Seven Heaven for u16's
By Simon King
Tough weather conditions couldn't stop Stour
Tough weather conditions couldn't stop Stourbridge as the boys got back to winning ways and closed the gap on the 3 teams above them in the league. Having had two weeks off it was nice to almost have a full squad back with the return of Jimmy and Tom to match action (just Oli H to get fit now). Our opponents were a much better and more competitive side than the one we beat 6-0 early in the season so maybe it shows how far we have come that we still finished this game with a 6 goal cushion.
A pedestrian start saw us slow to press, loose in possession and a number of players looked like the weather was a bit too much for them. However we still looked a threat from wide areas in particular when both our fullbacks got forward with some terrific support play which gave us six corners in the 1st quarter. We had to wait to just before the break to get the breakthrough. An excellent diagonal kick from Oli Cooper picked out the energetic Kyle Peters
who burst past the fullback and cleverly cut across him to win a penalty that top scorer Callum Swain
We spoke about needing more urgency and purpose in our play and some people needed to get out of 2nd gear and start running. The boys responded well scoring a terrific team goal within five minutes. Good build up play saw Kyle end up with the ball on the left and cut the ball back for Amari Richards to powerfully side foot low in to the corner. Just before the half hour mark Hayden Reeves hit a diagonal switch that the full back and GK mixed up leaving Kyle to show quick feet and round the keeper for 3-0. A much improved quarter.
Half time saw Swainy, Hayden and Will make way for Jim, Tom and Corey. The game became a little scrappy as St Georges worked hard to close and press us and the pitch conditions worsened but we still created a number of good chances. Fletch went close from a Welch cross and both Kyle and Corey were seeing plenty of ball. On 52 minutes our opponents scored a break away (having needlessly given the ball away high up the pitch, the defence got stretched and Tom Hunt slipped to allow the big striker through who in fairness finished really well. The boys responded well and within five minutes Kyle Peters
got his second of the game. A nice left footed pass from Jimmy found Kyle who burst past his full back and finished neatly. Just before the break James Fletcher
got his reward for working his socks off and his general hold up play. An early cross from Corey Sheaf caught the defence and GK asleep. A fumble saw the big man react quickest and fire home to make it 5-1. We spoke about needing to move the ball quicker in the final quarter (less touches and getting out of the middle that was slowly turning into a bog).
came back on for Amari Richards and got into the goal action. Man of the match Peters with another clever assist found Swainy for his second. Will Bishop came back on for the last 10 minutes as we switched to a 3-5-2. He went back on with much more purpose that we spoke about and made a number of terrific runs and crosses in that short spell. His cross found Callum in the middle of the 6 yard box. Quick feet and thinking saw him dump a defender and the GK on their backsides before slotting home his hatrick goal.
Nice to see goals being shared around although we need to make more of our set pieces in future weeks. Great to see a number of players turn in really solid performances. Both full backs were excellent today. Its not often that a striker who gets a hatrick doesn't take all the plaudits but that goes to Kyle with 2 goals and 3 assists from a player pushed further forward in a new role today.