U12 TIGERS SUFFER 30 MINUTE ROUT IN GAME OF TWO HALVES
Best 30 minutes over-shadowed by second half blitz
Tigers played their best football of the season for 27 minutes. A fortunate and contentious goal just before half-time sadly opened the floodgates for a second half slaughter.
A cold February morning was brightened considerably by the return of Hayden and Eli to the Tigers line-up. An electrifying start had visitors Holyport under all sorts of pressure and really struggling to get out of their own half. Tigers displayed neat passing and great running into space; the communication between the players was unparalled and Gabriel was marshalling the lines vociferously. Sam had one of his most influential performances on the right and with Eli and Gabriel bursting into the box, it appeared to be a case of how many rather than when Tigers would score. Hayden and John were playing superbly in midfield and Frazer and Toby were bringing the ball up confidently, ably backed up by Joe. Matt was seldom troubled at the back but when Cobras did attack, he narrowed the angles and forced the opposition to play in front of him rather than shoot. But Cobras also boast an outstanding keeper (who has replaced the outstanding keeper they had back in the autumn) and he was equal to everything Gabe and Eli threw at him.
An injury to Toby did diminish Tigers' strength and speed in defence and although Rufus slotted in well on the left, Cobras were eventually to exploit Tigers' soft centre.
As the game approached half time, and the Cobras' technical area became increasingly fraught, the visitors did manage to force a couple of corners. The second of these saw a scruffy shot screw off the post up on to the crossbar and back down and just over the line, much to the chagrin of the Tigers defenders. It seemed brutally unfair that Tigers went into the break a goal down and Coach simon was more glowing than concerned in his half-time team talk.
The whistle blew for the re-start and Tigers completely unravelled. It was as if the absence of half-time oranges had completely emptied the Tigers' tank. Within two minutes, Cobras were bursting through a defence that now appeared disjointed and had completely stopped talking to each other. Hayden, Gabriel and Eli were getting very little opportunity going forward and the game seemed to pass by Tommy, John and Sam. It almost felt like every attack resulted in a goal for the visitors. It was an unbelievable turnaround and at the full-time whistle the Holyport coaches seemed almost embarrassed to have won so easily.
There were nevertheless, massive positives to take from Tigers' first half performance. The passing and movement, and the communication was a joy to behold. And this was against a team who are flying high on top of the table. If Tigers can play like that for the full hour, and not be affected by dubious goals, the period after half-term looks very promising.