Panthers lose game, but win the football match!

North Warnborough 3 : 2 Panthers

Youth football should be about learning and development first and foremost. Obviously we want the boys to have success from winning games, but sometimes you may not get a result, but win in terms of the boys development. Today was a very important lesson to learn. Having played all of the football, with some moves nothing short of breath taking, we raced to a 2 nil lead. The first goal was a culmination of Ben H’s and Jamie’s dominance and composure on the ball. Feeding Ben O’C, he slipped it round the corner to the on rushing James. James controls the ball and slips it past the keeper with the outside of his right foot. Aston, Luke and Josh had everything covered and calmly set up plays time after time. Using our wide men, the interplay between Ben S and Ben H was fantastic to watch. Soon the ball came through to James who repaid Ben O’C with a nice pass to feet. Ben O’C used his pace and strength to hold off a defender and slotted it past the keeper with his left foot. With a very strong wind against us at 2 nil up, and with the football we were playing, I couldn’t see anything other than a win.

There are many ways to play this game and one of them is the long ball. Pump it up field, use the wind, rush the defence and see what happens. A very useful tactic when you haven’t had a kick in the game! That is exactly what our opposition did. Two long balls up and over our defence, attackers rush on to it having judged the flight of the ball better, all of a sudden its 2 all. The boys are in shock. Whilst still reeling we concede another off a corner and unbelievably go in at half time 3:2 down.

Half Time North Warnborough 3:2 Panthers

In the second half we continued to play, dominating the game and making attack after attack. We played the game the right way, but their defence had turned it up a notch. When we tried the ball over the top, their defenders powerfully headed the ball out of danger. We had made lots of changes, Kieran coming on and snuffing out any of their attacks down their left, and then always looked to play the ball to feet. They had a couple of attempts, but Will was there to save us. Despite everything we tried, either a defender, the keeper, the post and even the cross bar, from a fabulous Ben H free kick, were there to deny us. Even in the last seconds a great one two freed Hugo and from a tight angle the post again got in the way. The boys learnt a lesson today. Sometimes you will come up against teams that you will outplay and lose. You have to be able to deal with all types of opposition tactics, even the long ball. We made huge strides again today, as the standard of our play was excellent. We played the best football and lost. It happens in football and today was a classic example of it.

Man of the Match Will & Aston
Supporters MOM Ben H