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