Barkingside U10s came up against near neighbours Woodford this morning on Wanstead Flats. The sun was shining, it wasn't windy and even Tony was smiling. Surely nothing could spoil this idyllic scene.
Wanstead started the game like a team possessed, they were passing the ball well and creating little triangles at the back and in the midfield.
However, after 5 minutes, Woodford broke and Bob's you Uncle - they had their noses in front. It was the short sharp shock that Barkingside needed and with renewed vigour, they set about attacking the Woodford wing. Things were a little narrow though and Barkingside needed to exploit their pace on the wing a bit more. Both George L and Benji were shackled well by an impressive Woodford back unit but they did manage to burst through on a couple of occasions - Benji going close at the far post first of all, then Josh hit one over the bar. It was Barkingside who were looking the likelier to score. On another mazy run, Benji again went close and the ball zipped across the Woodford backline from a couple of Alfie's crosses towards the end of the half. How the ball didn't end up in the net is anyone's guess.
Then, and indeed very much against the run of play, Woodford scored an impressive goal just before the ref's half time whistle blew. This knocked the stuffing out of Barkingside and they rather retreated into themselves in the second half. There were half chances again and some more excellent crosses in from Alfie and great interplay between George G, Benji and Ben at the front. However, they could just not fashion a clear chance. Woodford, then scored on the break - their 11 was having a terrific game and it was perhaps fitting that he scored coolly beyond Lewis. Lewis was called into action again a few minutes later and made a fine save in a one on one. Unfortunately, the ball had struck him and he remained grounded as it popped out which allowed the Woodford number 9 to roll the ball into an empty net.
The game ended 4-0 to Woodford which in some respects didn't quite reflect the game as a whole; but it's no doubt they deserved it. Savanyah once again played her part at the back and Ian was his usual obstinate self in breaking down the Woodford attacks. However, there was little cohesion in Barkingside's play and the blip continues. No doubt Reagan will rally the troops before our next fixture. Mind you, he's probably in a very, very dark room this evening reflecting on events at the London Stadium. Things could be worse..........
Well played everyone. As ever, despite it being a difficult game - there's always lots to learn from fixtures like this and the spirit throughout was good. Well done to all and let's have a go at them again ne xt week.
Final Score Barkingside 0 - 4 Woodford Town