Silence is golden for the Raptors

Stoneleigh Atheletic U10 v. Teddington Raptors

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Where do I start? This was hand down’s the best performance of the season against a strong Stoneleigh team that have beaten us in the past two encounters. The Raptors created so many chances today that had it not been for the post, the crossbar and an outstanding performance from the Stoneleigh goalkeeper, it could have been 10-1!

Ironically the last time we visited Stoneleigh it was another ‘silent’ weekend. This is an FA initiative designed to take the pressure of young players from ‘over enthusiastic’ coaches and parents. Thanks to the travelling parents who represented the club very well again!

On to the game. The first ten minutes was an even affair. The Raptors got the ball down on the deck and played some good pass and move football and pressed with fiery determination. Then just when you think you’ve seen it all in football, the sole of Daniel Jolly’s boot decided it didn’t want to stay attached to the rest of the shoe. Unphased and undeterred Daniel quickly exchanged the boot with a studless trainer. More on that trainer to come....

Stoneleigh scored against the run of play after a goal mouth scramble at the end of the first quarter. The Raptors picked themselves up, dusted themselves down and carried on playing some great football. Lennon Chamlers hit the post once and the Stoneleigh goalie made a couple of great saves.

The Raptors first goal came after a great run down the right hand side from Lennon Chalmers whose mind bending speed stretched the opposition all morning. Having reached the touch line, Lennon crossed the ball the into six yard box. Finlay Simms’ great support play was rewarded with an easy tap in to make it 1-1 shortly before half time.

The Raptors started the second half the stronger team and penned Stoneleigh into their own half. Then enter the ‘magic trainer’. Daniel collected the ball on the far right touch line, planted his left foot (with studs) into the ground and then hit a sweetly struck right footed shot (with trainer) that sailed thirty yards over the penalty box and the goalie before landing in the net!

From that moment on the Raptors never looked back and wave after wave of attack followed. Credit has to be given to the Stoneleigh goalie who kept the scoreline respectable.

Billy Hall was outstanding in goal today and stopped several long range efforts. Hayden, Max and Cormac were solid as a rock in defence.

The last five minutes were not without drama! The Stoneleigh striker hit the Raptors on a break and Hayden Elliot, who was outstanding today, made up half the pitch to put in a match saving tackle.

Then in the last minute of the game and after yet another Raptors corner, Stoneleigh hit us on another break. This time Cormac Sims threw his body in front of the shot as if his life depended on it. Bizzarely the referee awarded a direct free kick on the edge of the penalty box. The Raptors formed a wall and we all held our breath... the shot sailed over the cross bar and the final whistle followed immediately after.

All the Raptors were outstanding today..awarding man of the match was almost impossible... but it was Tom Mullins who won the award for another great passing display.

Well done boys!

Posted in Raptors.