PPFC U9s 7 – Highgate RangersU9s 0

The performance of the team as a whole was very impressive and built on our improving form. The last match had been bruising and hard against Canada Blanch, a physically strong and large team. As Neil pointed out it would be great to play them again now of the back of this performance.

Scoring goals has been an issue as we have often created a lot of chances but lacked the finish. We have been working in training on making sure we test the keeper and it paid of. It is worth remembering that Highgate are a good side who deserved to beat us back in November. Goals were shared between Jack with two, MOTM Akin on his debut got a hatrick, all good finishes but his last shot was special powered into the top corner. Seamus scored another two making him our top scorer with eight for the season, his finishing is so calm. He gave an all round midfielders performance with excellent running with the ball, attacking the spaces and clever releasing at the perfect moment. A natural footballer who is really developing. The whole team played at such a good level led by captain Dan and Alexis at the back. I can’t think of a mistake or bad choice they made. Nearly every goal was started by them winning the ball, turning passing and creating an attack with real speed with some very astute passing. Federico played a strong game on the right and still has loads more to offer. Dylan played to a very high level first on the left and then linking up with Isaac, he had a hand in at least four of the goals and was incredibly close to scoring his first goal. With the pressure we put on Highgate they didn’t really have a chance to score, but Antony deal with what he had to and deserved another clean sheet. His throwing was also very sharp.

We managed to rotate a lot of positions, with Dan playing well in midfield and Alexis as striker now again close to getting a goal. We could have easily scored ten. I have left Isaac and Eddie until the end because they both had outstanding games; Isaac had so much energy he delivered the sharp pass for Jack who followed up as the keeper tried to grab the ball to score the vital first goal. Isaac could have had a couple of goals including from a pass from Dylan that rifled over the bar. Highgate couldn’t deal with Eddie at all, he flew down the right with such power and balance; at times three players were all trying and failing to get to him. My moment of the season, so far,  was Eddie chasing back towards his own goal after a ball at full speed with a Highgate player in hot pursuit. As Eddie reached the ball he spun on it turning on the outside leaving his opponent for dead and then haring down the wing to lunch yet another attack. Wonderful to see.

Finally I wanted to thank all the players in the squad, including Nicky, Louis, Tom, Cameron and Max who either weren’t selected or were unavailable for this game. As a group we have all really gone on a journey and am very appreciative of their heart and efforts. I firmly believe that each player has so much more to offer. I am very hopeful for the future of this team as we keep working together and have such a strong will to improve.