WEST EXE YOUTH v ALPHINGTON YOUTH U13’s
Thursday 9th May 2019 K.O. 6.00pm
Match report by Geoff Bland
Having beaten this years league champions only a couple of days earlier, we now face our neighbours Alphington in the final match of the season.
We get off to a reasonable start with an early floated cross from Mickie out on the right wing. Dylan sprints into the box and is unlucky not to get on the end of the ball. A few minutes later James tries with a long range shot from the middle of Alphington’s half but it sails high and wide. Sixty seconds later we lose possession in mid-field. Alphington break down the right wing, shoot and score. 0-1. After quarter of an hour we again lose the ball. Alphington run through and score but the flag is raised for off-side. In the nineteenth minute Alphington have a corner. The ball is whipped into the penalty area where there is lack of communication by West Exe and Alphington score again. 0-2. West Exe have a good spell of possession and on half an hour James tries a long range shot but to goes high over the cross bar. A minute later he tries again with a run down the left wing, past a number of Alphington players and shoots wide. As half time approaches Alphington take a shot from just inside the box requiring Thomas to make a good finger tip catch. The half ends with an attempt from Mickie that the keeper saves.
Within the first few seconds of starting the second half we have a corner. Gracian jumps high and makes good contact with the ball but it goes straight into the keeper’s arms. A minute later Alphington play a through ball down the centre of the park. They are one on one with Thomas who spreads himself out wide as the shot heads his way and he makes an important save with his feet. It’s end to end football and West Exe now have a corner. Mickie flights the ball right into the danger zone as our strikers set themselves but the keeper gets a finger tip to the ball first and nudges it to an Alphington player to clear. On seven minutes Alphington have a free kick out on the right wing. The ball is floated over our static defence and with three Alphington attackers beating the off-side trap, they easily slot the ball into the net. 0-3. A few minutes later they have another free kick, this time out on the left. It’s a similar set piece but this time the ball hits the post and gets cleared. On quarter of an hour an under powered pass back to Thomas enables Alphington to try a lob. Thomas jumps up to get a finger to the ball and catch. Less than two minutes later Alphington play a ball over the top of our defence. Thomas stretches out and makes a great save to tip the ball over the cross bar. The corner comes in and skims off the top of the cross bar and out for a goal kick. From this kick, James passes to Gracian who runs past and around a number of Alphington players and calmly slots past the keeper. 1-3. The following five minutes sees both sides trying long range shots, Alphington wanting to put the game out of our reach and West Exe desperately looking to close the gap. Thomas makes a great save from Alphington’s attempt, James’s shot goes wide, Seb shot is fumbled by the keeper, Gracian couldn’t quite control the rebound and another shot from James is saved by the keeper. On twenty five minutes Levi plays a through ball to Gracian who side foots it wide. The game is starting to slip away and the frustration shows when James is booked for kicking the ball away. The match finishes with a ball from Alphington that goes across the face of the goal.
FULL TIME 1-3
A shame the season ended with a loss but Alphington are a well organised side, with rehearsed set pieces and clear communication between all of their players. West Exe had some opportunities but tiredness from a hectic end of season seemed to catch up with us, especially after an epic game only a couple of days previously. It was a pointless yellow card to give away and only proved to Alphington that we were getting frustrated. This only gives them more determination to carry on doing more of the same, to try to rattle and disrupt our play further. It was good to see we continued to fight for everything even when three goals down.
West Exe have improved massively this season and have played some outstanding football along the way. To beat the top teams and reach the semi final of the cup has been well deserved. Our first season with a full size pitch and goal has seen our defence grow in confidence and play well as a unit. Mid-field love the tough games where they get stuck in for a battle and push forward whenever possible. The strikers have taken their opportunities well and have scored some unbelievable goals. To pay three pounds to watch some of the matches this year seems like a bargain. Well done West Exe to a brilliant 2018/19 season and we are all looking forward to an even better 2019/20.