U10 Cougars v Ware Youth Whites

posted Dec 3, 2011, 7:44 AM by Dave Boynton   [ updated Jul 30, 2012, 9:43 AM by Wheathampstead Wanderers ]
It was an unseasonably warm and sunny December morning, and the Cougars were in for a tough test against a strong Ware Youth side. Paul and Jeff zipped through a quick and comprehensive warm up, and the team looked lively and ready to go in their new 'Christmas Tree' formation.
Ware started well - last weeks man-of-the-match Myles had to be alert and get a foot in early on, while both George and Christian were kept pinned back to counter the threats on the wings. Wheato managed to pick up their fair share of possession, but Ware were looking more dangerous, and following a mix-up from a goal-kick, The Cougars found themselves one down in the first five minutes. Despite the setback, The Cougars continued to play with smiles and passion, and we had a couple of good chances as Ekom freed Samrahn to a one-on-one where the keeper did well, and then Alfie and Samrahn combined but couldn't find the room to get a shot away. We were competing very well all over the pitch, but Ware had the edge and were using the width better when they had the ball. Twenty minutes in, a great passing move in tight space form Ware freed their Striker who stabbed the ball past Sam in goal. The Cougars went into the break 2-0 down.

Half-Time was all about reinforcing what a great performance we were putting in, and encouraging the kids to use the ball and have fun.

We came flying out for the second half. Harry had come on in the right wing-back position, and was putting in a great shift, getting in some good tackles and making good passes. Igor was on in the centre of defence, and was calmly mopping up behind the midfield - Igors reading of the game and all round play has been fantastic all season. Alfie was finding more room having dropped into the middle, and Samrahn was up-front, desparate for a goal! Samrahn had a great shot across goal and just wide, then in his last minute before coming off, Ben played him though one-on-one, and he made no mistake to put The Cougars back into the game at 1-2. Despite our confidence, Ware were one of the best sides we've played this season, and they were breaking quickly and getting some good shots in. Sam was a hero in goal to keep us in the game, and Igor/George/Myles/Christian were really covering some ground and defending like pros. The final subs saw Myles back on, and the 'dream team' of Ben and Ekom holding Centre-Mid. It was end to end stuff now - either team could have had 5 or 6 goals. Both sets of parents were cheering, and the coaches were enjoying some great play on both sides. The question was, could The Cougars come back?
The Ware keeper saved a great one-on-one with Ekom, and Sam did the same at our end. With 5 minutes to go, a short free kick to Igor, who set Ekom free on the left to put in a great cross. It looked like the defender had poked the ball away from Ben, but Ben got it back and beat the keeper from a tight angle at the near post! 2-2!
The last few minutes were frantic end-to-end, and both teams can rightly feel they had good chances to win it. In the end it was a fantastic game of U10 football, and both sets of players and parents can be proud to have played a part - Football was definitely the winner  ;o)