We enjoyed another entertaining football match this week when we welcomed Ardingly Under 8’s to Copthorne. We got off to an inauspicious start with the Ardingly centre forward literally dribbling from the kick-off right up to our penalty area to score in the first minute. The Copthorne boys were visibly shaken by this and took a little time to settle. Despite playing with the slope, we struggled to keep possession and were well hassled by the Ardingly players. As the half progressed, the boys began to play for each other and an excellent cross from Alex led to a difficult chance for Charlie which he took well, volleying over the goal keeper. Our new defensive combination of Arun and Henry was still bedding in, but some good tackles were made, with Rex also providing strong defensive support as usual. We were now starting to have more field position and this led to a great cross by Charlie and a strong finish by Alex to put us ahead 2-1. Matthew was truly putting his body on the line in goal and bravely extinguished several clear chances. On one occasion he received a boot in the face, but he soldiered on to make an excellent reflex save from close range though he could not quite stop the ball dropping over the line. In the dying seconds of the half a break away led a 3-2 deficit at half time.
The second half was a different story with Alex and Rex securing the defence, Henry working hard in midfield and Charlie playing some lovely through-balls for Arun who showed his finishing ability, picking up two goals. In addition, Matthew was continuing to dive full-length to make save after save in a man-of-the-match performance and keep a well-deserved second half clean sheet. Final score: Copthorne 4 Ardingly 3.
Man of the Match: Matthew.