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Match Report – U12s vs Banbury United Spencer, Wednesday 23rd April 2014

posted 24 Apr 2014, 14:50 by Dave Tyrrell   [ updated 24 Apr 2014, 14:50 by Graham Keeble ]

This rearranged match was held on Wednesday afternoon, due to the many match postponements earlier in the year, thanks to the wet winter and constantly waterlogged pitches.

 It was perhaps fitting then that this game was played in rain which varied from light drizzle to soggy downpour right the way through the match.

 More importantly, this game was also a chance for Bure Park Juniors to clinch the division title. Three points today would put Bure Park beyond the points tally reachable by their opponents, Banbury Spencer.

 When Bure Park played these opponents at the start of the season, it was a tight game won by Banbury, but since then Bure Park have won every league match they have played (a winning streak of eleven consecutive games spanning six months) and have turned into an extremely well organised unit who have not conceded many goals, with a disciplined and skilful defence, a battling midfield, and an exciting hard-working attack. It was therefore interesting to see how the game would play out.

After an opening couple of minutes where both sides probed and pushed, Bure Park began to create chances. The first was in the 3rd minute, and resulted in Aiden Holliday blasting over the bar after some good work from his team-mates saw him presented with an opportunity to shoot from the left of the area.

 Four minutes later and Joe Mimpress made a strong run down the left wing and unleashed a very powerful shot with his left foot as he entered the penalty area, although again the ball sailed over the bar.

 It was now all Bure Park, who seemed to have settled more quickly than Banbury, and appeared to be coping better with the wet conditions.

 Bure Park were keen to shoot when the chance arose, and this seemed to be the right tactic, given that the keepers might struggle to hold on to a slippery ball today, and you felt that the Blues would be the first to score.

 In the 9th minute the breakthrough came. Tommy Mansley at full-back had been making good attacking progress down the left as usual, and when the ball came to him and some space opened up in front, he did not need to be asked twice. Taking the ball forward, Mansley opened his body to shoot and you knew he was about to ask the Banbury keeper a question. Shooting from well outside the penalty area, it first appeared that he had not given the shot sufficient height, but the treacherous conditions worked in his favour and the ball span out of the keepers hands into the goal.

 Only a minute after the goal, Holliday played through a nicely weighted pass to Zac Willis who ran towards the goal only to shoot narrowly left. A few minutes later and a Bure Park corner saw Joe Mimpress miss narrowly past the far post. A moment later and this time it was Ethan Cavill’s turn to blast over the bar. Another moment later and Oscar Honour headed over from yet another Bure Park corner. It was breathless stuff.

 The final mention of the first half goes to Joe Mimpress, who hit a screamer just before the whistle which forced an excellent diving save from the Banbury keeper.

 It had been an excellent first half performance from the Blues, and you felt they were unlucky to be only a goal to the good, and you hoped they wouldn’t live to rue their missed chances.

The skies in the second half darkened to the extent that floodlights, if we had them, would definitely have been switched on, as the rain continued to come down.

 The half started well for Bure Park, with an excellent counter-attacking move. A Banbury throw was intercepted well by Tommy Mansley, who got a foot to the ball and then as the ball looped in the air he out-jumped the attacker next to him to head down to Zac Willis. Willis, turning as the ball came past him, took only one touch as a defender bore down on him and played it across the field, switching play to Lochlan Colquhoun. Colquhoun took a few touches to invite a defender on to him and then played it out still further on to the right wing for Dan Carr to take it forward. Sensing an oncoming defender, Carr switched back inside and played it back to Colquhoun who had continued his run forward. A defender managed to get his toe-in and send the ball backwards, but only to William Tyrrell who saw an opportunity to collect the ball and bring it back into an attacking position. Tyrrell skipped past one oncoming defender and then another, trying to bring it on to his favoured right side, but each turn was taking him further left. He tried a shot with the outside of his right foot, but could not get enough power to make it count, but a lovely flowing move from the Blues.

 Lucas Davis out on the left wing made numerous strong runs, and always seemed to find an end product with a pass or a cross to another Blue player. Robbie Heath battled hard in midfield, and added extra energy as tired legs started to show.

 But with all their attacking intent, Bure Park just could not find the net. Zac Willis came closest, swivelling and shooting but hitting the left hand post.

 As the second half came to a close, Banbury pushed higher up the pitch in search of an equaliser, and eventually won a free kick on the edge of the Bure Park area. These were nervous moments, but the 3-man wall stood firm and the shot rebounded harmlessly away.

 The final whistle blew to cheers from the Bure Park players. Champions!