Sadly the camera failed a last minute fitness test, so this match report will only be in text. In the much anticipated fixture against local rivals Brambletye the Colts B were first up, and Gore wasted no time in dribbling the ball through the shell shocked defence to score within the first minute! What followed was a dominant display with smooth passing and some lovely individual touches. New captain Penlington was awesome down the right and was a constant threat to the Brambletye goal. Some great interplay with between him and Kroeger was very effective and supplied Cathcart who was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions. New addition Voller started in the midfield but returned to his more comfortable role in defence where along with Hawes and Abdulle they proved resilient to the more frequent Brambletye attacks in the second half. Goalkeeper Khan stubbornly refused to use his hands which led to a couple of interesting moments, but he deserved his clean sheet. The game was in the balance with 7 minutes to play until a Barcelonaesque move involving the whole team was finished first time by MOTM Penlington with a searing 20 yard shot, maybe the finest under 11 goal ever seen! 2-0 was a good result, and thoroughly deserved after a strong performance.
In the Colts A fixture we started confidently having defeated Brambletye on Monday in the Lancing Sixes, and the impressive play continued straight from the whistle. Captain Hayes was mercurial in the middle of the pitch and supplied the enigmatic Tennant and new man Flavin, happily returning from his broken finger, down the flanks. In a display reminiscent of the 1970’s Dutch team, the total football on display was a joy to watch. Eades and Hannah had to work hard when we did lose possession, but they made some crucial tackles and kept pushing the ball forward. Chance after chance came, but the final touch was lacking today. A penalty chance for Hayes was well saved by their keeper, with Tennant and Flavin unlucky not to score the rebound, and from nowhere Brambletye attacked on the rebound and with 3 against 2. Last man Blackmore closed down his man well but couldn’t stop them all, and Kinnear did his best between the sticks, but he could not quite keep out the final shot and as the whistle went for half time we had to regroup.
In a shock development, the kitchens have introduced a heady mixture of sliced apples to the half time oranges. This unprecedented revolution in fruit based mid-game energy snacks certainly unsettled the opposition, and as we restarted up the hill and into the wind the intent of the team was clear. The tireless MOTM Tennant repeatedly made good breaks and eventually got himself into a clear position and slotted in past the keeper to equalise. The football moved up a level after this, and some great moves were put together by the team. More hard work from the energetic year 5s Hannah and Flavin helped Hayes and Eades spread the ball and they consistently beat their opposite number with some crafty one-twos. Many more chances came and went including another penalty which was again saved, but when all the parts fitted together – as they did with 5 minutes to go – the end result was beautiful! A lovely passing move was finished with an even better strike then we had seen earlier in the Colts B match. It was so good in fact that this reporter can not remember who scored it, so I must award it to the team! At 2-1 with a couple of minutes to play, a seemingly innocuous Brambletye corner turned into a nightmare as their striker slid in to tap in the equaliser, and as the full time whistle blew the game finished at 2-2. Despite having the lions share of possession our finishing was somewhat lacking, and Brambletye capitalised on the occasional defensive mistake and showed the value of clinical finishing. A good spectacle, and the team will work on new strategies this week to ensure we can entertain Pennthorpe next week with our strongest display yet.