Another weekend of English weather saw Continental Star u16s make the short trip to local rivals Football Futures. With not many games being played due to the weather, it was an opportunity for Star to close the gap on league leaders, Sutton Utd and increase the gap over 3rd placed Marston Green to 10 points.
Due to injuries and unavailability, we began the game with solely 11 players. With a few players showing their positional versatility, it was a patient start before we got into the swing of things. Futures began to apply pressure as the half went on but to no effect. With this pressure, came ill discipline; as gaps and a very high defensive line allowed Star to utilise the pace upfront from Kieron, Kory and Dante.
With the pitch worsening with every move, a through ball from Kory set Kieron on his way who set the ball back for Shaquille to score…. But not quite! As the boggy under earth prevented the ball running true into the goal, stopping on the line.
As fate would prevail, Star were helpless soon after as a strike from the edge of the box following a defensive header, resulted in Tasian losing his footing and slipping while attempting to prevent a goal to no avail. 1-0
This seemed to spur on Star who began to play (where possible) in the right areas, causing problems for Futures’ defence, but failing to find the finishing touch going into half time. HT
By highlighting opposition faults and enforcing that we have to play to the conditions. Star began the 2nd half in the ascendancy. With Natty “I’ll run through a brick wall” Williams recovering to then play a neat ball down the line to Dante, a pass to Shaquille resulted in a cross falling to the unmarked Kieron at the back post who slammed the ball into the roof of the net to equalise. 1-1
This joy was short lived, as a defensive lapse in concentration allowed Futures to break from the middle third through on goal. The initial shot was saved by Tasian, with a klinsmanesque dive, face first into the now swamp of a goal mouth, only to fall back to the Futures’ forward who grabbed his 2nd. 2-1
“If it’s not broken, why change it?” This was the ethos, as Star continued to dominate as more applied pressure allowed us to create chance after chance. Star soon got what they deserved. A through ball from Reshea “Yaya Toure” Seville set top goal-scorer Shaquille away to finally get himself on the score sheet. 2-2
Minutes later Star took the lead, as some outstanding pressing from Dante allowed Shyieme to cross, to a yet again an unmarked Kieron at the back post, who this time decided to use his knee to divert the ball past the Futures’ keeper. 2-3
Soon after scoring his second goal, Kieron was forced to come off after feeling short of breathe and dizzy. So, now 10 men Star again united to build on what they had created. With Star continuing their offensive pressure, Raekwon “I’ll catch you, get the ball and play” Pitt had to also withdraw from the field after feeling an over stretch.
With now only 9 men on the field Star showed their maturity and intellectual advantage by playing in the correct areas and continuing to put Futures on the back foot. During yet another positive move, Dante was through on goal, but he saw his shot saved only to fall at the feet of Kory “Demba Ba” Williamson to make it 2-4; making it look like it was Futures who had the 9 men on the field.
With less than 10 minutes to play, Futures seemed to have given up, hoping to hear the final whistle. Joshua “Micah Richards” Wilson was now playing through the pain barrier. The pitch prevented the ball running true to make it 5 following a shot from Shaquille.
With the now 8 and a half players toying with Futures’ 11, after a well worked move from back to front starting from stand-in full back Lathi “I’ll play anywhere” Musa, ending with Shaquille rounding the grounded Futures goalkeeper to grab his 2nd and make it a 5 Star show!
With the Futures’ goalkeeper being warned twice previously about his conduct after kicking out at player, he reacted poorly to conceding his 5th by pushing Shaquille while he was getting to his feet which resulted in a confrontation between the two teams. Consequently, both players received a straight Red card. Ironically, the final whistle came at the restart of play.
Minus the last 10 seconds of the game myself and Casey are immensely proud of the 11 players that competed yesterday. Showing superior quality and maturity to come out deserved winners. Well done to: Tasian, Natty, Raekwon, Joshua, Lathi, Reshea, Shyieme, Shaquille, Dante, Kory and Kieron. You all have represented the club in a positive manner (minus final 10 seconds) and should all be proud of yourselves.
Report by: Coach – Daniel Moses (10/02/13)