Say It Loud.... BEDFORD GRIFFINS
Home Tournaments can be tricky - there's always the possibility of being complacent as well as the added pressure of the friends, family and the Home crowd.
U13 Tournament (Home)
18th November 2023: 12.30pm - 8pm
Bunyan Sports Centre, Beds
Players: Jack, Kaylen, Farris, Rylee, PollyAnna, Tyler, Will, Gennaro, Joseph (GK)
BEDFORD GRIFFINS v SOHAM L. BLUE
First match out and we were feeling confident and determined, this was proved by us having much better positioning throughout the first quarter of the first half than in previous games. The game had a good flow with long passes into both halves of the rink; I was extremely pleased with how well we were working as a team.
During the second quarter, we began to get flustered at not being able to penetrate Soham’s defence and began working harder and harder to win the ball. It happened! We experienced a lapse in concentration which then led to an interception, counter-attack and subsequently, a flurry of goals.
Joseph, our keeper made some great saves managing to clear the ball much better, showing great resilience in the face of a slew of attacking shots. We did manage to pull one back however, after our own scrambling counter-attack.
Looking back, it was a valuable learning experience that taught us the importance of staying focused and composed under pressure.
FULL TIME: 1 – 9 SOHAM L. BLUE
LETCHWORTH v BEDFORD GRIFFINS
Again starting well in terms of positioning; our players were beginning to find better spots on the rink and our passing had a smooth and efficient flow during the first quarter. (For a brief period, in comparison to our first tournament it was like watching a well-oiled machine at work!) That said, as we entered into the second quarter, we once again started to struggle with maintaining our composure.
Coming into the second half we attempted to shake things up and adopt a new strategy, unfortunately we still found ourselves struggling to maintain our formation as well as releasing the ball too early, disrupting any flow and causing us to lose momentum and in turn allowed Letchworth to capitalise on our vulnerabilities.
We missed a few crucial opportunities by not being aggressive enough with our attacking passes and failing to keep the pressure on our opponents, leaving far too many gaps for them to exploit.
FULL TIME: 0 – 18 LETCHWORTH
BEDFORD GRIFFINS v ECU
The game kicked off with a promising start as our team showcased some good possession and executed longer, more purposeful passes. Nicely playing the ball from our goal line into ECU's territory, this demonstrated an unusual assertive attacking prowess that was a step in our performance. (The trick will be to be consistent with this type of gameplay.)
Our style is not yet distinct and this appeared to keep ECU on their toes, seemingly preventing them from displaying their usual technical proficiency. As ECU began to prod and find holes, one common issue we faced was not creating enough angles to make definitive passes. This lack of creativity in our passing game resulted in missed opportunities, ultimately hindering our ability to transition from defensive plays to offensive manoeuvres.
As the match progressed ECU began closing us down and what stood out was that short passes within our half proved to be our Achilles heel; this allowed numerous interceptions and undue pressure on our keeper. Battling through, Kylen put us on the scoreboard clawing one back for all our efforts during the first stint.
FULL TIME: 1 – 16 ECU
SOHAM D.BLUE v BEDFORD GRIFFINS
The final game of the tournament proved to be a thrilling conclusion, filled with long-range passing, improved positioning and enhanced team communication on our part. Despite Soham's strong start, we managed to maintain our composure and nerve just as we had in the early part of the previous matches.
As the game progressed however, more than anything else, fatigue began setting in for our defensive players, placing more pressure on our goalkeeper Joseph who put in a valiant effort but was occasionally caught off guard by unexpected shots.
We continuously tried to press Soham whenever possible but despite our efforts, they skilfully covered our passing angles and marked our players effectively, making it difficult for us to break through and this eventually led to them capitalising on their counter-attacks resulting in the scoring of some uncontested goals.
Persevering on, we managed to keep up the bursts of pressure and in doing so, made some switch plays which ultimately allowed us to get ourselves on the scoreboard.
FULL TIME: 2 – 21 SOHAM D. BLUE