The U8 football squad travelled to Pennthorpe on Tuesday where we split into two groups on account of their greater numbers. One group played a match, Copthorne v Pennthorpe and the other mixed up with the Pennthorpe boys and played a barbarians-style football match. I was asked to referee the former so can only write about this match.
Alex started in goal and was soon needed to keep out some strong shots from distance by the Pennthorpe centre forward. He was to prove a handful all afternoon and quickly opened the scoring from outside the area. Good footwork from Charlie played the ball through for Arun who took it wide and then crossed well. The ball ricocheted off a defender for an own goal. Another long range strike put Pennthorpe back in front and then good running and tackling by Tommy and Rex in midfield again released Arun who produced a good finish to bring the scores level. Harry was also putting in some good tackles and we looked well set to play downhill in the second half. Arun replaced Alex in goal, but perhaps the boys expected too much from the slope as they forgot to cover back in the second half when Pennthorpe regained the ball. We were defensively exposed several times with the boys leaving Arun on his own and we slipped further and further behind. There was a lack of teamwork and cooperation, so evident at Brambletye, which meant that we ended up losing 7-2 despite having the stronger team. The defenders (and midfielders) will need to defend and the boys will need to play as a team if their next outing is to be more of success.