U16 Football v Oswestry
Under 16’s Ruthin School 3 v 3 Oswestry School
After a long break and a few new key players Ruthin School’s squad was ready to go. They had 2 new centre backs Osian Audley and Jack Dobson, followed by a new central midfield Sarinya. All was looking hopeful with a new, possibly very strong team. However, the team would have to play without their captain, Iestyn Lewis, for the first game due to injuries. The starting line-up was initially started as a 4-5-1 formation, which later morphed into a 4-3-3, against a full 5th form team. Qing GK, Alex was RB, Osian and Jack at CB and Hugo LB. In the midfield 3 were Tom, Sarinya and Sam Ho, leading to LW being Christopher, ST Taewoo and RW Yvan Yung. On the bench were Minh, Oliver and Sam Chan; all eager and full of energy. The step in manager was Mr Robinson, who kindly agreed to help out.
The first few minutes were very decisive in this game, which led to Ruthin ignoring the difference in size and age and just playing football as it should be played. There was lovely short passing going on in the midfield often releasing the wingers, who were continuously fouled as they were ‘spreading the defenders on toast’. All this lead to an excellent team goal finished by Sarinya assisted by Tom. This was all great play by the attacking force but credit must also be given to the defenders, who were under Osian’s command. They stopped a few dangerous attacks and always worked back to cover each other. In the first half Qing made one excellent save when the attacker was 1 on 1. This led to high morale and some great team talking. Oswestry did eventually get 5 minutes or so when they controlled the midfield, which lead to a shot from a distance that went in. However the tem recovered well, pulled tighter in midfield and hit back hard. Although this took place after a bit of messy play, Oswestry got a scrappy goal which had deflected off Alex. Oswestry were now 2-1 up. Ten minutes before half time Ruthin, the better team who were passing and very skilful, retaliated with a great cross and a header by Tom Butler. Going into the half time talk Ruthin were 2-2 in their first game against an older, more experienced team.
After a team talk and some points put across by the manager, Ruthin restarted raring to go. It was a very end to end game, although for about 10 minutes Ruthin just seemed unable to clear their lines with corner after corner pounding in. Once again Qing made another great safe as he came and beat an attacker to an aerial ball which probably stopped a goal. Due to all this work, the midfield were tiring so Minh came on for Sam Ho, who’d had a strong game. Minh’s energy was clearly visible and made a great impact. After several more attacks, great tackles from Osian and the Defence and some very skilful play from Chris and Taewoo, Ruthin’s pressure resulted in a mistake by the keeper. Ruthin were 3-2 up with 10 minutes left! Another sub was made as Alex went off for Oliver and Yvan went off for Sam Chan. These two impacted with fresh legs and this resulted in some strong, much needed tackles by Oliver. However, as the game went on Ruthin tired and a larger gap opened up between the defence and midfield. For the last 5 minutes Ruthin’s defence was bombarded with attack after attack, which lead to an offside ball being played through the defence to a striker who slotted it into the back of the net. However the ref didn’t call the offside and the game ended as a 3-3 away draw for Ruthin.
Considering it was Ruthin’s first game this season with little training and the opposition’s size and strength, the whole team had played their hearts out. It was maybe an unjust result but for once Ruthin walked off with their heads held high, being the better team and for once not being completely outplayed. Man of the Match was awarded to Osian for his outstanding defensive role.
By Iestyn – Assistant Coach
Posted on: October 9, 2015