Lightning v. Redhill Youth Volcanoes
3 - 2
A ferocious, bitterly cold wind greeted our last match before Christmas. Our opponents, Redhill Volcanoes, in warm up looked a tidy side. Our warm up consisted of plenty of running with the ball to keep the boys active. Just keeping subs warm during the game would be a challenge. The wind would play a major part gusting across the pitch towards the right side goal. The starting line up was James, Daniel, Louis, Cosmo, Riley, Joseph and Ben. Volcanoes, were quick off the mark but couldn’t make an impression on our defence. It wasn’t long (3 minutes to be precise) before Lightning found our stride, some nice passing from the centre of the pitch resulted in one of Joseph’s trademark penetrating dribbles with a beautiful strike that left the Volcanoes’ ‘keeper no chance. As often happens, our goal resulted in a slight loss of concentration from Lightning. Volcanoes applied pressure, and only thanks to some great last ditch defending from Louis and a couple of heroic saves from James kept our lead in tact. Luke came on for Daniel, but the substitution was short lived, as a stray elbow to the jaw, put Daniel back in the game. One save, saw James out of position, with his nearside post exposed, but he makes a fantastic leap to cover the gap and push the ball out for a corner. Matthew came on for Joseph, and Ned for Cosmo. Lightning by now had recovered their composure and some good attacks were repelled by the opposition. Lightning, persisted, and the pressure finally told. An attempted clearance by a Volcanoes defender rocketed in to their own net, almost as powerfully as Joseph’s earlier effort.
Lightning now had the advantage of the blustery conditions with the wind behind them. George replaced James in goal, and Luke returned to the affray. Lightning started brightly, winning corners and generally playing the better football. As a team, we seem to have mastered corners, and our third goal came from a corner perfectly flighted ball which Riley despatched with a solid unstoppable header. Sometimes, you have to feel sorry for the opposition ‘keeper, who despite doing nothing wrong found himself conceding three goals.
Normally, at this point, Lightning would push on and the goals would flow, but credit to Volcanoes, like Lightning in previous matches, kept their heads and fought back bravely. 10 minutes to go. Volcanoes score, a mix-up in the middle of defence and they pounce. It’s at this point I’m slightly distracted by club chair… The battle rages around me but the club chair keeps chatting… Another injury for Luke. The chair keeps chatting.. Louis floored from a George clearance but we recover. The chair keeps chatting… The boys are doing well, but Volcanoes pressure tells and a second goal is scored. 4 minutes to go. The boys keep battling, its tough but an aire of calm hangs over the team and finally the referee blows his whistle. Relief! Now on to the important business of the day – FIFA room and team competition await.
Men of the match: James, Daniel, Louis, Cosmo, Riley, Joseph, Ben, Matthew, Ned, Luke and George
Supporter of the day: Tioba
Goals: Joseph, Riley, OG
PS: Thank you all for the fantastic gift – I’ll wear it with pride – Have a fantastic Christmas and looking forward to the new year.