After a week of almost torrential rain and a playing surface that was more suited to mud wrestling, the U9 boys’ A team took to the field against a very strong opposition from the Elms.
After winning the toss, captain Henry M elected to kick downhill and the boys got their season underway. The Smallwood boys initially found it very hard to adapt to the conditions and despite an early bout of pressure, three quick breakaways coupled with some slick passing saw the Elms move into a 0-3 lead by the fifth minute. It was easy to see by the look on Finlay’s face that he was in for a tough afternoon between the ‘sticks’. Needless to say the boys showed true grit and determination and managed to match the Elms for work rate and only conceded one further goal before the end of the first third.
After much ‘chopping’ and ‘changing’ with the positions, Smallwood took to the field for the second third in a much more upbeat manner. Excellent work in defence from Ben and Charlie managed to keep the score to 0-5 at the end of the second third.
The Elms really put the boys under tremendous pressure during the final third and demonstrated excellent ball retention and great shape throughout. Tireless work from Henry P moving up and down the pitch enabled the score to stay at a very respectable 0-5, meaning the boys were able to complete the final third without conceding a goal.
Considering the slow start the boys made I am deeply encouraged by their effort, determination, ability to listen and overall ‘never say die’ attitude. If they can eradicate the slow start from their next fixture, I am confident that the boys can really put up a good challenge against Edenhurst.