U14 boys lose to leaguer leaders Sunbury
By Duncan Sturdy
Really quite horrible weather....... but young squad let on running
A very young Maidenhead squad lost this afternoon to league leaders Sunbury in what were horrible conditions.
For various reasons the u14 boys had to call on 5 of the u12 squad and showed some great skills and a lot of heart to keep tackling and running the whole match.
A really positive start for Maidenhead set the tone of the end to end match with Ollie and Max holding central midfield, ably supported by Ewan and Morgan, and all slotting through passes to Jai and Jay to challenge the Sunbury defence. In the appalling conditions both forwards caught the opposition napping and were able to quickly turn over the ball for repeated attacks but unfortunately no clear shots on goal
Sunbury gradually adjusted to the conditions and began to show why they are league leaders with quick effective passing forcing the Maidenhead defence of Cleve, Flynn, James and Declan to scramble a number of opportunities away and relying on Zac in goal to clear the line strongly. The pressure built with Maidenhead unable to clear once too often and quick passing allowed the first goal to go down 1-0 after 20 mins.
Second 20 mins and Maidenhead adjusted the team bringing on Harvey who ran and hassled the Sunbury players on the left for the next 40 mins, and moving Morgan back to his more accustomed defence role, where he showed skill and maturity against players 3+ years older. The game was still end to end with a number of Maidenhead long corners but none could be converted and unfortunately caught on the break once too often Maidenhead went down 2-0.
Given how young the team were it was great credit that they kept their heads up and kept playing the positive passing hockey. Finally one attack led to a short corner where slick execution of the Ollie pass to Flynn, direct return and smash home by Ollie resulted in 2-1 going into the final 20.
Having run their heart out in miserable cold conditions the team were unlucky to lose a couple more goals late on to make the final score 4-1.
Despite the conditions and score it was really positive to see the younger squad step up.