Arthur Terry 1 vs 3 Great Barr (BSSF Cup Rd2 and League Double Header)
The Arthur Terry U15 side slumped to their first defeat in a little over 2 years, by being knocked out of the BSSF Cup Competition that they won last season at Villa Park, and by a team they had also defeated 5-0 in last season's ESS District Cup Final. The result, which also counted as a league fixture was naturally a huge disappointment; but in all fairness the opposition fully deserved the victory on the day. The game was 0-0 at the break and it stayed that way until just 15 minutes to go, when a contentious free-kick was awarded to the home side just meters outside the box. The opposing team reacted sharply and took the free kick quickly as our players switched off, which allowed one of their forwards to slot home the opener - unpressured/unchallenged and 1v1 well inside the area in front of goal leaving keeper Dylan Mandaracas no chance. 0-1 became 0-3 within 10 minutes and the game was well and truly over. The Arthur Terry boys did manage to score a consolation in the final few minutes with arguably the best goal of the game. Neat build up play from back to front was completed in the final third with incisive passes from Reece Hutchinson and Josiah Francis, that put striker Sam Watts through 1v1 who coolly lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper straight into the back of the net. The Arthur Terry boys still sit top of the league table (see below) and have left a huge task for the chasing Great Barr to catch them, who will surely have to complete and win all of their remaining fixtures to overtake the team in top spot.
Friday 24th October 2014
Arthur Terry 5 vs 4 George Dixon (ESFA Cup Rd3)
What a rollercoaster of a game! - Played in 'Monsoon like conditions' for much of the first half, the Arthur Terry boys seemed to put the setback of their loss from earlier in the week behind them by coasting to a 3-0 lead after just 20 minutes of the game. Josiah Francis hit a double, before fellow striker Sam Watts hit a bullet of a free kick straight into the back of the net from the edge of the box. With the game appearing well under control, the opponents somehow managed to level the game to 3-3 by half time. Dixon capitalized on Arthur Terry's complacency and errors, and deservedly punished the team for this. A half time 'rallying team talk' was required and to the credit of each player, the boys put in a truly dominant second half display to secure the victory (...more than what the final score line suggests). Dylan Mandaracas making his outfield debut slotted in Arthur Terry's fourth, before Josiah Francis completed a fantastic hat-trick to make the score 5-3. The hosts goal was continuously barraged and the score line could have easily reached double figures had it not been for the heroics of their goalkeeper, who pulled off several 'Gordon Banks-esque' saves inc. stopping a penalty from Sam Watts (Nb: weather conditions blamed!). The hosts scored their fourth and the final goal of the game with just a minute left on the clock! A great game for the 'neutral' and a really well deserved win in the end!
Man of the Match:
A notable mention must go to Josiah Francis for a super hat-trick! - but overall, Daniel Taylor perhaps saved Arthur Terry's blushes from conceding more goals with key defending, as well as initiating counter attacks with superb passing from the back throughout the whole game.
Note: The victory sees the U15's progress to Rd4 (last 64 nationally) - well done boys!!