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FOOTBALL HEROICS IN HORRIFIC CONDITIONS


This week, 4 of our terrific football teams made it through to the District Finals!

While there was mixed success - with Y7 Boys and our Girls' team both stumbling at the final hurdle - we were delighted that we were once again so well-represented at district level and that all teams performed so well.

We're not sure if we can quite match the roaring success of last year - where we secured an 'embarrassment of riches' with 16 trophies - but we've put two away already: Year 8 and Year 11 yesterday won their respective finals 7-1 and 3-0 at a rain-soaked Hampton Road ground - home of Central Ajax FC.

Our roving reporter was on-hand to witness the excellence of the Y11 Boys and had this to report...

With a clutch of trophies from the year previous (who can forget that last-minute winner at Bedworth FC's ground on that balmy summer's evening?), the Y11 Boys took to the field against an impressive looking Myton outfit.

The turf was sodden and led to many a 'melancholy ball' (thanks, Robyn) going astray in the early moments. 

The turbulent, changing weather had a practical impact in terms of the football and perhaps a symbolic one too - it may be a 'pathetic fallacy' (thanks again, Robyn) to suggest that the weather reflected our changing fortunes but there was definitely something in the air beyond the wayward passes that typified the first few exchanges.

As both sides adapted, it was Myton who had the best of the first 10 minutes - their star players (who both sported a number 14) made jinky runs down the line, looking to challenge our defence and take on the might of  Captain Jamie in goal. Possessing skill and 'robust' challenge in equal measure, the Myton boys took the game to Wazza, Suni and the other defenders but a "none shall pass" mentality meant actual efforts on goal were kept to a minimum.

Somewhat against the run of play, it was NLS who took the lead.

A delightful through-ball from Blu found Elliott on the edge of the opposition box. A slotted shot to either bottom corner as the 'keeper approached seemed the best option but Elliott had other ideas, lifting the ball beautifully over the advancing stopper and in to the back of the net.

1-0 NLS!

Myton's response was positive and Wazza (otherwise brilliant) could only watch in admiration as the adept touches of the bigger no.14 saw him megged on the right hand side of the pitch. But this defence (and wider team) works as an outfit and the likes of Suni and Kelsey were there to support.

The one real time when the defence was breached? Jamie pulls off his trademark top quality stop - raising a right hand to stop the goalward bound effort of the smaller no.14 following excellent creative work from the Myton Midfield.

At half-time, our lead had been doubled - while our boys played very well, the scoreline was perhaps a touch flattering. Charlie had been industrious throughout in midfield and Jack B never stopped running things down up top, but it was Elliott again who bagged the goal.

On the edge of the 6-yard box, surrounded by defenders - and to the shouts of "Giroud, Giroud" from the touchline, he produced a moment of magical footwork to find himself in a one-on-one with the sizeable Myton shot-stopper. Unintimidated, Elliott passed the ball under the advancing 'keeper...

Half-time: 2-0 NLS!

The incisive words of Mr Wood and the impassioned pleas of Captain Jamie - who rightly suggested Myton were certainly capable of 'getting back in to this' - echoed in the ears of the team as they rolled-out for the second half.

Functioning more as a team as the game wore on, NLS began to achieve fuller ascendancy - Myton still pressed but there was more and more going forward from the boys as Jamie's words (and those of Mr Wood) worked their charms. The sun began to shine through the clouds and smiled on the efforts of the team from the top of town. Some lovely midfield work from Sam and Blu linked to give Jack an effort on goal but his terrific angled shot pulled just wide of the sticks. Meanwhile, George began to dominate the centre of the park more and the pace was increasingly dictated by the boys in blue (NLS - no police had been called)!

Succumbing to a knee injury, Sam P gave way to Jack S while Wazza gave Ollie an opportunity from the bench. Both lads slotted in well and the team continued to boss the play. 

At the back, there were still several moments where the fullbacks in particular had to show their skill - and Sam B as well as the others stood their ground well as Myton increasingly sought to redress the imbalance of the 2-0 scoreline.


As is often the case when a team presses forward, counter-attacks become more plentiful and potentially dangerous.


And so it proved in NLS's favour.

With these counters uItimately yielding a free kick some 25 yards out, both George and Elliott stood over the ball. Some wise, whispered words from the touchline could be overheard: "Elliott will take it - he's on a hat-trick". 

And so it proved!

Curling a beautifully struck shot in to the top-right corner of the opposition's goal, the lads were jubilant - surely the cup was now in the bag?

3-0 NLS!

Robyn joined the team for the last 10 minutes to help shore things up until full time and this was needed - credit to Myton because their heads never dropped and they still looked for their chances. 

Ultimately, though, the damage had been done and NLS were champions once more.

Brilliant stuff - well done, lads!

  

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