We Are Going Up! Say We Are Going Up!
Brilliant end to an absolutely fantastic season - the boys done good!
W15 D3 L2 F91 A36 GD55 Pts48
I so wish we could give you the title, lads - you absolutely deserve it and were miles ahead of the other teams this season (apart from the one that replaced half its side with First Division players after Christmas...).
For those that don’t know I love my stats(!) so, drum roll please...
Second most wins; least defeats; second most goals scored; least conceded; best goal difference. Scored more than 4.5 goals per game; conceded only 1.8.
But the game! Today’s game!! What a turnaround from last week - same opposition, same ground, same kick off time, even the same ref! But this week you played like you have all season - as a team - quick passing, winning the middle, competing for the ‘second ball’, communicating, taking your chances and keeping it tight at the back. Absolutely awesome. You dominated Panthers this week and taught them a lesson.
- Through ball from Sam (of course!) to Bezza starting up front. Bezza takes full advantage of a rare Panthers mix up in defence to put us 1-0 up.
- A header from Luke to Tom, on up front for Ryan, knocked up in the air and collected by Bezza who knocks it back over the defence for Tom to chase and put away. 2-0 right on the stroke of half time puts smiles on our faces and slumped shoulders on Panthers’.
- Ryan, now playing at right wing-back shipping onto Jake, calmly (as ever) onto Tom in the box, his shot rebounds to Alfie who pitches a magnificent cross into the box. Dylan takes a beautiful first time half-volley which is well saved but Tom follows up for his second. 3-0.
- Almost a carbon copy - Ryan driving down the right except this time Tom finishes off the through ball first time for his hat-trick. 4-0.
- Tom and Luke battling on the left and getting the ball to Alfie who lofts the ball across the box. Dylan lets the ball bounce over his shoulder before putting it away. 5-0.
- Sam’s quick throw-in to Alfie who flicks the ball inside for Ryan, charging up from the right wing finding himself in his favourite position - one-on-one with the goalkeeper. With the inevitable result. Well, it couldn’t be a Roman Rangers goal fest without a Ryan goal! 6-0. And it could have been more. The result didn’t flatter us by any means.
Coach Andrews tried a new formation today. Having watched the Mighty Chelsea romp to the Premier League championship(yay!!) he looked at the lads in our squad and thought, “You know what; a 3 at the back with a couple of willing wing-backs could work for us, too. We have a lot of similarities with the Blues: great defenders, fantastic holding midfielders, tireless runners, exciting strikers.”
And boy did the lads seem to enjoy it…
Jack - what an amazing stalwart all season, stepping between the posts in Reece’s absence. You have looked a natural all season, Jack and today was no exception - absolutely secure in goal, reading the game and collecting all those Panthers long balls, nullifying their attack. Another clean sheet!
Shonit, Harry and Matthew as the 3 defenders. You boys have been amazing this season and along with Alex, Tyler and Dylan you have earned the prize of least goals conceded. Shonit, you have developed immensely and are now so calm, looking for your midfielders to play the clever pass.
Harry - a rock at the back, reading the game each week.
Matthew - tireless running, huge determination and great cover. You never give up.
Today’s wing-backs - we started with Alex on the left and Dylan on the right. You two could be natural wing backs. Both of you hate being beaten but you also love the wing. With the solidity behind you, it allows you to play further upfield and you both worked hard today, providing great options for the midfield. Alex, you moved into the back 3 in the second half and helped ensure the clean sheet; Dylan, you moved up front (scoring once and making a number of other chances). You are two wonderfully versatile players.
Callum moved into the holding role usually played by Jake - a new position and huge boots to fill. It’s going to take enormous levels of fitness but you have the skill and determination to make it your own. That lob shot from just outside the area that hit the top of the bar was a gem!
Jake - on for a swan song today - going to miss you buddy. You have a great football brain; you see things so clearly. It allows you to make the difficult things look so easy. Good luck next season - you are going to be a man among boys!
Sam - our very own bulldog in the middle. Today you were first to everything, dominating the middle like you have all season. Great talking as well, encouraging the others and directing operations. Some rare minutes on the bench for you today, too, but what an impact when you went back on!
Alfie - Captain Marvel - playing the ‘free role’ if for no other reason than you can be in two places at the same time (almost) lol. You should be proud of yourself and proud of your teammates, buddy. Love watching you play - you scare the bejeezus out of the opposition.
Bezza - what a game today, buddy, in a new role in a two up front - fantastic first time balls to your strike partner and nicking yourself a goal.
Ryan - what a handful. Sometimes over the season your emotions have got the better of you but not today - you seemed to absolutely love it - first half with a strike partner seemed to give you a new lease of life - somebody else taking some of the burden. But it was the second half where the smile spread across your face as you dominated the right wing-back position and, ironically when you scored your goal. Loved watching you at close quarters from the touchline for once.
Luke - new to the team this year - you certainly love a good challenge and I love the way you never shy away from a battle. You have that ‘hate to be beaten’ attitude as well, making you a natural defender.
Tom - also new to the team - enjoyed your match playing up front today. Good strength and a good hat-trick. 100% effort the whole time you were on the pitch. Well done.
And last but not least today - Reece - the Return (lol). So glad you’re feeling better, good to see you back and another clean sheet of course!
Given this is the last report of the year, a quick few words about the lads who couldn’t make it today:
Tyler - a huge development in your game this season, buddy - strength, passing, support play and a real focus in training.
AJ - great feet and massive determination. Some of your tracking back has been awesome this season and your ability going forward is a joy to watch.
And in dispatches:
Derren for running the line all season!
All the parents for their wonderful support.
And last, but by no means least... Coach Andrews for all his efforts. Without this guy, there would be no football. Thank you John.
So - Thank You - all of you - for a wonderful season capped off with a defining display today. Love helping coach you guys and love watching your football. Wish I had half your ability.
Star Player today? Sorry and however corny it might be - but it has to be the whole team!
Right, thanks for reading! Now I just need to learn how to type U14 :0)
Bring on Division 2!