A Cracking Start for the Development Team
The Men’s Development team started the season with a fresh line up and a 4 – 2 win over Rotherham. The back line was led by Harry Buttery, possibly the
shortest goal keeper in this league, with Andy Fisher, Mayank Gupta, Danny Croxall and PJ. In midfield a positive start from Harry Gunning, George Fernly Matthew Smith and Elliot Goulding. Up front came Peter Gunning and Darren Buttery.
Last season saw a defeat by a single goal from Rotherham in a low scoring match rounding off a good season for the development team, but this match was a completely different animal. The newly formed Development team hit the ground running with a fast paced start, playing smart triangle balls between the forwards. It saw quick paced attack after quick paced attack. A goal came only five minutes into the game with one Gunning brother feeding another and Peter slotting a pacy ball into the left hand corner of the net beating the outstretched keeper. Rotherham couldn’t hold Slaz at all and George ran a quick ball into the D and scored a fine solo effort. A quick double substitution brought Ryan Denton into defence for Mayank and Tom Pitchforth into midfield for Andy Fisher.
Some tinkering with positions needed to be accommodated as we had a player or two who drifted forward and inward from the wing. Thank heavens for Tom Pitchforth a true utility player able to strongly hold any position on the field. The closing minutes of play saw a good goal from Rotherham as Slaz foolishly tried to clear up the centre of the pitch instead of down the safety of the wings.
The half time talk from team captain Andy looked at the problem that caused the goal but reinforced the quick thinking and determination the team had showed throughout the first half.
George was moved forward whilst Peter took a break with Tom for the first ten minutes of the second half, substitutions were going to be important as the day was hot and the pace was intense. After another goal from Elliot from a well worked short corner routine the play switched to the other end of the field, a well placed strike beat Harry in goal and brought the score to 3-2. Darren tried the unorthodox approach of trying to head a high ball into the goal in their D, thankfully the ball only struck his chest. A strong finish from Slaz in the last fifteen minutes of the game saw an own goal as a panicked Rotherham defence couldn’t stem the tide from the Slazenger forwards and attacking midfield.
The team throughout deserved the win, with a quality back 4 led by PJ and a team who communicated and played for each other from beginning to end.
Man of the Match: Tom Pitchforth