The year 6 travelled to Fairlands with some changes made to the side that did so well in the Somerset finals competition. Harry came in at goalkeeper and there were opportunities for Ronnie, Dylan, Xavier and Liam. Fairlands did well to defend against some early attacks by Hugh Sexey with the Fairlands goalkeeper looking accomplished and commanding. After winning the ball Fairlands moved the ball forward quickly and fluently and finished crisply to put the home side 1-0 up. Hugh Sexey then chased the next goal but were again caught out with a cruel deflection beating the goal keeper. Lesser sides could have given in or sought to find someone or something to blaim. Thankfully this wasn't the case. Jack and Dylan took a real command of the next 10 minutes with all the players around them contributing and looking calm. Harry was a picture of tranquillity in the sweeper role, reminiscent at times to the great Lothar Matthaus. Every time he received the ball he was afforded the opportunity to move the play forward or change the direction of play and he did this with aplomb. He was helped by the fact that either Rueben, Xavier or Ronnie were always looking to push on and provide an outlet. This made more space in midfield for Dylan to pull the strings and set up attacks. Oscar moved from centre forward into centre midfield alongside Dylan and his 30 yard zinger rattled off the crossbar with such force I feared us being billed for a new set of goal posts. The positional switch between Oscar and Alfie seemed to suit this match better with Oscar playing like a footballer 15 years his senior. His range of passing and desire to set up scoring situations coupled with a sharp eye for goal put me in the mind of a young Glen Hoddle. Eventually the visitors got the goal with Jack bundling the ball in after repeated pressure. Jack then got a second when he finished well to take the game to 2-2. Captain Jack had a great game and the 2 goals were just reward for a tireless display of running. Jack played like a real team player and his ability to fill different positions and help those around him was invaluable. 2-2 was a good turn around but Fairlands nearly went in 3-2 with Fin bravely clearing the ball off the line with his face. Thankfully he was OK and at half time the players talked about shooting more when the opportunity was available and moving the ball quicker into the attacking positions. This proved to be great advice as Alfie, Dylan and Fin all scored in quick succession after direct attacks that started from wide positions. Alfie was flourishing in his advanced role and an excellent run and cross from Ronnie was tapped in for him to get his 2nd. As the game opened up Dylan was able to occupy different positions and he really profited from the hard work around him scoring a hat trick and setting up a further 3 goals.. Playing in a false 9 position the Fairland's defence struggled to contain him and at times it was like watching the great Gianfranco Zola as he took up unusual positions and then either passed forward, dribbled or unleashed a shot.
The final score of 8-2 was an unfair reflection on what was for the first 30 minutes a much closer game. The players from both sides should be very proud of how they played.