HARVESTERS U13 NORTH 3 EDGWARE TOWN 0
By Hugh Sprowson
WARM UP MAN
Penultimate League game of what is now feeling like a very long season - with our Cup Final looming Sunday v Maccabi like a Leviathan rising from the mist on a long-forgotten world, this was a chance for our players to stake a claim for game time and hopefully clinch 5th place in the Red Division, which would be a considerable improvement on last season's performance and for which all the boys deserve immense credit. Our goal difference also limped apologetically into the plus column for the first time this season!
We started well and played all the football in the first 20 minutes. Steward, whom we were delighted to see had taken on board our wishes to take less touches and play the simple pass, was distributing the ball very well, and our defence really had nothing to do. Despite a lot of possession, though, there was little in the way of clear chances and to be fair the Edgware keeper he didn't have a lot to do either. We did force a lot of corners in this match, and despite some excellent deliveries from Brad and Sam there seemed to be more chance of Donald Trump winning Syria's Most Popular Man competition than for us to get a head on any of them. Time after time, the ball dropped in the box and was treated like it has gelignite attached to it. But in the end, as Sam swung yet another well-flighted ball over, we allowed an Edgware player to volley it in for us. He was probably frustrated by our inability to make contact with a corner too so took on the job himself. 1-0 and half time.
We had gone three at the back midway through the first half and into the second, as a potential dress rehearsal for Maccabi, but it didn't work. I can only describe the first 5-10 minutes of the second half as chaotic. We started with losing possession from the kickoff and nearly conceding within 15 seconds, with Ethan having to make a couple of decent saves as our defenders suddenly looked like they had never been introduced before and the midfield strangely at times running into each other. Nevertheless, we reverted to our usual formation and things instantly improved. Brad was having a great game and his battle with the Edgware left back was good to watch, both players committed and giving no quarter in a tough but fair confrontation.
We got back on track after 58 minutes as out of nothing Aidan challenged and won a ball on the edge of their box. He had an awful lot to do, but rode a couple of tackles and, as he closed on the keeper, was blatantly held back. As his howls of protest shook the foundations of the Galleria, the ball ran loose to Kobi who pretty much had the freedom of the County and merely had to sidefoot into an empty net. 2-0. Aidan's outrage was only mildly mollified by us having scored, and the referee assuring him he would have awarded a penalty had we not done so.
Buoyed by the crucial second goal, we produced our best move of the match on the hour. Lord Charles, playing in deerstalker and gaiters in this match whilst his faithful spaniel kept watch on the touchline, picked up the ball in defence and played a nice one-two with Louis. Louis played a terrific ball down the line for Brad who produced another excellent, hanging cross. Waiting like a ninja in the six yard box was Ben, who put a precise header back across the keeper and into the corner for 3-0. A great goal. This was Ben's first of the season in the League and he took it in exemplary fashion.
We had a number of other chances as Edgware wilted a bit, but we didn't convert and in the end it was comfortable enough. But we will not have the luxury of a patchy middle period Sunday and will have to be consistent the whole game! Good luck lads.