Humberstone Under 12s vs Ibstock Tigers Under 12s
By Jane Read
"In football everything is complicated by the presence of the other team."
Jean Paul Satre
On the back of a first league defeat of the season the boys would be looking to bounce back and there would be no better incentive than to beat the top team in the division and rampant goal scorers Humberstone.
On arrival at the pitch you would be forgiven for thinking that the match would take place with the boys wearing Wellington boots but after piling on enough sand to fill 10 children's sand pits, the referee informed us that it would take place.
After a flurry of early challenges, Ibstock told the early initiative and imposed their passing play with Ben R sprinting clear of a much larger defender to square for Lleyton, only to see his powerful shot fly just wide.
In quick response, Humberstone pressurised back through some clever trickery and direct football with a shot from a corner padding just by Charlie's post.
Resembling the tempo of a cup final, Jimmy shot from edge of the area in quick response after some neat play and hard battling in the centre from Tom.
In reply Humberstone forced a corner after a timely interception from Luke denied a shot on goal. After clearing bravely through Fin in defence, a free kick was forced and blocked by bravery from Jimmy. However, from the resulting cross a tap in past Charlie's save was produced by the sharp reaction of the Humberstone forward.
Shocked by the goal against the run of play, Ibstock responded firstly with Ben R throwing to Lleyton who dribbled and shot from area only to see it go inches wide.
Ben R then went on a run forcing a corner which was cleared despite AJ trying to head in at the far post, Lleyton shot powerfully from the precise Ben R cross.
On the right wing Ben S was finding space and his run produced a shot at the near post. Luke released him again moments later with Lleyton receiving a Ben S pass who squared it for an accurate AJ shot. Unfortunately the keeper made a solid save.
Ben S finished the half with a drive towards goal, he crossed and keeper saved the shot from AJ. Unlucky play but reminding Humberstone of the danger they face on the break.
Half time saw the boys 1-0 down and the introduction of Charlie up front. His presence paid off straight away when he played in Ben R who crossed for AJ to shoot just wide with some neat acrobatics at the far post.
From a forceful foul on Rico, now playing on the left wing, Jimmy thundered home a free kick in to the top corner. What a goal!!!!
With the ascendency now with them, AJ dribbled towards goal and had a shot blocked after a clever through ball from Tom. From the corner the boys tried in vain to beat the keeper and were unfortunately caught on the break despite Fin bravely trying to stop both attackers. With more fortune than skill, the ball went looping over Kyle and into the net.
A fine passage of play saw some lovely football from Ibstock with Jimmy passing to Luke and sliding it trough to AJ who just couldn't quite get a shot past the defenders.
As another breakaway goal with a slick finish made the score 3-1, Sam showed great competition in the centre of midfield to set up Rico for a run and cross which was cleared well by Humberstone.
As pressure built on the boys a Kyle double save kept the score line the same only to follow it up with another double save in athletic manner. Superb reactions. With the game still being chased. Charlie shot edge of area only for the keeper to again keep Ibstock at bay. Finally, Lleyton dribbled to edge of area and shot from a Jimmy cross which was followed by some passing play in which Rico shot at keeper.
As the final whistle blew the boys were disappointed with the result but knew that they had the players to match the divisions most dangerous side. Dave in particular commenting that on the glorious green of Ibstock pitches, a more cultured passing performance would be possible and play to the strengths of a fundamentally passing side. Well done to those who defended valiantly throughout the match, forward play has received many plaudits this year but today was one for the defensive battlers who never gave up.
Man of the Match was Luke. A super defensive display with timely interceptions and quality tackling.
Well done boys! We will have them next time!!