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Match Report - U13 vs Eynsham Youth

posted 14 Sept 2014, 13:54 by Dave Tyrrell   [ updated 14 Sept 2014, 13:54 by Graham Keeble ]
The first 11-a-side league match for Bure Park Juniors U13 took place at home on a warm, sunny afternoon. As well as team size, the goal sizes have increased as well, and the match duration has extended from 30 to 35 minutes each way. Even the crowd seemed larger, as a good travelling supported greeted a good home turnout.

This was always going to be a tough fixture: the first one for Bure Park in the 'A' league for two seasons, and against last season's third placed team.

As if this wasn't enough of a challenge, circumstances conspired to deprive Bure Park of a full complement of players, and therefore only ten blues took to the pitch.

Being a man down is never easy, but Bure Park knew they would have to play the entire match with one less player, and with no substitutes to rest their soon-to-be-weary legs.

Imagine their delight then, when they found themselves one nil up after only four minutes. Aiden Holliday looked to have been pushed as he chased the ball into the opposition penalty area, and the ref clearly agreed. Zac Willis put sufficient pace on the penalty kick so that even though the goalie got a finger to the ball, he was unable to stop it.

A few moments later and Bure Park very nearly doubled their lead. Ethan Cavill played a ball over the top for Zac to run on to, and with time to burn you felt the net was about to bulge, but the keeper made himself wide and saved.

In the 12th minute the match was level. Sam Gauld played a short pass out to Tommy Mansley who was quickly closed down and dispossessed. The opposition striker hit low and hard and from a very acute angle but somehow it found the back of the net. With an extra two opposition players on the pitch now (compared to last season), your time on the ball is vastly reduced, as Bure Park were discovering. One-all.

Only two minutes later, and Eynsham had taken the lead. Bure Park had opportunities to clear the ball, but somehow the ball made its way through the mid-field and into the penalty area and a good strike from Eynsham finished the move.

At this point in the game, you wondered how Bure Park would respond. They could have been two nil up, but found themselves two-one down, and still with one less player of course. The answer was to just keep playing. In the 16th minute Bure Park won a throw-in within reaching distance of the Eynsham 18 yard box. Zac Willis received the ball and ran to the touchline, but then cut back in towards the goal. Willis faced an impossible angle, so shooting was not an option. Zac picked out Aiden in the 6 yard box, and Holliday calmly placed the ball home. Two-all.

However, Bure Park were still not finished. In the 22nd minute the Eynsham defence failed to clear a goal kick from Tommy Mansley, which ran into the path of Aiden. Yet again Bure Park were clean through on goal. Aiden shot and the goalie saved, but Holliday was first to the loose ball and slotted home. Amazingly, Bure Park had retaken the lead, 3-2.

The match was now end to end stuff, and Eynsham were making most of their attacks down the left, which was keeping Lochlan, playing at right-back, fully occupied. An Eynsham attack after the Bure Park goal resulted in a swinging cross from the left flank and seemingly headed for their main striker. William Tyrrell produced a great defensive header at the last moment to clear. Oscar Honour was also making his presence felt, with a string of solid tackles.

The 26th minute found Bure Park attacking again, and Aiden found Joe Mimpress in space on the far side of the Eynsham penalty box. Joe hit the ball first time and it looped just over the cross-bar.

Just a couple of minutes later and Eynsham were level yet again. A long ball from Eynsham into the Bure Park penalty area, and Sam couldn't quite get there first. Three-all.

Into first-half injury time, and new signing Callum Walsh almost scored twice. Walsh found himself battling hard for the ball in the Eynsham penalty area and produced a shot which looked goal-bound but was blocked. Bure Park then won a free-kick on the corner of the 18-yard box which Callum stuck towards the top left hand corner but it floated just over.

Half-time blew and you felt Bure Park were possibly unlucky to have finished the half without a clear lead, which was astonishing given the imbalance in team quantities.

The question now was, could they pull off the same performance in the second half?

Unfortunately, within 5 minutes of the re-start, Eynsham found themselves in the lead for the second time in the match. A shot was well saved by Sam, but he just couldn't hold on to the ball and Eynsham were first to the rebound, 4-3.

The game ebbed and flowed for a period, but the ball was mostly in the Bure Park half. On the 50th minute, Mansley forced a save from the Eynsham keeper from a free-kick, but opportunities for the Blues had mostly dried up. The constant pressure from the away team was starting to show, and Bure Park were mostly electing to kick the ball away as hard as possible, rather than find another Blue player. Tired players with hurt and aching limbs simply had to play on.

Credit to Bure Park though, the game was finally sealed only as late as the 63rd minute, as Eynsham scored from a loose ball in the Blue penalty area which was dispatched just inside the far post, and a great save from Sam in the dying moments kept the lead down to two.

Final score: Eynsham 5, Bure Park 3.

Bure Park can be proud of their performance today. The extra man and lack of subs seemed to be the difference between the two sides.

Man of the match: Joe Mimpress.
Attendance: 40.