The Development squad travelled to T&M with their youngest squad this season as senior player availability was limited. Our opposition had enjoyed a nine game winning run with a +37 goal difference so we knew a challenge was on our hands! With the midweek traffic catching a few players out we enjoyed a brief period of preparation and warm up as the 7.30pm KO crept up on us. The lads were in good spirits and with four u18s and four u19s in the starting line-up it was their chance to prove themselves and enjoy the experience playing at the excellent T&M facilities.
A decision to play three centre halves in TJ McKibben (Cap’n), Tadley Bromage and Billy Wraight was rewarded as they kept a solid unit through the early stages and our aim to frustrate the T&M forward line was paying off, wing backs Billy Barker and Danny Lelwani along with a central midfield of u18 in Curtis Griffin, Josh Short & Max Knight worked hard closing down and although our attacks were limited we forced a corner on 25min and Danny pounced inside the 6 yard box to put us 1-0 up after a good delivery from Emanuel Ageyman. Charlie Townsend and Emanuel were our front men on the night and they deserve credit for a tireless effort closing down and limiting the T&M defence time on the ball. A few decent chances were created by the opposition but nothing to trouble Mitch in goal and we went into half time 1-0 up.
With the expectation of tired legs we hoped the young lads could keep their concentration and they certainly did with T&M pushing players on we started to drop deeper and the back three were tested with waves of attacks but our shape continued to frustrate and along with some safe handling and shot stopping Mitch was proving an important part of our clean sheet potential. We had a few chances ourselves and after a few late substitutions we managed to show game management and hold out for an excellent win on the road and continue our unbeaten run. Full credit to the lads they will look back at this game as a positive learning curve and hopefully give them confidence to build on their future progression, final score 1-0.
We are scheduled for one game before the Xmas break as we entertain Carshalton next Thursday night at The Green Elephant Stadium, we welcome your support.
MOM… the back three!