Even Storm Fergus could not prevent Barkingside U10s relentless form. This victory was their ninth game unbeaten, but it was achieved against formidable oponents , Gostepe. In torrential conditions and on a slick surface, Barkingside quickly set about their opposition. With a high press, Goztepe were forced into making several errors and Benji on two occasions nearly made the breakthrough. He was not to be denied though. In the seventh minute he broke clear of the Goztepe backline and blasted the opener in off the post. Shortly afterwards, Goztepe's robust approach to the game saw them concede a free kick just outside the box. With unerring accuracy, Alfie squeezed a marvellous curling effort just inside the left post. It was all one - way traffic and with Lewis absent from cage duty, George ably stood in.
The defence was marshalled well by POTM Savanyah and consequently, George had little to do in the first half. Benji then capitalised on a goalkeeping error to smash home Barkingside's third goal from distance. The U10s were playing some great football and some of the inter-play was a joy to watch.
Just before half time, Josh looked to have scored a fourth as his long range effort seemed destined to hit the back of the net. Unfortunately, it hit the underside of the bar and somehow stayed out.
As the heavens opened Goztepe then found a way back into the game with the last action of the half. George very nearly kept out a penalty which had been awarded for handball.
The break had a galvanising effect on Goztepe who continued to press in the second half. They scored a well-worked second in the 25th minute giving Ian (who, after an impressive first half, put on the keepers' gloves) no chance.
As the deluge continued, so too did Goztepe in their search for an equalizer. However, George and Savanyah had the measure of the Goztepe forward line and limited their opportunities. Meanwhile, at the other end, George had shown the Goztepe left back a clean pair of heels on two occasions and put in a lovely cross which Barkingside failed to capitalise on. Josh then fashioned a chance following an impressive mazy run. However, as he was about to pull the trigger, it appeared that a sniper beat him to it. He was most unfortunate in losing his footing as a deserved goal beckoned.
By now Goztepe were desperately pumping the ball forward in search of a goal. One passage of play saw George receive a blow to his face, but despite a nose bleed, he saw out the game. Josh, meanwhile, put in a goal-saving challenge just before the final whistle.
This was a gritty 3-2 win played in horrific conditions. The 10s really had to dig in throughout the second half and demonstrated great resilience. Well done to everyone.