|2021 U9||26th June 10:00am||League Round 11||MBUSC SSRP Modified|
Bridgewater U9 vs Woodside Warriors U9 Blue
Woodside had a repeat of our opening fixture of the season this week and our first appearance at the new all-weather pitches at the Summit, Mt Barker courtesy of a waterlogged pitch at Bridgewater. It must be said that the new Summit Recreation Park is a really excellent venue and a great surface for our kids to play football in the depths of winter.
Woodside started brightly again this week and took the game to their opponents, creating a slew of chances from early in the first half. The past few weeks have seen the Warriors recognise how much they can create by pressing their opponents in the midfield, but this week there appeared to be a step change in understanding what to do with the ball once they win it. Woodside’s defenders and midfielders took time to look up and find a pass, and the forwards found dangerous positions in front of goal. As they have done in our previous fixtures Bridgewater defended stubbornly, and it took Woodside some time to find openings. Woodside finally broke through in the last five minutes of the first half and came into half time with a spring in their step and a clean sheet for first half keeper Jock Mills.
“More of the same” were the obvious half time instructions from the coach and Woodside delivered a second half of fast-paced football, with Captain Leo Tucker leading by example and chasing the ball tirelessly across the midfield. Particularly encouraging was Woodside’s passing down the wing and crosses to the middle, with midfielder Charlotte Cosgriff worrying the Bridgewater defence several times before setting up Sam Balacco to add to his first half goal before he went on to complete his hat-trick. One of the challenges of playing a pressing game high up the field is that the team can be vulnerable to counterattacks, so holding defensive positions is critical even when the action is at the other end of the pitch, and Theo Nicholson had a very solid game in defence sweeping up everything that came his way. The Warriors capped-off a dominant second half performance with a well-taken goal from Lucas March-Feltham.
These return fixtures offer a good opportunity to consider how the team has developed in the first half of the season, so the U9 Blues can be proud of the improvements in their positional sense, awareness of each other and their ball skills in the eight games since we last played Bridgewater. This was easily to best team performance we have seen from our Warriors this season, involving each other in the game and working hard to win the ball and create chances.