U18 match report
After goals from some of the U18 players on Saturday we went into our quarter-final match v Beeston with high hopes. Magpies set off early for their 3 hour journey, with plenty of banter aimed mainly at the coach (Kevin Ridley) and manager (Murray Graham). The team stopped en-route at Downtown garden centre for breakfast and a bit of team bonding. We also got the pleasure of meeting our newest member of the team (Oli Bailey) drafted in as a replacement to the injured Will Blyth who broke his finger a few days before the much anticipated match due to his skiing antics on the nursery slopes.
With a very inspiring team talk from our captain (Giles Flatt) ‘c’mon boys, no chat to the umpires’ the team was ready for whatever Beeston were going to throw at us. The game started quickly with both teams enjoying some of the possession but neither team taking advantage of this. Until, a sweeping move from the back up the left hand side of the pitch, the ball found its way to the feet of James Graham who not sure whether he was going for a shot or a pass found James Bensly at the back post to make it 0-1. After that, Beeston came back at us, giving us no time or space on the ball leading to us giving possession away.
After Felix made some solid saves to keep us ahead, Beeston then brought the game level finding their striker in acres of space taking the shot early which took our keeper by surprise 1-1. Shortly after levelling the game they went ahead from some tidy work around the D a reverse strike leaving our keeper with no chance. With Mike Denham and Richard Larkin on the sidelines, we started playing some better hockey with Tommy Graham and our Welsh International (Rhodders) making some good solo efforts sadly not leading to anything.
About 10 minutes before half time, Harleston gave away a short corner to our captain’s dislike, (so much for saying nothing to the umpires then Giles). From this, their future Olympian found the bottom corner giving no one on the line the chance to keep the ball out making the score
3-1. Another goal just before half time meant the team had a mountain to climb in the second half.
After Giles shed a tear and a stern talking to by Kevin and his right hand man Murray at half time, Harleston came out a lot stronger in the second half. We started to keep possession of the ball, with the back 4 growing into the game (Matt Judge, Giles, Tim Alexander and Dom Absolon) becoming more composed at the back not being frightened to keep the ball, waiting for the correct pass to open up for our either pace man Mitchell Tompkins or our muscle man Toby Williamson. There were chances for both teams with a hard low hit into the D, towards Mitchell deflecting the ball towards goal to only be denied by their outstretched keeper. Another was a reverse hit across goal which was just out of reach of our new signing. Felix continued to keep the score at 4-1 with all parts of his body, but this time his helmet not sure how much he knew about it though.
The game finished 4-1 with neither team scoring in the second half.
MOTM – Timmy Alexander
Coaches Votes MOTM – Matthew Judge and Rhodri
DOTD – Giles Flatt
Thanks to all the supporters making the trip up to Nottingham
Team – Felix Trash, Matt Judge, Tim Alexander, Giles Flatt (Cap), Dom Absolon, Mitchell Tompkins, Rhodri Furlong, Tom Ridley, Tom Graham, Toby Williamson, Oli Bailey, James Graham, James Bensly