Saturday 21st September 2013
—Margate FC U10’s 7 Herne Bay U10’s 1—
Match report of a different kind today, as my Saturday morning took me to the Hartsdown Park pitches to watch Terry’s Margate U10 side in action against Herne Bay.
What struck me immediately was how professional the Margate boys were warming up, especially given their age. Everything was well organised as the management had the boys practising passing & shooting drills before kick off – a far cry from when I was their age – warm ups mainly consisted of booting the ball at the keeper as hard as possible!
After the referee called the two teams together, Herne Bay won the toss & kicked off.
Margate were straight into their opponents from the off, giving Herne Bay no time to settle on the ball – early on, a spell of pressure led to a Margate interception, & a good passing move between Reece & Frankie led to the first corner of the game – good work from Gee left the ball at Cam’s feet who made no mistake, coolly slotting home – 1-0 Margate.
Not content to sit back, Margate carried on their original game plan, closing Herne Bay down quickly & not allowing them time on the ball. After a passing move between three players, Gee picked the ball up & curled it past the helpless keeper – a superlative finish for 2-0.
Herne Bay seemed stunned into action by the second goal, & looked to get back into the game straight away – however, their first meaningful attack was well seen out of play by Arthur.
The Margate defence looked well organised, with each player knowing their jobs & not drifting out of position.
Shortly after Arthur’s clearance, he produced an excellent pass to set Gee away, only for the game to be stopped briefly due to an injury to Herne Bay’s #3.
As the game progressed, I noticed that Margate’s lads seemed to be much more confident in possession than their Herne Bay counterparts – keeping the ball on the floor, taking time over passes & always looking up before passing. A credit to them at an age when kick & rush seems to be the norm!
Herne Bay’s keeper was much the busier of the two, Mikey not having been troubled unduly, with a great shot from Frankie being parried away. Reece was showing his quality with an excellent run & pass that ultimately came to nothing, but a fantastic effort.
After a succession of corners, Gee was unlucky to see an effort come back off the post, Gate dominating the first half for the most part. Herne Bay’s attack was being well stifled by the Gate defence – a case in point being Cam’s excellent tackle on Bay’s #2 as he looked to bring the ball forward.
Arthur & Grant were working well at the back, & a ball forward by Arthur led to a chance for Gee which ended up being blocked by Herne Bay’s defence.
A great passing interchange followed between Cam & Gee, with Gate dominating yet again. Confidence & patience in play throughout the team was evident – Margate proving to be a very well organised outfit. After Cam, Arthur & Gee combined to win another corner for Gate, Cam notched his second after a ricochet in the area. 3-0 Gate.
As the game continued, Reece showed his battling qualities – tracking back & getting covering tackles in, and Grant showed some excellent control to bring the ball out of the air. Cam’s versatility was also shining through at this point, the diminutive chap proving an asset in both attack & defence situations.
Another mix up in Bay’s defence led to yet another Gate corner – the gulf between the sides in both ability & confidence was evident, although I later learnt that Bay’s side were a relatively new lineup.
Not long after the corner was cleared, a counter attack by Gate ended with Bay’s keeper producing an excellent stop from a Margate shot, only for Reece to slot in the rebound – 4-0 Gate.
More & more chances were coming Gate’s way, & Frankie was unlucky to slice a shot wide under pressure from Bay’s defence. Not long after, Bay pulled a goal back after a mixup in the Margate defence, Mikey just failing to keep out the shot despite a valiant effort. 4-1.
The defence didn’t let their heads drop though, & it was business as usual throughout the game – solid defending & concentration levels were excellent.
Following yet another Gate attack, Frankie rifled the ball home to make it 5-1 just before half time.
As the second half kicked off, Gate made a couple of changes – Arthur & Reece coming off for Joseph & David.
Margate continued where they left off, tackling & pressuring well – the Bay keeper being called into action twice but managing to parry the shots away, to his credit.
Gate’s positional sense was excellent, well drilled with good marking – can tell this has been worked on, very mature play from the boys. Herne Bay posed more of an attacking threat this half, but apart from one nervous moment in the Gate defence, they dealt with it with it easily. Not long after this, an excellent run from Cam led to another Gate corner, Jake producing an excellent delivery from the right, which was cleared well by the Bay defence.
Excellent battling from Tommy & Gee led to Reece scrambling the ball in, making it 6-1. As play resumed – a Bay player went down following a collision between players, the game was stopped & a Gate player helped the lad up – excellent sportmanship from both teams was very much evident in this game.
Jake produced the goal of the match with a thunderbolt that went in off the post to make it 7-1 to Margate.
As the game drew to a close, Margate continued to create chances – a breakway led to Frankie firing a superb shot which was well dealt with by the Bay keeper, and Jake treated the crowd to a touch of the sublime by nutmegging a Bay defender, with a superb piece of skill. Joseph was also showing his worth with some dogged defending & putting in a great challenge – excellent defensive play.
As Herne Bay’s coach grew frustrated, Margate carried on showing their prowess in defending, attacking & link up play between players. Reece won a couple of flick ons with great headers, & David showed his composure in defence, as did Arthur when he came back on.
All too soon, the game was over – a massive contrast between the two sides, but credit to Herne Bay for not letting their heads drop.
Margate asserted their superiority which was evident from the 7-1 scoreline – a lot of positives to take from this game – teamwork, all round play (whether attack or defence) & good passing & movement. They also played the game in a sporting manner, both sides shaking hands at the end to finish a game well worth watching.
Man Of The Match (as voted by his team-mates) went to Reece – well deserved for his all round performance & his brace of goals.
The Margate U10’s line up was as follows –