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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Powell

U8's Dig Deep

Barkingside took to the field with a depleted squad of only 5 players, and with coach Phil unavailable, Zak took the reins.

R77 came out with all guns blazing having been victorious in the last encounter.

Barkingside did their best impression of West Ham as they soaked up the pressure. A string of unbelievable saves from Milo kept things level in the first 10 mins.

Eddie helped to bring a sense of calm at the back, defending resolutely in his inimitable nonchalant style, with some lovely passes.

Having weathered the storm, Barkingside began to apply their own pressure and soon the floodgates were smashed open by Spencer as he calmly volleyed a pinpoint cross from Benji. The second followed from Benji with a blazing free kick that scorched the woodwork before finding its way into the net.

A second goal for Benji as he calmly nutmegged the keeper. And a brace for Spencer who reaped the benefits of his ruthless high pressing further up the pitch - he ran onto a pass from Benji and calmly slotted it in to the bottom corner.

Kudos to Sviat for sticking to a more defensive role today, in partnership with Eddie. Sviat tackled well to move the ball up the pitch, as well as being unlucky with several attempts on goal missing the target by the narrowest of margins.

Benji was heard to reassure his older brother at half time, 'I told you we were going to come back stronger than ever!'.

However, Barkingside came under significant pressure in a tense second half and R77 brought the scoreline back level.

A hand injury for Spencer, who had taken over keeper duty from Milo, led to some tactical genius from coach Zac as he returned to the formation that brought so much success in the first half.

The action spanned both ends, but an unbelievable half volley from Benji from 20 yards flew into the net to seal a well deserved victory!

What a great performance from the whole team, who showed tremendous energy, determination and resilience.

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