Match Report
Reading Blue Coat School Boys-U13B vs  Halliford School
On: Saturday, 19 Jan 2019
Venue: Away

Result: Won 5-1

Goal scorers: Louis Lancaster (19), Ethan Morgan (33), Edward Telling (35), Coen Djamson (47), James Alborough (51).

Man of the Match: James Alborough.

Honourable mentions: Louis Lancaster scored a blinder and had magnificent bending free kick tipped onto the bar by the keeper, Arnav Kulkarni saved brilliantly late on and Man of the Match James Alborough persistently frustrated the opposition’s defence.

Match report:

A much improved U13B side took to the field this morning, with several valuable lessons learned from last Saturday’s opening game of the season 1-2 defeat to Caldicott Prep. Namely, the need for more communication, and putting greater pressure on the opposition.

Señor Starr tinkered with the formation and went with a more defensive-minded 5-3-2, with attacking wingers so as to offer increased support to the midfield when in attack mode. This paid off as, after a fairly even opening period, Louis Lancaster scored with a peach of a shot from outside the area, having had a free kick tipped onto the bar a matter of moments earlier.

Ben Babcock frustrated the opposition defence with his mesmerising runs down the left flank, although was kicking himself on numerous occasions with the chances he squandered. He managed to hit the back of the net with one particular toe-poke, although the eagle-eyed referee spotted that the ball had crept in through the side-netting, and so Babcock’s celebrations were cut short as a goal kick was awarded.

In the final minute of the first half, Ethan Morgan was delighted to capitalise on some poor Halliford defending and slot home to double our lead following some solid work in the midfield area from Harry Smith and James Alborough, and a decent cross from George Foyle.

Half time: Halliford 0-2 RBCS U13Bs

Less than two minutes into the second half, Edward Telling benefited from some indecisive Halliford defending, and in the melee that followed an erroneous back pass, Telling was only too happy to add his name to the score sheet.

Halliford heads dropped after going 3-0 down, and with Blue Coat tails wagging, it was only a matter of time until a fourth goal was masterminded.

Jacob Koudijs, in the role of defensive left winger, provided an inch-perfect pass through to James Alborough. Detecting he had very limited space, Alborough cushioned the ball to Coen Djamson, who, despite being well outside the penalty area, found himself in acres of space, and subsequently put his laces through the ball, hoofing it skywards. The trajectory of the football, carefully calculated by Djamson prior to belting it, came into play, and the ball effortlessly dropped back down to earth, landing beautifully below the bar and just out of reach of the keepers’ hapless fingertips, giving the U13Bs a spectacular fourth goal. If ever football and poetry could be combined, this was that moment, as it was indeed an example of ‘the beautiful game’ at its best.

Our fifth goal was somewhat less sublime, with James Alborough poking in from close range after what appeared to be a game of pinball in the six-yard box. Halliford appeared to have cleared the danger, until Alborough decided that enough was enough, and toe-poked the ball home with some venom.

The hosts had the final say of the game with a matter of seconds remaining, via a quick counter-attack following what could have been a sixth goal for Blue Coat. Despite the best efforts of Jack Leftley, sprinting at a pace that would have seen him keep up with Usain Bolt, Halliford’s striker managed to escape Leftley and slide the ball majestically past keeper Kulkarni, who could only watch in despair as the ball trickled across the mouth of the goal, into the far corner of the net.

Halliford’s goal was the final piece of action of the game, as the referee blew his whistle within 5 seconds of the restart, with the U13Bs returning to Sonning with a comfortable away victory of which they can be proud.

The highlight of the morning for most of the boys was not actually football-related: it was spotting the huge plastic container of turkey and cheese baguettes as it was transported over to our coach from Halliford’s kitchen, for our post-match tea! Many happy mouths were silenced for several minutes as the tasty snacks were enjoyed before our homeward journey.

Many thanks to the numerous sets of parents for turning up to support. It is always appreciated and so lovely to have a chat with you before, during and after the game.

Next Saturday, 26 January, is a training morning, so Señor Starr’s team now has a two-week break from competitive action, with our next game scheduled for 10am on Saturday 2 February against Claire’s Court.

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Señor Starr, 19 January 2019