So near and yet so far…
As the full time whistle sounded at 2pm on Saturday 17th December, Liphook Lions had just beaten us, the Mytchett Falcons U10, to claim the Autumn Invicta Cup trophy by 4 goals to 1.
This sounds like a bit of a ‘mauling’ but in truth it was an unfair reflection of a very even game. For the Falcons the thought of a cup final seemed a long way off at the start of the season. Only 3 boys (Euan, Ashton and Dodi) had come up from a difficult U9 campaign; but we were strengthened by Josh, who was returning to the Falcons, and 5 new player; Rhys, Oscar, Luke, Noah and Ben. Later on in the autumn campaign we would have Dylan and Austen join the team to make a playing squad of 11.
From the first 2 games, the omens didn’t look good with 2 crushing defeats as the boys got use to playing with each other. Then remarkably the Falcons went on a run losing just 1 in 4 games and suddenly were playing good football for the start of the cup games.
In our group, Haslemere were dispatched 4-3; a shock reversal at Greyshott 3-2 could have bought things to a halt but wins against Hook, Curley Park and a draw with Alton took us to the brink of the final. Only a major goal swing for either Curley Park or Haslemere would force the playoff but it didn’t and we were confirmed in the Final alongside the unbeaten Liphook Lions.
The game started at 1pm – Mytchett’s warm up had been no different to normal but then things altered; the boys started to freeze, lost positions and chased the ball. All the hard work to get there was undone in the space on 15 minutes. Liphook took advantage of the gaps we left, played intelligently and isolated 1 defender against 2-3 attackers and it worked. But then Mytchett took control playing the football that had sent us to the final. Rhys, Josh and Dylan all forced saves from the goalkeeper; Oscar, Euan and Noah tackling and kicking everything that moved…if only could have scored before the interval but alas.
The 2nd half started in the same vein; Mychett on the front foot…getting the ball out wide then creating chance after chance; first Ashton, then Ben and Austen all going close then disaster; Liphook scored a 4th goal which in effect sealed the cup. However that didn’t deter the Falcons who managed to pull 1 goal back through Rhys and then almost immediately had further chances with Rhys and Josh going close which in truth would have been more reflective of the even contest it was.
So as Liphook lifted the trophy, the Falcons can hold their heads high – from a team of debutants to Cup finalists within
half a season is special and one I know I will certainly treasure being my first final too.
U10 Falcons Manager