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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Powell

Bright and Breezy for the U11's

On a bright, and rather breezy Sunday morning, the U11's were up and about early for their 9.30 match against Youngers.

I say 9.30 but unfortunately the nets hadn't been set up so there was a bit of a delay getting going. We finally kicked off about 15 minutes late with Barkingside playing into the blustery wind.

The first 10 minutes proved to be very even with no real chances at either end but both teams trying hard to find an opening.

The first real opportunity came when Jacob, playing as the striker today, was put through by a lovely ball from Olivia. Unfortunately the Youngers goalkeeper was quickly out, managing to smother the ball before Jacob unleashed his shot.

Again, the match became a midfield battle with no real chances for either team until Youngers managed to mount a period of sustained pressure. Three corners ensued and just as it looked like Barkingside were clearing their lines, a very controversial goal was scored by Youngers.

The ball went out of play off a Youngers player (very clear for all to see) and both teams stopped for Barkingside to take the throw. All players bar one who carried on and walked the ball into the net.

The ref clearly hadn't seen what had happened so asked the Youngers players if the ball had gone out of play - who obviously said it hadn't, so awarded the goal.

Memories of Newcastle v Arsenal flashed through my mind, however the U11's need to learn the important lesson that you "play to the whistle".....

5 minutes later, poor defending from Barkingside and another goal was conceded. A high ball that didn't look remotely dangerous and the U11's all just stood and watched whilst a Youngers player picked the ball up and shot casually past Milo.

Into the second half and the sense of injustice seemed to spur the U11's on, putting Youngers under siege for long periods of time. That said, they did have the odd counter attack which Tommy, Olly and Aadam were alive to.

Finally the breakthrough came. Olivia found Ariyan in space from a throw in. Ariyan took a couple of touches as he moved unchallenged towards their goal and shot wide of the keepers left hand into the bottom corner.

Game on......

Barkingside continued to apply pressure but lost the ball just outside the Youngers penalty area. Ariyan managed to intercept it as they tried to move forward and fired a shot towards their goal. A shot that was certainly going in. One of their defenders slid in to block the shot and very clearly put his hand out and deflected the shot into the keepers hands.


Luck just wasn't on Barkingside's side today. "Play on" said the ref to an astonished group. A long hopeful ball down the pitch and a shot by the Youngers striker and it was in the back of the Barkingside net.

That turned out to be the last kick of the game and a real sense of injustice was the over riding feeling of players and spectators alike.

That said, they way Barkingside stuck at it and so very nearly grabbed at least a draw, bodes well for future matches.

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