Soccer - U9 A VII Tournament at Littlegarth (A)
The afternoon started well with the bus arriving on time this year! Our prompt departure was soon scuppered several hundred metres down the road as the level crossing stayed shut for a good 15 minutes. We arrived just in time for the briefing by Mr E of Littlegarth. Our group consisted of The Abbey, St Margaret’s and Ursuline. The matches would be a straight 10 minutes, this made the toss important as it meant you could attack down the slope.
Homwood played St Margaret’s and soon found themselves a goal up thanks to a fine finish from Harry O. It was a closely fought match with chances at both ends. Holmwood’s defence stood strong resulting in a winning start to the tournament.
The second match was against Ursuline of Brentwood. The boys were outstanding. They dominated the match so much so that Patrick A in goal did not touch the ball. Harry O controlled the midfield and Ned N looked electric upfront. The final result was 5-0 with Ned N scoring a hat trick and Harry O the other 2.
The final match was against The Abbey. From the start the Abbey looked to keep a narrow shape and make it hard for us to break them down. Henry D continued to look solid in defence and calm on the ball. He was supported well in defence by Alex B and as normal in was Ned N (2) and Harry O who scored the goals.
Holmwood were comfortably through to the semi finals after playing some outstanding football. The boys had all kept their shape well. Ralph B-S tackling was outstanding as was Sam F positional sense on the right. James P worked hard up and down the right when his chance came.
Holmwood topped their group with 9 points from a possible 9 without conceding a goal. As winners of the group the boys would play the runners up from the other group in the semi final. It was a shock when it was announced that Littlegarth had not won their group and it was to be them who we played in the semi’s.
This would be a real test and a chance to gauge our progress so far this term as Littlegarth had previously beaten us 7-1 in our very first match.
The semi final was a tight affair. Holmwood battled well, with chances few and far between. The final whistle went and it was to be penalties. The improvement the boys have made this term is evident and this result proves how far they have come as a team. Holmwood entered the best of 3 shoot-out with confidence and 3 strong penalty takers. Henry D won the toss and elected for Holmwood to take the first penalty. It was Ned N who stepped up first but unfortunately his powerful shot was saved. Littlegarth took the lead, but only just as Patrick A got a strong hand to it but could only force it into the roof of the net. Harry O smashed Holmwood’s second into the top left hand corner. Littlegarth scored their second. The pressure was on Henry D, we knew if he missed it would all be over. He scored, taking it to the last penalty. Patrick A pulled off a good save to take it to sudden death. Alex B stepped up first, he hit a shot hard and low the keepers right. The ball was pushed onto the post and then stopped on the line. This meant if Littlgarth scored again they would be through to the final. It was not to be Holmwood’s day, with Littlgarth converting their fourth spot kick to advance to the final.
This meant that the boys were in the strange position of having not lost or conceded a goal in the whole tournament but still not making through to the final.
It was a fantastically organised and well run event. I must thank the many parents for their support on the day and their positive comments on the teams performance and general improvement this term.
Well done to the whole team. Patrick A, Henry D, Alex B, Ralph B-S, Sam F, Harry O, Ned N and James P.