An early kick off saw bleary eyed parents bringing their kids to Herne school, a familiar venue as we'd competed in a tournament two weeks earlier, but this was a full match and the boys would need to be sharp and focused from the off.
The ref was a young lad officiating in one of his first game and did a first rate job.
Our 10 man squad was hit with the loss of Max B through illness. We kept with our familiar 2-3-1 formation. Louis in nets, Alfie and Harry having a start at the back, Max P in the middle of the the park, Flynn and Finlay offering width and Kasper up top. Otis and Daylee starting in the bench.
The lads were on their game from the off, Kasper closing down and defending from the front. All the other lads playing their part in an open first few minutes. Alfie was offering a captains example and Harry did well to curb his attacking instincts in the opening exchanges. Corners were to play a pivotal role in the match, our first chance coming when Max P nearly got the end of a Fin corner. At the back we defending resolutely, heading away from a near post corner for Herne Bay.
We reduced Herne Bay to long range efforts, but Louis was in great form, the pick of his saves palming away a long range free kick that was heading to the top corner.
Subs Ottis and Daylee for Flynn and Finn. Ottis is growing in confidence with every game and got stuck in from the start. Daylee was energetic and we continued to pressure for a break through. Just before half time it came. A lovely corner from Harry, was bound for the in running Max P or Daley, but their player unfortunately put into his own net.
Kasper has worked his socks off and he and Max P took a breather for the start of the second half. We rotated the positions continuing our plan to get the boys used to playing all over the park. A second goal soon came, a corner on right was swung in by Flynn and superbly met but the in running Alfie for a headed goal, one straight off the training pitch. We made the final rotation to give Harry and Alfie a rest, the boys responded and continued to work hard for each other. Max and Fin holding things tight at the back and ensure Louis was well protected, but when called upon made some great saves.
Great to see the boys encouraging each other, work hard and developing their understanding together. Goalkicks and options at throw ins were a big improvement on previous week's.
A great team performance. Most pleasing was the positive attitude from all the boys. Credit to Herne Bay and their manager who added to a great morning. Well worth the early start and finely rounded off by Hannah Wrattens banana and toffee cake. More of the same next week lads and maybe a coffee for Tony!