The U16's Kent Youth League team travelled to Chislehurst, to play Glebe FC in their penultimate game of the season. Due to an illness to our manager Toby, a new management team had been drafted in to oversee this tricky fixture. Paul Lansdale and Dave Cooper - aka Saint and Grease - stepped into the role and commanded the dug out with great panache and authority.
The pitch was rock hard and the bounce of the ball was unpredictable. There was also a wind that was on occasions, altering the flight of the ball. The game started at a frantic pace and due to the conditions described above, the Oaks could not get there passing game going. Our opponents had adapted to the situation better than our boys and we were being pinned in our half. McCarthy the Oaks striker was being closely monitored and every time the ball was played to him, he was immediately closed down by three defenders.
Suddenly on the 25th minute, our opponents hit a powerful shot from just outside of our penalty area. Earls dived to his right and with his finger tips; he pushed the ball away to safety. Glebe were having the better of the first half possession but were only able to have one direct shot on target.
On the 37th minute the ball was played forward to McCarthy who was fouled just over the half way line. The resulting free kick was floated into the penalty area, where McCarthy hit an outstanding volley which was goal bound. However our opponent’s goalkeeper made a fantastic save at almost point blank range. Travers was the first to react and after an initial piece of skill, he coolly dispatched the ball into the net. This goal had come against the run of play. 0-1
The second half commenced, with our boys now kicking down hill. The new management team had sent the boys out with fresh instructions and this match was really going to turn into a game of two halves. Immediately from the kick off, the Oaks won a corner. The ball was drilled to the front post by the impressive Hathway and Wolfe doubled our advantage with a powerful header. 0-2
The Oaks began controlling the game and it was Glebe's turn to defend. Our boys were attacking at will and had now settled into the fixture. On the 54th minute Hathway played in Cooper down our right hand side. Cooper then scored a brilliant individual goal, by beating two defenders before placing the ball under the diving goalkeeper. 0-3
Five minutes later, McCarthy picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and played a through ball to Strachan out on the left wing. Strachan cut inside and with great trickery he swept his shot into the net. 0-4
Glebe kept chasing every ball and were desperate for the Oaks not to leave their new stadium with a clean sheet. Suddenly on the 77th minute our opponent’s striker, hit a fierce shot that hit one goal post, before bouncing on the goal line and hitting the opposite goal post, before being cleared to safety.
During this game Max Della Valle made his long awaited return from injury and looked sharp and back to his old self. It was Max’s two goals at Greatness Park earlier in the season, which had settled that game between us and Glebe FC. The boys now look forward to their last game of the season against Tonbridge Angels FC.