The Team: Emillie Ritchey (GK); Katie Minchella; Harry Buttery; Nick Calderley; Sebastian Lister; Ryan Denton.
Slaz 2 v Airedale B 2
We got off to a shakey start when we conceded 2 goals quickly in the first half despite 2 good chances by Ryan and Nick. The defence just couldn’t make it back and Emillie was left to defend 2 attackers. However the guys settled into their positions in the second half and seemed to stay more in position and use the space well. A long corner from Nick in towards the D was collected and converted by Harry with a super slapshot. There were a couple of scarey 16s where the attack managed to intercept and get into our D but Ryan, Nick and Sebastian made some great tackles, Emillie made a some lovely saves and the ball was played back up towards Airedale’s D. The width of the pitch was utilised very well by Katie, Sebastian and Nick and another good pass to Harry on the edge of the D beat Airedale’s keeper.
Chapeltown A 0 v Slaz 3
The team kept their form in the second game and again used the space well. The guys played more self passes in this game as their confidence built up. After a bit of a mess in Chapeltown’s D we were awarded our first short. Pushed in by Harry to Nick the defence were on it and the ball left the area. However Ryan picked it up in midfield and got it back towards the D to Sebastian. Some great teamwork between Katie and Seb scored us our first. Everyone worked really hard in midfield to keep the ball in Chapeltown’s half. The ball was played through on one occasion to an attacker and Emillie made a great one on one save sending the ball back towards midfield. Sebastian took the ball to the edge of the D and showed great awareness in his pass to Harry who was waiting to slap in another past the keeper. Harry definately knew where his position was by this time and picked up another lovely pass from Nick to score the third.
Slazenger 2 v York B 3
We knew this game would be tough as York had won their previous games 3-0 and 6-0. In the first half we seemed to lose the structure a little bit with the defence and midfield chasing the ball again. York played with at least one attacker up front all of the time and he was free to score 2 past Emillie despite her efforts. Again great work in midfield passing the ball out wide to Katie and Nick and then in to the D again to Harry who powered in the first. The second half was better and Ryan stuck to that attacker like glue so as not to give him another clear shot at goal. York had to work hard against us for their 3rd goal and Ryan, Seb, Nick and Emillie all battled hard in our D but eventually York’s 3rd crossed the line. From the restart Nick took the ball towards the D there were some great passes out wide again to Katie and strong tackles by all of the team on the way up and eventually the ball found its way to Harry in the D who took the shot. It was saved by the keeper but he followed up the rebound and beat the keeper. Great defending by Ryan, Nick and Seb and another great save by Emillie torwards full time kept the score 3-2 to York.
Overall a great day all round. Can I just say how impressed I was with the team today. It seems like such a long time ago since we played our first tournament at Halifax in October where we lost every game and only scored one goal. The kids seem to have improved so much since then and their confidence is coming thick and fast. Considering they haven’t all played together since October they got along really well and played brilliantly together. Ryan who has only been playing at Slaz for a month or so settled in great, it was like he’d been playing with them for ever. It was such a joy to be with them and watch them today.
Special thanks to Dean Michella and Mark Calderley today for helping me out.
from Sarah-Jane Ritchey