TAME TIGERS TERRORISED BY SPITFIRES
U12s suffer 8 goal rout
Oh dear! It was a sad end to a season that has been disappointing in terms of results and technical improvements in the players' ability, but it has to be acknowledged that the boys seem to have enjoyed it regardless and the team spirit remained good & strong throughout.
On a stunning early morning, deep into the Royal County, with the animals hardly having time to leave their watering hole, Tigers took on Spitfires to finish the 2017-18 season. The long grass and heavy dew played havoc with what Tigers clearly hoped would be a slick, short passing game . The opening salvoes were frenetic, and indeed Gabriel was unlucky not to open the scoring after two minutes, his shot glancing the upright on its way past. Tigers defensive line was good, well marshalled by Toby and Joe, and Matt was able to deal with everything that got beyond them. But Spitfires are a skilful and very strong group and Tigers were slowly being eased off the ball. On 22 minutes, Spitfires found themselves outnumbering Tigers in the penalty box and, with a hint of offside, opened the scoring. A second goal, just three minutes later saw Tigers heads drop, and one began to fear the worst.
The second half lived up to the worst fears. In spite of some excellent saves from Matt and later, having taken over the green jersey, Joe, Spitfires knocked home a further six unanswered goals. Tigers just weren't in it at all: Spitfires went to four up front and frequently found themselves with a two-man advantage; the midfield could not retain possession and, having lost the ball, then stood and watched their opponents run towards Tigers' goal; too many passes were left short of the intended recipient and said recipient never attempted to go towards the ball; and Tigers tried to play intricate football twenty yards from their own goal, usually handing possession straight to Spitfires. And, finally, it is doubtful if Tigers actually got to one high first ball all game and they certainly never got to the second ball.
So, with fitness and tactical awareness sadly absent, Tigers still managed to enjoy the game and that's all that matters. John in his debut season completed the most appearances (21) and Gabriel was again top scorer with 13 goals in 17 league and Cup appearances. It's been a season full of ups and downs - mostly downs - ed, but it's been fun on the touchline and it's interesting to watch the boys' developing along with the social skills, particularly welcoming new teammates, John, George and Ilyas. My feeling is that some of the boys don't realise that they are wanting to play in the wrong position, they can't defend if they don't look at the ball - how many times have any of them ever been hit in the face by a football?, and if the opponent moves they have to move too and sometimes that means running fast! They are all looking forward to XI-a-side next September on the all weather surface at Twickenham Academy.
See you in September!