Saffron Walden U18's 1 –Vs St Neots Town U18's 3
Tuesday 1st September 2015
I could not go 10 days without a match, so I decided to go and watch the young Bloods play. The young Bloods had a great start to the season with 2 wins. I was intrigued to see how good the lads could play, after hearing some very positive reports. At the end of the day, these lads could be our future first team.
The U18s are managed by coach, Michael Riccio. The starting 11 was: Goal Keeper: Sam Soutar. Defence: Garret, Scott, Ormsby and Dicker. Midfield: Van Ellis, Thompson, Carter. Forward: Barry, Sparrow and Young. Subs: Smith, Vant, Weeks, Chappell, Rand
St Neots kicked off the match. We started off the match lively. Sparrow made a great run up the right wing, and won the Bloods an early free kick
Carter linked up well with Dicker who produced a threatening cross, but the cross was well blocked by St Neots.
St Neots retaliated quickly with a decent shot which was saved by Soutar.
Shortly after, St Neots number 7 made a great run, and linked up well with number 9. The striker hit the ball clean which beat Soutar to his right. St Neots went 1 – 0 up. The young bloods didn’t let their heads drop, and continued to try and get back in the game. The Bloods were awarded a free kick, which was delivered by Van Ellis. Van Ellis was showing some great class in midfield, and looked the favourite to score first for the Bloods. His free kick was good, but it was well defended by St Neots.
Soutar prevented a great scoring opportunity by sprinting to the ball to clear the danger. Had the forward beaten him to the ball, it would have been difficult to get back.
The young Bloods first effort on target came from Barry, who showed some great skills to beat his man. He managed to get a shot on target, but was too close to the keeper.
18 minutes in a Walden found themselves 2 nil down. The St Neots goal came from a well taken corner. The ball was headed into the back of the net, leaving Soutar no chance. The lads had a lot of work to do.
Thompson had a great opportunity to score. He trapped the ball well, flicked it up, but his shot was saved by the keeper. It was a very encouraging sign that the Bloods were still in the match.
Great ‘Mashy style’ challenge, from Carter in the midfield. This was needed as Carter had taken the control back for the Bloods.
Charlie Smith was introduced to the match. Smith made an instant impact to the team. He was fast and very skilful on the ball. He reminded me of Wiggy Calvar. He was not afraid to take on the defenders.
Then came, the best goal I have seen this season, from any player in a red and black shirt. Callum Sparrow trapped the ball on the 18 yard box. The keeper decided to run at Sparrow, but he calmly lobbed the ball into the top right hand corner. What a shot! Even the St Neots fans applauded it.
30 minutes in a Walden were play with confidence. The passing and movement was much better, which gave another opportunity for Thompson to shoot. Instead he delivered a perfect pass to Young, but his shot was saved. We had woken up and it was game on.
Van Ellis had another good chance when he ran on to a deflected free kick. He controlled the ball and shot, but it was well defended and went for a corner. The corner was well cleared by the St Neots number 6.
St Neots upped they game with a great run from the number 11. He played the ball to number 7. Charlie Dicker ran with him and tackled well, but the keep blew his whistle for a free kick to St Neots. The fans were puzzled, as it looked like it should have gone to Walden. The free kick was well handled by Walden’s defence.
They added more pressure on goal, but Soultar came off his lines, and with his finger tip, took the ball from the attacker’s feet.
Smith continued to look sharp and threatened the St Neots defence. The crowd were willing him to score. He won another free kick, but it was defended by St Neots.
The last 5 minutes we were playing really well and deserved the equaliser, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
The second half began and St Neots had the first good effort, which was well saved by Soultar. St Neots where trying very hard to finish Walden off. They had a great strike which hit the wood work, but the rebound dropped to an attacker but went sailing over the bar. That should have been 1-3.
Soon after the St Neots pressure, there number 2 had a great shoot, but Soutar pulled off an even better save. The save was so good, the player clapped Soultar for his heroics.
Dan Weeks was replaced for Sparrow.
Smith continued to put pressure on the defence, with a great run. His cross was low and hard across the face of the goal, but no one was there to meet it.
I had to say at this point St Neots looked the better side, but we didn’t fold. The defending was good.
Charlie was taken off which I found a little bit odd, as he was playing very well.
There was more chance in the second half, when Van Ellis found some space but his shot went wide. I was pleased to see that we had not thrown in the towel just yet.
Soultar remained busy for the last few minutes. Soultar saved 2 back to back saves from a St Neots header. Last week’s first team hero was proving himself yet again.
In the last minute St Neots had scored a brilliant goal. The link up play was superb, and the strike was low and hard. Soultar tried to save it but it went just under him.
The lads didn’t deserve to lose 1-3 in the end. They played very well but just didn’t get the result. St Neots 2nd half tactics were spot on, and stopped us from equalising. Congratulations St Neots, as from that performance I don’t feel many teams will beat us at home.
The Fans Man of the Match goes to Charlie Smith. He made a huge difference when he came on. I am sure he has a bright future ahead of him. Well done Charlie. Keep learning and keep playing well.
We have a week off now until the first team play Haverhill Rovers, at the Meadows, on the 7th September. Have a great week all, and I will see most of you next week.
Will Mrs Nash need her flannel? Or will it be a goal fest for the Bloods.
Thanks for reading