We had a very encouraging start to our U10 and U12 competitive season yesterday – eleven matches in all, without a single goal being conceded!
The U10s kicked off the day, with a lot of our players getting their first taste of competitive hockey. Despite having most of the possession and attacking chances in all their games, they were just unable to score the goals needed to secure the victories they deserved, drawing all their games 0-0! Molly Fry in goal was only called on a handful of times, but stayed alert to make a couple of important saves and some solid clearances. Alex Leigh controlled the defence and set up much of the attacking play down the right through Jacob Buckeridge who ran non-stop throughout all the games and set up a lot of the goal-scoring opportunities. Will Conacher and Ethan Gresty provided much of the attacking and defensive play down the middle of the pitch and, while unlucky not to convert a few of the chances, closed down most of the opposition counter-attacking play very effectively. Olivia Dyer provided some excellent and tenacious attacking support in her first ever run-out, and Sophie Jones displayed some very composed defensive support on her debut, to ensure we were rarely threatened at the back.
The U12s achieved a very pleasing set of results, winning five of their games and drawing one. Again, Maddy Sugden in goal wasn’t busy for long periods, but made a couple of decisive saves when required, and Hebe Dixon was largely responsible for keeping the number of opposition chances down with some very solid defending, as well as stepping up to score twice from short corners. Millie Edwards and Izzy Huxley provided much of the midfield support, getting back to defend and helping to move the ball upfield to attack, linking with Joseph Coburn who ran tirelessly to dominate the centre of midfield. Also strong in midfield and attack were Alex Dyer, who was rewarded with a goal for all his efforts on his debut for the club, and Natalie Windsor who provided some determined support going forward. Up front Millie Forster showed great strength in holding the ball to set up a lot of attacking play, linking well with Amy Fry who converted three more of our chances.
Many thanks to everyone who came along to play and support. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the U10s matched by the developing hockey craft displayed by the U12s, which should set us up for a very enjoyable season and gives us a great base for all our other Academy players to join in with.