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Sun 3rd November 2013 - Cup
U15 2 V 2 Heath Hayes FC (Juniors)
Pitch : Moor Lane Pavilion
Match Report

Four Oaks Boys U15s versus Heath Hayes Juniors U15s

Our first cup game of the season promised to be the greatest test so far for our lads as we faced Heath Hayes Juniors from The Lichfield League Division 1.

Indeed the fixture more than lived up to expectations and turned out to be a thrilling spectacle enjoyed by players and spectators alike.

From the kick off Four Oaks gave Heath Hayes a little too much time on the ball which they took as a signal to hit us with wave after wave of attack. Indeed the first twenty minutes saw our defence facing multiple corners and long range shots peppering the goal from every angle. We weathered the storm and even managed an impressive counter attack with Matt breaking down the left, finding Max who was brought down on the edge of the HH area. Elliott fired in a stinging shot which brought the best out of their keeper.

More HH pressure followed culminating in a 25 yard shot which Dan managed to grab on to, making it look significantly easier than I’m sure it actually was. After thirty minutes, much to the home contingent’s delight and very much against the run of play, we found ourselves going in front. After a powerful attacking run, Sam was brought down just inside the HH penalty area. Our very own Matt Le Tissier (Elliott) stepped up and inevitably put the ball into the back of the net.

Now our lads clearly saw some injustice in securing this unexpected lead as, straight from the re-start, they allowed HH to surge forward and equalize. We went into the interval on level terms, which was probably a little more than we deserved.

The second half was a different story. The first three minutes saw some great passing and moving through midfield from Four Oaks ahead of Mario firing just wide. The end to end football that followed was a joy to watch…

From a HH corner the ball found one of their players unmarked on the edge of our area. He shot toward the top left hand corner of our goal but Dan was equal to it and pushed the ball onto the crossbar. Moments later Pav found Sam with a lovely through ball but the ball was placed agonisingly wide of the post. More Four Oaks pressure followed with a long kick from Dan putting Sam through who was this time denied by the HH keeper. Unfortunately and again against the run of play HH then took the lead. They broke down the right and the cross was beautifully controlled and fired into the top corner. This was a great goal that even the home supporters had to applaud.

We came back fighting though and a cheeky flick from Mario found Sam who was yet again denied by the keeper. More attacking football from Four Oaks followed with James nodding a ball down to Sam on the edge of the HH box. Sam knocked the ball on to Mario who tried an audacious overhead kick that flew just wide. HH then took control and relentlessly attacked the Four Oaks goal. One such attack saw their striker through on goal but Dan managed to save a fierce shot at point blank range. We didn’t give up though and fought for every ball with real desire and a belief that has made such a difference this season. This fighting spirit paid dividends.  Mario found Sam in the penalty area who, despite being surrounded by 3 HH defenders, managed to scramble our equalizer into the welcoming goal.

HH responded as expected but we stood firm meaning we faced extra time and maybe the dreaded penalty shoot-out…

Tiredness on both sides was understandably beginning to show and 5 minutes into the first half of extra time play was stopped as a couple of HH players were treated. Our lads saw this as an opportunity to gather round and catch up on the weekend’s events until they were rudely reminded that there was a game of football going on and they should perhaps re-focus. Once play resumed, extra time passed in the blink of an eye and there was still nothing between the two teams.

With the Four Oaks twelfth man in full voice we began the penalty shoot- out.  Elliott, Pav, Olly and Matt converted theirs meaning we were at 4-4 after the first 5 penalties. Sudden death saw HH score their first but Max tucked his away to keep the tension building. Dan saved the next penalty but sadly the following Four Oaks kick was also saved. HH scored their next meaning the pressure was on Lewis. I could hear his dad gently sobbing behind me as Lewis calmly tucked the ball away to keep us in the game. Rob and Alfie both buried their spot kicks as did their HH counterparts so we were onto the eleventh pair of penalty takers!

HH scored their penalty meaning the weight of responsibility was once again on the shoulders of the Four Oaks player. He fired the ball low to the keeper’s right but somehow an outstretched arm managed to beat the ball away and it was all over.

Despite the result the crowd drifted away happy that every single one of our lads gave their all and produced a cracking performance against an exceptionally good Heath Hayes side. Well done to our new signing Alfie who slotted in well and even scored a penalty on his debut.

I’m looking forward to next week’s game as I’m sure we will build on this impressive performance. Finally, don’t forget, it’s a roll-over on the football card so you could stand a chance of winning £20 (unless any of Jackie’s family turn up that is).   

 

Man of the Match: Woody

Manager's Award: El's

Manager's Comment

I think the lads all realise, if they had played the first half the vastly improved way they had played the second half, today's result could have been very different, with no need for extra time or penalties. 

They should take great pride in how far they have come since this time last season, and what they will learn from this game should only help the squad further with this season's continued development.

Carl.

 

 

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