FIRST CLEAN SHEET FOR IMPRESSIVE LIGERS
By Neil SINCLAIR
U13s score 7 without reply and open up lead at the top
U13 Ligers continued their wonderful season with another outstanding display against Spencers Wood Spitfires. There was the added satisfaction for Coach Simon Wallis of the first clean sheet of the season. “Performance of the season” he said afterwards, and it would be a bold person to disagree.
In a game of many highlights, possibly the most satisfying was Matt keeping his goal intact. Scorpions were in no way benevolent in this, and Matt was called into action in the opening minute and pulled off an outstanding block in the penultimate minute too. He was well supported by superb displays from Joe and Kevin in defence, well supported by the ever-reliable Toby, and Zak and even George L who replaced a tiring Kevin. Joe certainly deserves plaudits as his reading of the game and all-round composure seems to grow week-by-week. Scorpions could make no headway through the centre of the pitch, which was mainly due to Joe’s impeccable positioning. The whole back-line seems to have got to grips with the offside line too, so the chatter and arm-waving was a joy to behold.
But do not think that this was a victory against the odds. Through midfield and up front, Ligers were pretty good. The first half formation of Dylan, Frazer, John and Hayden, with George L and Gabriel up top, was almost impossible for Scorpions to contain. Well-struck passes and constant movement kept the ball pinging around the visitors’ half and but for the sterling efforts of the Scorpions’ keeper, Hearts could well have doubled their first half lead.
As it was , a very deft back-heel from Gabe split open the defence for Frazer to open the scoring. Nine minutes later, Dylan went on a very strong run from half-way, brushing off three defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot from just outside the box. Straight from the restart, Dylan turned provider, sliding Gabe in for a left-foot finish. Scorpions were in a little disarray at this stage, and John was the next Liger to undo them further, sending in a well measured cross from the right for Hayden to head home. Kevin, Hayden and Gabe were causing havoc on the left and George L, John,e and Zak were having just as dominant on the right. Dylan was winning everything through the middle and it was a brilliant through ball from Kevin that put Dylan in for his second and Hearts fifth before half-time.
The second half was a slightly different affair although Hearts remained in control. Sam and Tommy took over on the flanks and George L and Hayden gave way to George PM and Ilyas. Meanwhile, Scorpions moved the diminutive Spencer Pead into the centre of defence, and his pace and anticipation was to be a major bonus for the visitors. It was a good job, too, because Gabe was making hay chasing long balls and picking the ball up on half-way and bursting past opponents. Ilyas continued the scoring for Hearts as he chased down the defence and took full advantage of the resultant scramble. He then turned provider for the irrepressible Gabe who lobbed the goalie to complete the 7 goal victory.
It was a good game in spite of the lopsided score line, and the Scorpions left singing the praises of Matt and Gabe, but in truth all fifteen Hearts fully contributed to a victory that keeps Ligers top of the table.
Elsewhere, Bracknell Athletic recorded a shock win against second placed Pinewood, Marlow won again but Teddington Athletic go second following a narrow but anticipated win at Ashridge Park. But there is clear daylight between Ligers and the chasing pack and next up is a trip to Whitegrove Tigers.