Respect Award – Liam
Autumn visited with a vengeance for the start of this match. As we drove to Bourne we were greeted with the sight of an ominous black sky which started to deposit large amounts of rain on the car and it showed no sign of letting up! Confusingly for the players the Mytchett U10s were playing Bourne as well and, after sorting out the correct opposition, both Mytchett teams lined up against the Green and white stripes of Bourne.
The Falcons began with Anto waiting on the sidelines, Morgan in goal, Andrew and Kenzie in defence and a forward quartet of Liam, Joe, Harry and Luke, with Joe in the central holding role. The game began with pace and intent; both sides were looking to pass the ball around but it was Mytchett who struck first, albeit slightly fortunately. Joe had been winning a lot of ball in the middle and he did so again releasing a ball through to Liam, who struck a tame shot goal wards. unfortunately for the Bourne keeper it slipped through his hands and rolled gently into the goal. Liam had the decency to look slightly abashed about it! A couple of minutes later however he doubled the lead with a more emphatic effort. Andrew intercepted a forward ball from Bourne and carried it down the right wing, he then fed a through ball for Liam to chase, which he did so and struck an excellent shot from just inside the penalty area into the corner of the goal. It was just what the team deserved, the front four had been pressuring Bourne incessantly, Harry especially had been getting a lot of joy down the left wing and one of his crosses was met by Luke whose shot was well saved. In this quarter there were chances for Joe, Liam, Harry and a second one for Luke, but it remained just the two for the Falcons. Morgan had had very little to do but was quick off his line on the two occasions he needed to. Kenzie was timing his tackles really well, despite being outnumbered on occasion, and Andrew was playing the sweeping role to perfection.
For the next quarter Luke took a rest and Anto was introduced into the fray, initially in defence with Andrew. Kenzie pushed up into midfield to join Harry, Liam and Joe. Bourne had obviously had a rethink and came out with a lot more purpose in this session. Anto and Andrew were having to do a lot more defending and Morgan was called on to make two great saves, again quickly coming off his line to gather any loose balls. It was Bourne who scored next, unsurprisingly given their attack. Another attack pushed into the area and was cleared towards the sidelines, clearly the Falcons thought it was going off and they switched off briefly. Bourne quickly gathered the loose ball and turned it back into the area where their striker turned and knocked a ball through the legs of both Andrew and Anto and just past the diving Morgan. It was a deserved goal. Both sides pushed for another goal but the scores remained the same until half time.
Liam was the next to rest with Andrew and Anto pushing up into midfield and Harry and Kenzie defending. This turned out to be quite a dynamic attack force in a way no one had been expecting. Anto and Andrew started to win a lot of balls in the middle and carried the attack directly at the Bourne defence. Andrew was the first to show, making a run from the middle of the pitch into the penalty area to release a powerful shot that was well saved. However notice had been served and a minute later he repeated this run, from the right this time – across and into the area before burying his shot high and right. This was the opening of the flood gates and began the Anto show. Anto was full of running and began to drive through the Bourne defence, often released by Joe or Andrew who were quick to see passing opportunities. Three times inside two minutes he did this and scored three identical goals to score one of the fastest hat-tricks the Falcons had ever seen! The Bourne defence were a little shellshocked and Anto was in no mood to let up! Andrew, Luke and Joe supported him brilliantly, tackling hard and feeding good passes between each other and it was through another good interchange that the next breakthrough came.
Harry stepped off for the last quarter and Liam returned. Again the Falcons pressed and after a series of passes ended with Anto receiving the ball in the area; Bourne tried to tackle him but only gave away a penalty. Liam stepped up to take it and struck a sweet ball into the corner to register the second hat-trick of the match! Suddenly, and seemingly from nowhere, the Falcons found themselves with a six goal lead! But it was no more than their efforts had merited. But they were not done yet! The boys continued to push forward and were winning most of the tackles – one attack finished with Anto scuffing the ball into the net from a couple of yards out and two Bourne defenders injured in the area. Everyone looked to the referee but he had seen no foul so the goal stood. Apologetically the Falcons formed up for the restart. Anto then scored his last goal which, like the first, owed a lot to fortune. He won the ball in the midfield and let fly a speculative shot from a long way out. The keeper went to clear with his foot but unfortunately missed his kick and it crept in.
It was at this point that Trevor and Matt released the secret weapon. Morgan came out of goal, Anto took over the gloves and Andrew dropped back into defence. Immediately Morgan had an impact, picking up the ball in midfield, running down the wings and appearing all over the pitch full of energy. It was almost cruel on Bourne, who had never stopped trying to play, to inflict this tall dynamo on them at the end of the match. To be fair they did keep on attacking and began to get some shots; on three occasions Anto and Andrew had to combine to keep them out but eventually as a result of dogged determination Bourne scored a second.
The match ended soon afterwards, thankfully with no more rain and even a little sun! The coaches couldn’t keep the smiles from their faces after a fantastic team effort. Indeed as Matt said they all deserved MoM awards as they had all contributed equally to the result. In the end it was Morgan who received this for always being alert and keeping Bourne at bay. Liam got (or will get when Andrew brings it back) the Respect award for his effort and hat-trick. Anto had to be happy with his 5 goals which was reward in itself!
The last word should go to the opposition. Maybe the result was a little harsh on them but they never stopped giving 100% and we recognise what great team spirit they showed.