Old Grammarians Osprey U12 v Earls Barton U12

Old Grammarians Osprey U12 (7th)  vs Earls Barton U12 (2nd)

League Division 2 Match

Team: Benjamin Streeton, Harrison Thompson, Joseph Kearsley, Robert Murray, Jake Morrisey (c), Sam Bayliss, Cameron Duff, Alec Lovering, Jack Sutton

Subs: Oliver Trembecki and Joe Halton

After last week’s horror show – a 3-3 draw that needed a strong comeback from 3-1 down – it was imperative that we hit the ground running and put a very decent OG Osprey’s to bed early. The team have a lot of experience against the OG’s and knew of their big guns Jamaal and Ben, from first hand experience, so Joey was set to man mark Jamaal and Jake had his hands full at CDM against Ben.

Benjamin continued in goal, Bob and Harrison completing the defence with Joey. Ahead of Jake we had Alec on the right, Sam on the left, Cam playing his name sake position at CAM and the inform Jack up front Joe H and Ollie took the subs role but knew that they would be coming on to impact the game.

From the off OG’s took control, not so much with superior play so much as a will to be first to the ball, win their headers, tackles and covering ground quickly. The simple ball over the top was paying dividends for them and a shocking showing from the lads saw us slip to a 4-0 deficit by half time. Worst showing of the season so far? Quite possibly, it was certainly a return to the kind of form that saw us exit the cup three games back and nowhere near the kind of form we showed against Irchester. There was the obvious issue that too many of the lads STILL are unwilling to head the ball but it far simpler to see that the real issue was we were being out fought and, when we actually got the ball, were too quick to play blind, panicky football.

The pack had already been shuffled with Alec and Harrison having made way in the first half, Bob switching to CB and Ollie at RB, Joe Halton had taken the right mid slot. However, a tactical change was needed and so it was that Jack was then switched to the wing, Cam taking the opposite side and Harrison going up front to give us a different dimension – the wind had played a significant factor in the first half and H’s strength could help expose OG’s at the back.

And so it was that Joe Halton, as he has done several times this season, grabbed a well taken goal before very soon after Harrison ran onto a ball from over the top, took a touch and smashed it in off the keeper. Shortly after Harrison turned his defender as the ball again dropped over the defence and, with Kirk bellowing “hit it!” took a first time half volley from well outside the area, it dipped and curled and looked destined for the top corner – would have been a cracker but the keeper was able to deal with it and deny a stunning goal.

It was all Barton now as the Green Army piled the pressure on, Harrision again going clear and, with the half time team talk ringing in his ears, he shot low and across the keeper – exactly as we had said at half time. The keeper palmed it away and Jack followed up to make it 4-3. Then up pops Joe Halton again with another crucial goal to make it 4-4 and complete a stunning comeback.

It nearly all went for nothing as OG’s managed a rare attack in the second half and a shot was slammed towards goal but Benjamin pulled of a stunning one handed save to deny the goal.

Another 5 minutes and it’s highly likely all 3 pts would have been claimed but a great game for the neutral ended 4-4 – most certainly a game of two halves.

A big congrats to Joey who claimed the Man of the Match and dealt with the always difficult Jamaal with guts, determination, strength and skill.

That’s three of the last four games that have seen us battered in a first half due to our inability to start the games as we finish them – all from losing positions those games have seen us score 10 and concede just 3.

So another amazing comeback, this team has heart and desire in abundance but wouldn’t it be far easier to simply play the first half with the same intensity we bring the second?

Result: Old Grammarians Ospreys 4 – 4 Earls Barton

Scorers: Joe Halton(2), Jack Sutton and Harrison Thompson

Man of the Match: Joseph Kearsley