EJA Under 15 Match Stories 2017/18

Seasiders 1 HAVERHILL 0

Eastern Junior Alliance

Sunday 26th November 2017

After a last minute defeat the previous week it was back to home territory for only the second time this season with the visit of Haverhill EJA with a morning KO at 12 Acre, still a few players missing but a strong 13 available it would represent a good opportunity to gain some points on the leaders and push into the top four.

Starting 11 – Sam, Connor, Krystian, Jolyon, Jamie, Ben (Capt.) Cale, Colby, Drew, Ethan & Euan with Marcus & Sony substitutes.

The reds kicked the game off on a bitterly cold morning but sunny with the pitch looking in excellent condition. The Seasiders looked to make the early running and a ball over the top saw Euan almost in but the Haverhill keeper quick off his line to get there first, the visitors came into the game but the defence well marshalled by Jolyon stood firm but it was the hosts who were on top and half chances came and went firstly from a corner it was glanced wide, the hard working Ethan adjudged offside when he was through. Connor then interchanged with Drew and swept a dangerous low cross right across the face of goal with Euan unlucky not to connect. The breakthrough came at the mid-way point of the half and this time Euan was played through not offside as he lifted it over the advancing keepers head and into the empty net 1-0 to the hosts and deserved. The visitors stayed in the game and were proving stubborn opponents with a number of offsides frustrating the reds as it remained Felixstowe 1 Haverhill 0 at Half Time.

The second half saw two changes as Ben still coming back from injury took a breather with Sony replacing in central midfield & Drew making way for Marcus on the left. Still the same pattern of play with Haverhill playing a high line and border line offsides as the Seasiders looked to double their advantage, Euan’s snap shot looked goal bound but great defensive work whilst a strong run through the midfield from Cale almost teed up Marcus on the left, as the half wore on Haverhill started to get a few half chances with Sam equal to a header and two dangerous corners almost causing problems. Krystian came off with Sony moving to the back and Drew back on the left followed by the reintroduction of Ben in midfield. For all the possession one nil is always a dangerous scoreline and a set piece saw the visitors best effort as a header came in pushed away by Sam and cleared by Connor. Final 5 minutes now with the Seasiders looking a bit nervy and resolute defending keeping Haverhill at bay, at the other end Jamie sent a ball over the top Marcus onto dinked the ball over the keeper and looked to be heading into the net only to see the ball come back of the upright with no-one following up, unlucky and had done everything right. Despite a late rally F&W held on for a welcome three points.

Final Score Seasiders 1 Haverhill 0.

“A resolute performance and the first clean sheet in a while which was every bit as pleasing as the result, some good performances and on another day could have been a few more but credit to the visitors who were well organised and made it difficult, next up an away clash with Cambridge who sit 3 points ahead of us at the top.”

Dan Taylor

 

 

GODMANCHESTER 2 SEASIDERS 3

Eastern Junior Alliance

Sunday 12th November 2017

After the County Cup break last weekend it was back to EJA action and a tough assignment against last season’s cup finalists Godmanchester, a strong side who had picked up of late after a slow start to the season. For the reds once again there were players missing with Ben still not 100% Sony, Dejaa & Kieran all unavailable through injury.

Starting eleven – Sam, Connor, Krystian, Jolyon, Jamie, Marcus, Cale, Colby, Drew, Ethan (Capt.) & Euan with Mattie W & Curtis starting on the bench.

There was a bitterly cold wind which would play a part in the conditions on a tight narrow pitch with the Seasiders running into it in the first half. The visitors got the game started and struggled to get any momentum early on with hosts on the front foot looking to exploit the conditions, an early escape down the left with Sam smothering at the feet of the attacker when it looked like he was in, at the other end the Seasiders were starting to look dangerous on the counter attack with Marcus playing Colby in whose cross was almost met by the onrushing Ethan. It was the hosts who deservedly struck first and a smart move with the striker cutting inside from the right before unleashing a low drive into the corner, wasn’t closed down but a good finish. 1-0 to the hosts and the remainder of the half saw both sides have half chances but neither keeper really worked, the best chance for the Seasiders coming from Jamie’s free kick causing confusion in the box but not enough contact.

Half Time Godmanchester 1 Seasiders 0.

The second half saw Mattie W come on for Drew on the left and with the wind behind them it would hopefully be advantageous, the game remained open with both teams fully committed, the hosts made it 2-0 at the mid-way point of the half and a real mountain to climb for reds, an unstoppable half volley leaving Sam no chance quality finish, a change again with Curtis coming on for the reds more edge in attack and the change seem to free up the forwards, good work from Mattie W on the left a dangerous cross with the home defence failing to clear, Euan’s shot it the defender laying down and he appeared to save the ball with his hands, no penalty given much to the dismay of the visitors but the Seasiders still looked like they had goals in them, at the other end a dangerous freekick looked to be heading in but Sam’s finger tipped save tipped it wide whilst the best opening of the second half fell to Ethan who was played in done everything right only for his shot to cannon of the inside of the post. Chance gone? With ten minutes left it looked that way until a corner on the left, up stepped Marcus great delivery wind assisted sailed into the corner 2-1 game on. The hosts suddenly became nervous as the reds stepped up the pressure with Connor a real thorn in their side with his direct running.

Tthe equalizer came with 5 to play and a direct throw from the left wasn’t dealt with and Mattie W reacted first to hit the ball home 2-2. The visitors had a real spring in their step and incredibly scored a winner with a melee in the box from a cross the ball fell to Euan he didn’t catch it properly but was enough to direct it into the corner, 3-2 to the seasiders, joyous scenes with the players ecstatic, still with 2 minutes remaining the drama wasn’t quite over with a free-kick given straight into the box & a crowd of players in front of the keeper when it looked like the hosts would equalize but the danger averted and a character building victory.

Final Score Godmanchester EJA 2 Seasiders 3

“A remarkable turnaround by the lads, with 10 to go it looked beyond them but showed if you keep working hard you can get you rewards, a gutsy performance not one for the purists in terms of football but we used the conditions to our advantage and showed another side to our game.”

Dan Taylor

 

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Bury Town Colts 2 Seasiders 5

Eastern Junior Alliance

Sunday 29th October 2017

Back to EJA action for the Seasiders following a break and a tough trip to Bury St Edmunds to face Bury Colts, a team we know well & also a physical side to play against, windy conditions greeted us, the recently built facilities there meant a chance to play on a new 3G pitch, something more common for the team these days, would be a tough contest with key players still missing through injury, the team would need to show character.

Team news wise the Reds were still without Kieran & Ben but the returning Euan up front gave everyone a boost.

Starting 11 Sam, Connor, Jolyon, Krystian, Jamie, Sony, Cale, Ethan, Colby, Marcus & Euan with Drew, Mattie W & Curtis on the bench.

The visitors got the game underway and no let up with the swirling winds, the hosts seemed to adapt better & looked sharper as two through balls almost let the Bury striker in, but Sam, equal to everything quickly off his line, at the other end two near misses, firstly a neat passage of play down the left involving Connor found Marcus who played in Euan, who took it round the keeper but from a tight angle hit the side netting. The striker then went on a mazy run and crossed right across the face of goal just needing a tap in.

The hosts were still looking sharper and a let off as their striker hit the post from a narrow angle. It was no surprise when Bury took the lead and strong work again with the cross finding  Peploe who stuck it in the corner of the net. One nil down with 20 minutes on the clock, going behind seemed to galvanise the Seasiders who started to get on the ball and put some neat passing moves together. The equalizer soon came with Cale influential in the middle, out to Colby who played in the advancing Sony to strike home, an excellent move to bring the sides level.

The shift in the game was now apparent as the Seasiders confidence rose, Mattie W came on for Marcus and a long range effort from the impressive Connor almost caught the keeper out. Ethan was working hard and interchanged with Euan who was fouled. Freekick 25 yards out from the left, Jamie took it and it flew into the top right, in off the top of the post, again a goal of high quality just on half time

HT – Bury 1 Seasiders 2.

The second half saw a couple of changes with Drew on the right wing looking to exploit the space, and Marcus switched to central midfield. The changes seemed to work as great build up from the right with Jamie’s pass to Drew, he got behind the defence, squared it Euan, who was 50/50 with the defender, but slid to shield the ball onto his left before hitting the top left, great finish to make it 3-1 with the reds now enjoying their football. At at the other end Sam in great form saving at close range, the game was really stretched now and Bury came back after a needless freekick given away, again great delivery by the Colts midfielder, as it cannoned back of the crossbar into the path of Peploe to guide home for his second of the game ...  3-2 and game on!

Once again though the visitors didn’t panic and a lovely build up from the right again involving a throw out from Sam. quick football between Colby & Jamie set up Drew to play in Curtis, who struck home at the second attempt. This seem to deflate the hosts and a similar move found Curtis one on one with the keeper and he slid it coolly into the corner of the net leaving a final score

Bury Colts 2 Seasiders 5.

Given the conditions and players missing this was an excellent performance, we played our football & didn’t panic aftert going behind with some excellent build up play and goals, there was a real calmness throughout the team, the lads deserved their 3 points.

Dan Taylor

 

 

Leiston 1 Seasiders 5

Eastern Junior Alliance

Sunday 1st October 2017

Following on from a tough game the previous day the Reds were up against Leiston EJA who were in their debut season in the league, the conditions - wet & windy! & would be a challenging encounter for both sides.

For the visitors the squad hampered in defence without skipper Kieran but lined up with Sam in goal, a back four of Connor, Cale, Jolyon & Krystian, the midfield consisted of Mattie W on the left, Ben, Marcus central & Colby on the right flank with Euan & Ethan up top.

The hosts kicked the game off & found the Seasiders in determined mood, straight out the blocks and playing with a real intensity, zipping the ball around the wet surface they opened the scoring when neat work down the left between Connor & Mattie found the unmarked Ethan to nod home from close range, great start with the midfield controlling proceedings, the early pressure continued as the half wore on & it was no surprise when they doubled their lead, again good work down the left found Connor in space who struck an unstoppable shot on the half volley into the corner of the net, keeper no chance great strike and the Seasiders in real command.

There were other near misses as Euan had a shot blocked on the line and a long range shot from Ben well held by the keeper, at the other end Jolyon & the excellent Cale were calm at the back and dealt with any danger. At the mid-way point the reds increased their lead as Euan burst through and slotted home. 0-3 and a comfortable lead.

The remainder of the half was seen out & a convincing performance.

Half time Leiston 0 Seasiders 3.

The second half saw a number of changes with Jamie on the left, Curtis up front & Drew in midfield alongside Ben.

With players out of position the hosts came into the game and a more even affair with the defence busier and Leiston trying to find the goal to get them back in the game, however, the visitors provided a greater cutting-edge and Jamie’s low shot looked to be heading in but well saved by the keeper, Curtis almost through but thwarted at the last by the defender. The goal came in the end via Euan, a strong run taking three defenders with him and a powerful shot into the corner of the net 0-4.

Just enough time for Leiston to pull one back via a long shot from the keeper which seemed to evade everyone with a player in an offside position but deemed to not be interfering with play, crazy goal and a consolation for the hosts but the Seasiders had the last word as a counter attack found Colby whose shot found the net to round of a satisfying weekend.

Final Score Leiston EJA 1 Seasiders 5.

A pleasing performance given the conditions & the tough game the previous day, a rare chance to give everyone a good run out and take up some unfamiliar positions, once again some clinical finishing with the strikers all looking sharp, the midfield creative & the defence although missing a few composed & calm under pressure.

Dan Taylor

 

Biggleswade 2 Seasiders 3

Eastern Junior Alliance

Sunday 17th September 2017

Our first away trip of the alliance season & the long journey over to Biggleswade FC who were coming off the back of a successful season last time out, playing on a 4G surface this would represent a challenge for the visitors. Team news wise there was no Marcus but a strong 15 present & a starting eleven of; Sam, Connor, Jolyon, Kieran, Krystian, Ben, Sony, Colby, Drew, Ethan & Euan with a strong bench consisting of Jamie, Mattie W, Cale & Curtis.

The hosts kicked the game off & set about the Seasiders with a strong tempo, the reds were equal to it and started to get in the game with Euan’s shot just going wide after a neat build up on the left, a quarter in the first injury of the game with Drew taking a blow & needed to come off with Jamie replacing him. Still the game had a good flow to it although the hosts won a number of free kicks some in dangerous areas again well dealt with by Sam in goal. Sony exceptional in midfield along with Ben were quick to move the ball with Ethan & Euan almost in on goal with Colby waiting at the far post the keeper did well to save. Unfortunately another injury blow during the game with Connor needing to come off & another reshuffle with Jamie going into left back & Mattie W in the left side of midfield & then Krystian’s knee meant Cale on at right back all before half time. Despite the reshuffle it was the visitors who struck first and a great move on the left finding Ben who in turn set up Sony from all of twenty yards to hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner certainly the move of the match and right on half time as the whistle went on an entertaining first half

HT Biggleswade 0 F&W 1

Second half & as expected the hosts came out looking for the equalizer, unfortunately for the visitors it came via the penalty spot after Jamie was adjudged to have pushed the winger & the ref gave the penalty, Sam no chance as they slotted the penalty home 1-1 Connor had recovered & went into left back, the Seasiders then fell behind after good work from the forward as he calmly side footed home 2-1 to the hosts with only ten minutes of the second half played, some character needed for the Reds and to their credit they fought their way back into the game via a free kick, Ben’s shot hit with power  was too hot for the keeper to handle & trickled over the line, an immediate response 2-2 and this see saw of a game taking another twist. Despite the game being played at a fast pace there was good football on show from both sides. Biggleswade forced a number of corners and again the Seasiders frustrated as free kicks awarded in dangerous areas, it was the Reds who were looking the sharper moving into the last phase of the game & took the lead when an excellent run from Euan turning left then right before placing it far post, excellent finish and once again the mood had changed. Biggleswade fought hard to get back into it but it was the visitors who had 3 chances to wrap it up with Ethan twice going close & a long range effort from Drew just curling over. A real thriller of a match & credit to both sides.

FT Biggleswade 2 Seasiders 3.

 

A really tough but entertaining game with the reds overcoming injured players  & losing the lead to come back and win the game, some standout performances & real character from the lads.

Dan Taylor