PPFC U9s 0 – Belsize U9s 0

Apart from the very early start on a Saturday morning, it was great to see the team out on the pitch again and beginning the new year with such a strong performance. It was the most dominating match we have played to date.

In the first half the opposition hardly managed to get out of their own half. Every player played close to their best. Most pleasing was the hard work in closing down the other team and our shape.

The level of the team’s passing and movement was of a high tempo and we created lots of chances. In the second half, that patten continued, but we couldn’t manage to get the goal we deserved. Max had a couple of good chances and deserved a goal; Alex crashed into their keeper when he looked certain to score and also had a powerful shot that was flying in defected wide.

Dylan played left and right, the players demonstrating their growing ability to rotate in a number of positions. Seamus and Jack showed real strength and skill on the ball and were always looking to shoot. Isaac had another strong and fast running game, he bundled a shot that almost certainly crossed the line, but sadly the ref couldn’t be sure.

With Eddie now tearing up the right and firing in crosses a goal looked certain. In such a one-sided game, enormous credit goes to Antony whose development as a keeper is massive, not least in terms of concentration. With the defence well-marshalled by Alekis and Dan, Antony had only three saves to make, but each time he reacted quickly and sorted the situation.

Cameron, a worthy MOTM, brought all the talent he regularly shows at training to the match, with strong passing, movement and a great corner and will gain lots of confidence from his performance.

It would be fair to say we could have won by three or four. In the end we went all out for a goal, basically with five attackers and the excellent Dan covering behind. Seamus showed our team spirit, when near the end, our opponents broke out he raced back the entire length of the pitch to tackle the player and get the ball back.

It’s a shame we didn’t get the win we richly deserved, but I believe it will only encourage the players’ self-belief, while realising that by working hard together we still have a lot more potential to unlock.