Improvements, progress but no result

Lightning v. Reigate Vipers

2 - 4

Today was one of those days. Boys arrived with their usual enthusiasm and we fielded one of our strongest line ups with the players available. George started in goal, Ned and Louis provided defensive cover. Cosmo was our pivotal midfielder with Joseph and Tioba left and right, Matthew providing the striking prowess.
Reigate started more strongly of the two teams but their attacking was inert and skilfully marshalled by our defence. We looked strong on the counter attack but couldn’t initially breakdown a well organised Reigate defence. Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the first 15 minutes or so. Finally, a really beautiful move from Cosmo passing to Tioba who laid on a inch perfect pass for Joseph who took his chance with great composure 1-0 Lightning. Could we finally break our duck this week? Reigate’s equalising goal sadly followed swiftly, and it was a soft one, the ball barely over the line, but a goal nevertheless. For a minute or five our composure deserted us and it looked as if we might be overrun and were lucky that Reigate could only muster another soft goal. Ben came on for Ned just before halftime and quickly settled in to the unfamiliar role of right back as Louis moved across to the left. The second Reigate goal reawakened us, and a fantastic team goal scored by Tioba followed on the stroke of halftime. Plenty to play for.

Second half was a more drab affair and in truth neither side seemed likely to score. Lightning applied plenty if pressure and won several corners but simply couldn’t convert. The opposition were reduced to shooting from distance and their third goal actually came from a speculative effort just inside our half. The shot was good but conditions saw it skip off at least two Lightning boots before nestling in the back of the net. Their fourth goal near the end was well taken but again had a slight feeling of good fortune about it.

In truth this was a tough defeat in challenging conditions. The boys will get some points on the board soon of that I’m sure.

Heads up, chins up Lightning!

Goal scorers: Joseph and Tioba

Man of the match: Ben

Chargers generate a little more power than Lightning

Redhill Youth Chargers v. Lightning

3 - 1

Early start, bit of a mix up on the roster (sorry folks) but still nine bodies ready and willing to take on the Chargers. Quick warm-up and decision on goalkeeper - wot no gloves. Never mind we have enough keepers in the squad that means there is always a spare pair readily available.

The Chargers looked big, especially their no.5. Chatting to their manager Lightning were up against another established team, playing together for three years.

Chargers started more strongly, but our twin defenders ensured we weren’t overrun. Louis was involved and linking play well with Joseph and George. The game seesawed and both teams missed early chances to take a lead. Eventually, Chargers made the breakthrough with a well worked play.
This was the wake call Lightning needed and the boys started applying pressure and we were behind for no more than five minutes. Our third corner from the right ping-ponged in the penalty area as Chargers failed to clear and Louis (according to Louis) managed to get a toe to the ball and turn it into the net. Halftime 1-1.

Oranges have already become a great feature of our games, but can also prove a distraction from the coaches halftime talk.

Goalkeeping gloves returned to their original owner and a stint in goal for James (albeit slightly reluctantly due to recent dentistry).

The game had only just restarted and Chargers took advantage as Lightning players adjusted to new positions on the pitch.

The match remained tight and although Chargers scored again Lightning were never outplayed. Ned, Luke and George were industrious in their defending and Louis was unlucky not to score and hit the post after a beautiful run from the edge of our penalty area to the edge of theirs. Talk about box to box... Joseph provided great support and like Hazard seems to draw the majority of the fouls from the opposition.

Good contributions from Daniel and Vansh made for an overall pleasing performance despite the score line.

All the boys are starting to show more composure and it’s good to see them passing to each other and playing in a positive manner.

The results will follow!

Scorer: Louis

Men of the match: James and Luke

Dark skies and dark arts fail to spark Lightning

Lightning v. Epsom & Ewell Colts Hoops

0 - 6

Our first home game at our new home - Bushy Park. The expected rain hadn’t arrived but the sky was dark and a little threatening. A strong wind was blowing the length of the pitch from left to right. Looking over at the opposition it was clear they were a well organised, experienced outfit.
James started in goal having recovered from last weeks foot injury which transpired was caused by one of his teammates not the opposition as previously stated.
The opposition attacked with some considerable threat and disciplined organisation. Despite the Hoops playing in to the wind, It felt a case of when rather if they would score. Cosmo, Joseph and George defended doggedly and it took almost 10 minutes for our defences to be breached for the first time. It was also clear the Hoops had been coached in the dark arts of subtle pushing and leaving a foot in a tackle. Joseph in particular seemed to be on the receiving end of this treatment as he frequently broke up their play and attempted to start Lightning moving forward from the centre of midfield only to be stopped by an opposing arm or foot.

Dams once breached do have a tendency to leak, and so it was with Lightning today. 4-0 and halftime couldn’t come soon enough. It did, sanctuary for 5 minutes.

A carefully worded chat from the coach, and oranges were administered. The boys took to the pitch, reinvigorated and started to play with a lot more discipline. James continued in goal as Stefanos had missed the bit about getting ready at halftime as he gorged on the oranges.
Luke moved to left back to replace the departing Cosmo.
Lightning started to compete more. Some passages of play were really pleasing. Joseph and Tioba were combining well in midfield and Vansh almost scored after a particularly well worked play. The oppositions dark arts seemed in greater use, both Joseph and Tioba got more than expected fouls against them. Joseph was now anticipating these tackles and was beautifully skipping over some of the scything tackles coming his way. Stefanos (having finished the oranges) came on to replace James and made some brave saves, frustrating the opposition. They still managed two goals near the end of the match leaving us with a deficit of 6 at the end.

Again, the boys played really well and should remember today’s opposition have been playing together for three seasons. All things considered we’re not that far behind.

Shout out for Louis, today’s super fan on rotation.

Man of the match: Joseph

Rough and tumble

Oxshott Royals v. Lightning

8 - 0

Ralph Hasenhüttl said after his first game in charge of Southampton, “some games we win and some we learn lessons from”. Today was definitely in the latter category. Another hot day (my car said 31c when I got back to it), and Lightning were under pressure from the start. But George making his goalkeeping debut looked comfortable in the early skirmishes. Oxshott were well disciplined and more physical than Teddington. We’d need to be at our best to get something from this game.

Oxshott pressure continued and the boys defended well. Their first goal came from a corner and unfortunately we turned the ball in to our own net. A second followed before halftime from a good movement from Oxshott. Still everything to play for.

James took over in goal for the second half.

Oxshott scored almost from kick-off and now had the bit between their teeth. The boys were struggling a little in the heat. However, their determination and heads up attitude is a treat to watch. Goal four was the result of a bit of a defensive lapse and goal five left James with a foot injury. George stepped back into the breach, and would produce what turned in to one of Lightning’s match highlights a little later.

Oxshott were proving to be a very physical side and the fouls were coming thick and fast. Cosmo, Louis, and Ben all requiring the coaches attention. The boys reacted well and kept trying to play football positively.

Goal six, another slight lapse from us, goal seven - quality play from the opposition.

We knew it wasn’t our day when a great attack involving Joseph and Tioba shook their left hand post with the goalkeeper beaten.

Another powerful attack from Oxshott, their forward hit a stunning strike. George’s reaction even better and with strong hands pushed the ball over the bar.

More pressure from Teddington, with two superb corners from Cosmo, one almost finding it way straight in to the net. A final break from Oxshott and an eighth goal.

Final whistle. We battled, we’re all a little bruised but some good lessons learned and next week's match is only 6 1/2 days away. Onward!

Man of the match: George

Lightning fail to fell Giants!

Lightning v. ESPA Juinors - Giants

3 - 4

What a great day to play cricket football. Clear blue skies and gentle sun making a perfect backdrop for Lightning's second match at Udney Park.

The team welcomed four debutantes, Tioba, Joseph, James and Luke. Three of the four started. Like the previous week it took a short while for the team to gel but the boys worked hard and quickly had the upper hand with most of the attacking play coming from the home side. A goal would surely come. Some powerful running by Tioba, supported well by Ben and Ned, the team were bound to score. We have two great corner takers in Cosmo and Louis and despite a couple of missed chances we eventually scored our first. Quite soon afterwards Tioba, with a clear goal scoring chance was tripped be the opposition goalkeeper and a penalty duly awarded. A strong but ever so slightly misplaced shot kept the opposition in the game. A fabulous save from James and subsequent clearance by Louis kept the Lightning advantage. A second goal for Tioba left the home side leading 2-0 at halftime and looking comfortable. Possibly too comfortable.

The second half saw James replaced by Stefanos in goal.

The Giants started the stronger side but their first goal was still against the run of play. A good cross from the left found their right sided midfielder in front of an open goal. The goal gave Giants momentum as we slightly wilted in the heat. However, their equalising goal was due more to misfortune on our part than great skill from them. A foul midway in the Lightning half, a decent free kick and although Luke lept bravely to block, the ball skimmed off the top of his head, confusing Stefanos as the the flight of the ball changed and Giants were level. Still everything to fight for though. Chances were coming to both sides now and Giants were first to make the most of theirs, giving them a deserved lead.

Once again Lightning dug deep and lovely goal rewarded Luke for his persistence with the opposition defence.

On the break again, Giants scored a fourth and despite continuous pressure from Lightning, including three corners in the last minute of the game, we couldn’t force an equaliser.

Overall, another great game to watch, all the boys played with passion and heart from start to finish.

Man of the match: Louis
Goals Tioba (2), Luke

Finally a special thanks to George and Vansh our super fans of the day!

More than a game of two halves

Lightning v. BB Soccer Academy Tigers

3 - 4

What an exciting morning. Lightning’s first game, new kit, boys playing together for the first time, some playing their first competitive game ever. Big decisions for the manager, not least a choice of three keepers in a squad of nine.

Lightning started better of the two teams but it was clear BB Soccer Tigers were a well organised team with a smattering of good quality, experienced players. The early chances fell to Tigers but good saves from Louis and some strong defending kept Lightning in the game. Ultimately, Tigers pressure resulted in a first, then second and finally a third goal. Half-time 0-3.

The boys responded brilliantly, not at all despondent and everyone playing their part. Stefanos came in to goal for Louis. The boys set about their work. Some great defending and midfield play from Cosmo and great runs from Louis and Ben, we looked more threatening. Louis struck first 1-3, then Ben produced a composed finish 2-3. Lightning were back. The pressure continued, but Tigers defended well. In one attack the Tiger’s scored what can only be described as a 'worldy' of a goal against the run of play. Still the boys kept their heads and a series of corners for the home side resulted in an own goal 3-4. With seconds left Louis went on another electric run and only a heavy intervention from the Tigers defender stopped him – claims of a penalty were waived away but… Who knows.

The final whistle came seconds later.

The boys did really well in their first game and our club chairman commented it was was one of the best games he’d watched recently!

Goalscorers: Louis, Ben and OG
Man of the match: Cosmo

2018/19 – Training schedule

As the 2018/19 looms large mmap are running a full programme of training sessions once again.

In September all sessions will take place at Udney Park, and then in October move to the locations as per the key below.

If you can’t find the right age group for you or your child contact your team manager who should be able to help.

 

Key:

HAMPTON COURT HOUSE = HCH
UDNEY PARK = UP
HAMPTON ACADEMY = HA
TEDDINGTON SCHOOL = TS

 

Schedule:

U8 girls Friday 5.30-6.30 TS
U9 girls Friday 5.30-6.30 TS
U10 girls Friday 5.30-6.30 TS
U10 girls Friday 5.30-6.30 TS
U11 girls Friday 6.30-7.30 TS
U12 girls Friday 6.30-7.30 TS
U13 girls(original)Friday 6.30-7.30 TS
U13 girls (new) Thursday 6.30-7.30 UP
U15 girls Friday 6.30-7.30 TS

U7 Monday 5.30-6.30 HCH
U7 Monday 5.30-6.30 HCH

U8 Friday 5.30-6.30 TS
U8 Friday 5.30-6.30 TS

U9 Thunder Thursday 5.30-6.30 HCH
U9 Turbos Thursday 5.30-6.30 HCH

U10 Raptors Tuesday 5.15-6.15 UP
U10 Stags Tuesday 5.15-6.15 UP
U10 Leopards Tuesday 5.15-6.15 UP

U11 Hounds Wednesday 5.15-6.15 HCH
U11 Falcons Wednesday 5.15-6.15 HCH
U11 Eagles Wednesday 5.15-6.15 HCH
U11 Dragons Monday 5.30-6.30 HCH

U12 Rockets Monday 6.30-7.30 HCH
U12 Dynamos Monday 6.30-7.30 HCH
U12 Jets Monday 630-7.30 HCH
U12 New squad Monday 5.30-6.30 HCH

U13 Tuesday 6.15-7.15 UP
U13 Tuesday 6.15-7.15 UP
U13 Tuesday 6.15-7.15 UP

U14 Wednesday 6.15-7.15 HCH
U14 Wednesday 6.15-7.15 HCH
U14 Wednesday 6.15-7.15 HCH

U15 Hurricanes Thursday 7-8 HA
U15 Tornados Thursday 7-8 HA

U16 Sharks Thursday 5.30-6.30 UP
U16 Pumas Thursday 5.30-6.30 UP
U16 Tigers Thursday 6-7 HA

U17 Tuesday 7.15-8.15 UP

U18 Panthers 8-9 HA
U18 Dragons 8-9 HA
U18 Pumas