|19/12/2020||09:00||East Berkshire Football Alliance||2020-2021|
|Racecourse Ground Top Junior|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
In the final run up to the Xmas break, and with ever more COVID testing leading to players needing to isolate, the Raiders were a bit short this weekend and in need of a guest player to get us up to the minimum 7 players. Luckily Luke Rose (U9 Royals) stepped in to help and we managed to put out a full team (albeit with no subs!). Thanks Luke, much appreciated and hopefully you managed to get cleaned up (and dry) before your later match with the Royals.
The recent heavy rain resulted in the match being moved to the Bottom Junior Pitch and all was good in the warm up. As soon as the whistle blew to start the match, the heavens opened and a torrential downpour was endured for almost the whole match. Mix in some gusty, strong winds and it was difficult playing conditions, especially as the boys normally train on a 3G surface. In spite of the mud, rain and wind, both teams put on an extremely impressive display of passing, support play and tackling. It was a very tight match with lots of end to end action, tenacious tackling, goal line clearances and brave goal keeping. Very entertaining football from both sides. The sun came out for the final 5 minutes of play, but the players, coaches and parents were thoroughly soaked through already, but our spirits were good in spite of being wet and cold.
For the Raiders, Monty had a superb game up front, battling with defenders, linking up for passing moves which opened the opposition defence, shooting, crossing and managing to get the only goal of the match near the end of the first quarter. James put in a very strong performance on the wing, linking well in the passing moves, finding space and tracking back to defend. Cian moved between midfield and defence, with some time on the wing, using his speed and strength to bolster the attacking play as well as defending solidly, excellent match for him. Luke spent the first half in goal and provided assured handling to keep a clean sheet. In the second half Luke was in the outfield and linked up well to provide storming attacks on the Hearts goal. Jackson played in the outfield in the first half, with solid tackling and hard work on the wing. Jackson took over in goal for the second half and provide a strong display with several excellent saves to preserve the clean sheet. Nathan was solid as ever in defence, making life very difficult for the opposition attackers. Having won the ball, Nathan would get the ball forward to launch the next Raider attack. Finally Ben was midfield and defence, with several attacking runs. Excellent presence all over the field to stop the Hearts attack and launch more attacks by the Raiders. The communication between Raiders was a joy to watch and hear. All of the boys linked up and worked well together to produce a very professional performance. A great match and result to take us into the Xmas break.