U12 TIGERS NEED A BOOST!
By Neil SINCLAIR
Chargers' pace too much for Hearts
Ascot United Chargers secured a season's double with victory against a much improved Tigers. A goal in each half was enough for the visitors to take maximum points and leave Tigers rooted to the foot of the table. In fact, it was a much better all round performance from Tigers and for the most part their goal was untroubled by Chargers, with Matt having only a handful of long-range attempts to deal with, apart from the two goals.
Tigers were undone by their own inability to get shots away and a lack of pace in defence. The latter resulted in Chargers scoring two goals with breakaways from their own half, although the second looked marginally offside admitted Chargers' coach. It is proving a difficult season for the Tigers as they learn to have confidence to play a high line but are then struggling to defend in numbers once the line is breached. Toby is the one defender who can be relied upon to get back and harry the attackers and while Joe's pace and fitness is noticeably improved this season, his own lack of belief is his worst enemy. Frazer and John do work hard in transition but still lack the pure pace and energy to counter a breakaway. In attack, Tigers are creating opportunities and opening, not least through the incisive passing from midfield of Frazer and John, but Tommy, George and Ilyas lack the confidence and composure to shoot when the opportunity presents itself and to get their shots on target. The absence of Hayden's pace and Eli's driving runs are leaving Sam and Gabe with very few options once they get down the flanks and the latter often finds himself isolated (and in the last quarter, exhausted!) in the opposition box.
Nevertheless, Tigers are showing some clever passing through midfield and improved awareness of finding space and passing and moving. Unless parents are hearing differently, the boys are still enjoying it seemingly oblivious to the result. Matt once again had the crowd equally enthused and horrified by his "rush goalie" tactics towards the end of the game. Matt certainly bamboozles the opposition as he storms towards halfway but then causes hearts to stop by staying there when the ball is lost! The greatest obstacle to progress is that the boys don't practice together so the match day experience is "off the cuff". It is obvious that many of our opponents are well-drilled and very clear on their rolls and responsibilities whereas Coach Wallis is usually developing a game plan as the game unfolds.
Let's face it: it's all about fun at this stage and while it may be frustrating from the touchline the boys keep coming back for more!