Football: U12s Claim Runner Up Prize at Ardingly Tournament
The U12s opening match at this year's Ardingly Tournament saw us drawn against Copthorne.
We eventually came off with a victory but it was hard fought!
The only goal of the match came from Aron who followed in a shot from Themba that was parried by their goalkeeper. Aron's first scuffed shot was saved but came back to him and this time he passed the ball in from close range.
It was a very close first half and Copthorne launched several attacks in the second half. Themba was playing really well on the left wing and Archie should have really scored from two of the good chances he was given.
A lovely pass from Jack gave him a '1 on 1' with the goalkeeper.
Result: 1-0 to Bede's
Our next match was against Ballards. This performance was much better and gave us our second victory.
Themba hit a shot just off the target and Archie was denied a goal by both a post and the crossbar. Themba then rolled his marker but his shot was too weak to get past their goalkeeper.
Aron scored once more after a wonderful pass from Jack. 1-0 at half time.
Harry should have scored early on in this half but missed the opportunity after a lovely cross from Themba.
Archie finally scored to give a 2-0 lead after a good 'cut back' from Harry. A number of other chances were created by our lads but unfortunately were not converted.
Result 2-0 to Bede's
Our best display came in our next match which was against Ardingly's Bs and I was very proud of the style of Football we played.
For our first goal, Aron played a pass to Jack and his cross was diverted into the goal by a defender. Jack then made a great dash down the right wing and his cross found the head of our diminutive striker, Archie, who headed passed the goalkeeper.
Archie scored once more following a pass from Joel. Themba almost scored our fourth when he hit a shot back over the goalkeeper but ultimately wide from a poor goal kick.
Ardingly scored before the break but Themba then scored into the massive goal with a trademark shot from the left wing that gave their goalkeeper no chance.
The second half saw us miss many chances to increase our lead but we were just unable to finish them.
Eventually Archie scored towards the end of the match by showing a few tricks after another delightful pass from Jack.
Result: 5-1 to Bede's
A win against Westbourne would see us at the top of our group and through to the Semi-Final.
It was a tight affair throughout the game although I always felt confident in our ability.
Themba nearly scored after good possession was developed through Aron and Archie. Westbourne had a few chances as well and then Harry crossed the ball in for Themba who really should have given us the lead.
Both teams were looking tired in the second half and the game became 'stretched'. Tom cleared the ball off our goal line from a corner. Aron cut inside during an attack and took a shot that was trickling in. Archie got his foot onto the ball and diverted it onto the post!
Themba gave us the victory with a fantastic low shot from the left wing. It ricocheted off the far post and went in. Joel had previously given him the ball with a well weighted pass.
Result: 1-0 to Bede's
Calamity struck early on in our semi-final game against St Andrew's when we allowed their best player to turn and dribble at our defence.
A few poor tackles later and their striker had a shot on goal that Jake was unable to get anywhere near.
We had played really poorly and needed to improve fast. Thankfully we did improve and launched many attacks to try and equalise.
Themba had a great chance for a shot but elected to pass. Tom then did score with a fierce shot from outside of the penalty box. The ball cannoned off the head of a defender and into the goal but I am sure it was going in already!
The match finished and we went into extra time. Our players roused themselves once more and took the lead. Aron passed to Themba who instantly gave him the ball back. Aron's shot flew past the goalkeeper at the far post. 2-1 to Bede's.
St Andrews then equalised when it looked like we had secured the win. Poor defending at a throw in led to a chance for a shot at Jake's goal. The shot was too good for Jake and the score was now 2-2.
The final whistle of extra time was sounded and a dreaded penalty shoot-out was now required to determine who would make the final.
St Andrews suffered a moment we have all witnessed an English team go through in the past, but only theirs was worse! They had all of their first 3 penalties saved by Jake and we scored the first 2 through Archie and Themba.
Tom then had then chance to score and take us through but his shot went wide. The next St Andrews shot was also tame and Jake saved and we were in the final!
The home team were a very strong outfit.
Archie had a half chance to score but was tackled. Ardingly threatened several times to score but it was 0-0 at half time.
The second half saw us really struggle and Ardingly scored twice with long range shots from their best player.
It was a shame not to retain this trophy but we played very well.
Well done to all who played. You made me very proud!