With Pennthorpe’s Year 8’s out of action we agreed to field an Under 12 team which also included 2 seniors to help them along. This is the first time that this age group have played 11-a-side as a team so it was always going to be interesting to see how they fared.
The game sprung into life early with Sam D breaking down the left and his cross come shot found its way into the near post after the keeper had come off his line expecting a centred ball. It was soon 2-0 as this time our right winger, Sam S, found some space and time to get a shot away and it had just enough power to force the keeper to push it into the back of the net. Beau, one of our senior players, was in the line up to get some extra practice in front of goal after a few tough outings with the 1st XI and he used his time wisely completing a hat trick in the first half. They were 3 very similar goals, running onto weighted through balls and calmly slotting past the goalkeeper, something that he had done on numerous occasions last season. During Beau’s hat trick Pennthorpe had battled back and scored 2 goals to claw the score line back to 3-2 but this was to be the final time that Austin would have to pick the ball out of the net as the Under 12’s took total control.
A few positional changes in the second half saw Joseph push up into a striker’s role and he took full advantage by curling a nice shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Beau, now in midfield, found the net for a fourth time; this time striking home on the half volley from a corner. Ben B, Luca and Charlie were solid at the back all game and their discipline allowed the others to push on and attack. Ben C, captain for the afternoon, had controlled the middle of the pitch and got a deserved goal from long range as he caught the keeper napping. This was to be Ben’s last piece of action as Karan came back into the game this time in central midfield. Nick, the 1st XI goalkeeper, had the chance to play outfield today and got in on the scoring action from close range following a lovely break down the left wing. There is one boy who I have not mentioned yet and I am not one for normally giving a Man of the Match award however, I thought he was brilliant. Jacob played the holding midfield role and stuck to his job all game, often doing the dirty work, tidying up any loose balls and getting stuck into his tackles. All 12 boys did Copthorne proud today and deserved to come away as 9-2 winners. The vast majority of this team will be representing the school at the Ardingly festival on Friday and I am hoping for a similar performance; well done!