O’Mahoney, Oli King, Jake Horne, Conagh Nee, Conor Whitmarsh, Tom Hodgson, Sam Willis, Nunzio Armitrano, Isaac Jones, Joe Wick, Matt Kidd, Adam O’Mahoney, Nick Jupp, Alex O’Mahoney, Ollie Davison, Harry Woods

Leaping salmon and ghost of Rosenthal found in deepest Surrey

Oxshott Royals Reds v. TAFC U10 Dragons

2 - 3

TAFC U10 Dragons 3:2 Oxshott Royals Reds U10

The Dragons were up and off early on a frosty morning to make the short trip into leafy Oxshott for their away game against the Royals Reds.

The game exploded into life after about 12 minutes as Oxshott pushed down the middle exploiting the Dragons early hospitality and went one-up after a low-down shot was parried but not cleared. The effect on the Dragons was immediate, however.

Great link up play from the back released Bodhi White who delivered a sublime scooped cross to the back post where Liam Holloway intelligently lifted the ball over the keeper - the first of many tackles, turns and lay-offs that won him a well-deserved Many of the Match trophy for the week.

The Dragons generosity continued, however, and a Red’s break into an eerily empty quarter of the pitch beckoned a shot into a lonely front post leaving the Dragons frustrated at 2-1 down after creating lots of chances but not quite converting at the other end.

However, the Dragons are made of stern stuff these days and their confident commitment and link-up play conspired to generate chance after chance. A piece of top-drawer athleticism took the game to parity: Max Bayon leapt like a majestic wild salmon to direct one of many forward assaults goalward with a deft flicked header to level at 2-2.

Chance after chance created but not converted by the Dragons is really the story of the second half. Dragons’ build up play into the final third is improving game by game – the sheer number of opportunities and shots on or close to the target -including a couple of near-misses of which Ronny Rosenthal himself would have been proud of – served to underline the emerging potency of this delightfully free-playing side.

The break came finally a few minutes from the end. Sustained pressure from the Dragons – yet another goal-bound attempt – but this time a MYSTERY – YES! 3-2 up – but who scored?? Did Max swim through the air again for the last touch, or did marauding centre back Jack Firebrace take the honour? Perhaps we’ll never know.

A tense final few minutes of the match saw keeper Jacob Atherton find glorious redemption with a smart save from close range before the Dragons closed ranks to clear as the ref blew time.

Another exciting ride for the travelling fans, all but exhausted by the Dragons attacking endeavours and which left a score-line highly unreflective of their sheer dominance in the final third.

Go Dragons!  Next up Cobham Comets (H) 2.12.17