David and Goliath
By Andre Tchakhotine
Sils minis stand up to Cov & NW maxis
At the risk of repeating myself...
... a very junior and inexperienced Sils side stepped out onto the Coventry Uni pitch to take on a much older (if not experienced) Coventry & North Warwick badgers team.
The first half started well with both sides finding their way into the game. C&NW then started to dominate and opened the scoring when "yours truly" deflected a wide PC shot past the helpless Jonnie Carter in goal (sorry). Sils then had a spell of pressure with Fergus Montgomery linking well with the forwards from central midfield. The ball just evaded the Sils forwards in the last 3rd of the pitch and the score remained unchanged. Some more sustained pressure from C&NW led to more PCs which Jonnie saved confidently. Then the home side converted some more clear open play opportunities to go into half time 4-0 up.
The second half was as unrelenting as the first. A change of keepers gave Jonnie a chance to have a run outfield and Joshua Bowley the unenviable task of getting in the way of the Coventry shots. Wave after wave of the host's top players continued to attack with the defence of Oliver Harris, Megan Croft and Flo Collins constantly standing strong and tackling their older, stronger opponents. Sils conceded another 4 goals in the half although Josh made some great saves when a goal looked almost certain. There were some silky skills from Erica Adams in midfield launching a few Sils attacks but the oppo's defence held firm. Then with five minutes to go Matthew Hulbert spotted Andre Tchakhotine turn the ball over and slipped away from his marker for AT to play the ball through to him. From just inside the home side's half Matt made for the circle at pace then took the ball to his backhand side and slotted the ball past the keeper's right shoulder. A very well taken goal and no more than the young side deserved for their efforts all game. Sils held on for the last few minutes without conceding and walked off the pitch with spirits high and eagerness to play again.
In summary a team with many playing their first ever full pitch 11-a-side game did themselves proud, showcasing the potential they possess as an age group for the future.
Quote of the day has to go to Flo Collins for her half time response:
Me: How did you all think that half went?
Flo: Those boys are so scary!
(referring to the teenage wingers she stood up to all game!)
Having introduced the team to a brief pre-match warm up and half time team talk it then only left the ritual of match teas (pizza and chips, yum!) and a quick vote of Player of the Match by those who were able to stay for food. Matt taking the vote narrowly for his well taken goal and constant threat up front ahead of Josh's solid goalkeeping display.
Bring on Stratford next week at home!