Tough Test but run continues
By Fraser Mee
Bloxham hosted ...........
..... Eynsham Assciation U12's at Jubilee Park. With the boys in a buoyant mood with their start to the season, they were looking forward to the game. Eynsham started the match and it was apparent that they were a stiff test for Bloxham. They passed the ball well and were quite robust in their challenges. It took the boys a few minutes to adjust to this type of opponent and start to stay strong on the ball. The early exchanges were even, with both sides moving the ball well, without really creating a chance. The visitors should have gone ahead, with the first clear effort on goal. Picking the ball up, they moved it quickly down their left. Pulling the home defence over, the winger crossed the ball to an unmarked attacker. With an open goal beckoning, his first touch wasn't the best and by the time he let fly, Josh and got across and the blocked the shot with his body. A real chance gone. This seemed to stun the boys into action, with James and Tom W having a shots blocked and then Tom W having a effort saved. Mid way through the half, Thomas M took a knock whilst challenging for the ball and was replaced by Freddie, The half continued with both sides making niggling tackles. Which lead to the visitors getting a little frustrated, at receiving the same treatment that they hade been giving. As the half was drawing to a close, James W picked the ball up and played a nice interchange of passes with Harry C and Aiden, before creating a little space and slotting the ball past the Eynsham keeper. ( HT 1-0).
The home side made a change at half time with Ismaeel coming on for Archie. The second half started and with in seconds, the visitors had an effort goal, saved by Carson. After a quiet 5 minutes or so, Bloxham increased their lead. Collecting a trough ball, Carson quickly kicked the ball out to the Bloxham left to James W. Turning and heading towards goal, he danced and weaved his way past lunging tackles to the edge of the visitors area. Having a quick look up, he planted it firmly past the advancing keeper (2-0). At this point Harry C made way for Harry G, in another change for the home side. Shortly after this, the visitors got on the score sheet .... following a scrappy passage of play. Bloxham failed to clear several crosses and as the ball was bobbling in the area, a Eynsham attacker pounced and prodded the ball home (2-1). This lead to the visitors having a good period of play, with Bloxham not controlling the ball well. Another quick ball through the middle of the park, set a Eynsham attacker free. Getting clear of the defence and bearing down on goal, Carson came out of his goal and start to dive at his feet, just in the area ..... only for the attacker to go round him and slot the ball into the empty night (2-2). Almost immediately after the restart, the boys went back in front. Thanks to a calm finish by Tom W (3-2). At this point, Thomas M returned to the game for Freddie, to try and stiffen up the defence. The game ebbed and flowed, with both sides creating chances. With time running out and Bloxham, holding onto a slender lead. It seemed that the home side had weathered the visitors efforts ............ only to have a moment od 'Deja Vu'!! A ball played through the middle of a high Bloxham defence, freed up the scorer of the Eynsham 2nd goal and again he ran at the home goal. Once more, Carson came out to close him down, this time pushing him wider to his left. But he still managed to get his shot away and it struck the bottom of the far post and then in. (3-3) ........ the visiting fans went wild , with joy. Anyone would have thought they had won the lottery!!. Both sides went in search of a winner, in the final few minutes. But they had to settle for a point. (FT 3-3)
This was a stern test for the boys and they dealt with the physical nature of the opponents well. They played well, good movement and passing, as well as talking to each other and was a sold performance.
A special mention to the young referee, who did well to manage a niggly, robust game and some vocal parents on both sides.