With not a cloud in the sky and the sun shining bright the Gatcliffe boys were all in attendance and still in high spirits after last weeks great result.
Today’s match was away and against a strong sided Jays boys team looking for revenge.
With a later than usual kickoff the match had begun with the yellow stripes of the Jays boys shaping up against the blue and white of Gatcliffe. Passing and speed would be the key for today against a team of great stature and this was exactly how we started. Recent training sessions have been based on playing the ball out from the back and pressing as a unit and we were showing this from the off. Each player was working the ball up the pitch passing through the opposition as we had been practicing midweek. At times when the ball was intercepted our defence were quick to regain possession and clear the danger and on the odd occasion they broke even further up the pitch a quick response from the Gatcliffe keeper would give us time to regroup and set out again. The momentum of play was with Gatcliffe but our attacks were being faulted countless times by the number heavy Jays boys defence constantly on the back foot and working hard to stop the pace we possess in abundance going forward. It would take a nice ball across the goal face splitting the Jays boys defence and met by a responsive left foot just before the halftime whistle to break the dead lock.
As the boys gathered for the halftime team talk, pats on the back and a quick sugar rush in the form of wine gums “not something we usually encourage” and the boys were set for the next half.
As the second half kicked off Gatcliffe continued with a great bit of play and a great shot we had our second goal before the opposition even had time to blink. With some quick celebrations the boys quickly set up to go again whilst the Jays boys were still wondering what had just happened. Again Gatcliffe soon won the ball back and were on the attack this time hitting the net from an almost impossible angle with the keeper picking the ball out of the goal for the second time in the half in as many minutes. The Jays boys response was to give their all battling hard for every ball and trying desperately to get back in the game. Desperate long balls over the top where being met by the Gatcliffe defence who’s job was simply to get the ball under control and pass our way back up the pitch. Credit where credits due and their persistence paid off and the Jays boys began to have some positives of their own with a nice individual goal by their pacey forward slotting the ball past the on form Gatcliffe keeper. This was soon followed by another break and a strike on target which was fortunately met by the strong hand of the stretched arm of the Gatcliffe keeper knocking the ball onto the post which rolled across the goal line, the keeper was quick to his feet and gathered the ball in his hands much to the dismay of the already celebrating Jays boys. Play continued with both teams battling it out but with Gatcliffe in control and with a two goal lead the game was almost won. The whistle soon blew up and both teams met one another with hand shakes across the pitch which was nice to see after such an intense battle.
We continue our winning streak and look forward to next week’s match to try for the hat trick of consecutive wins.
Well done again boys your hard work and listening at training is really starting to pay off 👍.
Bradley Challis, Gatcliffe Youth Whites joint team manager.