Boys U18 Kick off the season with 5 goals, 3 points and double MVP vote over the weekend for Sajiv!

The fellas rocked up nice and early as we got to watch one of our teammates share his wisdom during u10s training. A quick 40 minutes in the conference room and Southgate’s best and finest made way onto the pitch. A rough warm up began with Will sending the ball over the fence within 2 minutes and Saj not being able to get an injection on point. With another final 3 inspirational talks from the bosses. We were ready for the mountain ahead of us.
1,2,3 Southgate!!!!
The game had begun… the ball was flying from side to side with some liquid hockey on display. 30 seconds later a certain midfielder on his league debut felt confident and decided to try one of KG’s famous over the stick smash tackles…a little something to impress the ladies in the crowd. The fellas were now down to 10 of Southgate’s best. 5 minutes into the game we were under-fire from consecutive short corners. With Will picking his nose on the goal line a Loughton player managed to tap it into the goal.
Thirty seconds had passed and Reg had to leave the pitch for a quick 2 mins break because he was touching up his opponent a little to much. With us once more back to eleven I found myself with 3 forwards attacking Will and I in our D. It was hopeless, so I kicked the ball into our own goal past Sam’s near post. Might as well take the own goal. But wait… a penalty flick had been given instead and hope was alive. With Sam knowing all the opposition, we expected him to dive like a cat to make a stunning save, yet ….
Another 20 seconds had passed and as one of our own had just been turned inside out, a Loughts forward smashed it through Sam’s legs.
It wasn’t looking good. I thought we had lost as Will an I were having a casual conversation passing it between us about 5 meters apart. Until I heard in my head ‘What would a certain teammate do’ so I decided to run the pitch turning my forward inside out until I spotted the killer pass. Leo lost his man, and I was winding up my slap. Whilst doing so, I thought I would check the balcony to make sure the ladies were watching. They were and I was ready to let it rip. There must’ve been a hole in my stick because I missed the ball completely and decided to do two spins afterwards just to play it off cool. Luckily Will was there, like a hungry hover, he tidied it up. These heroics of mine may have handed me the honour to write this match report.
The fellas had finally won a short and a straight flick that was the plan. However, the Gate works best under improvisation so I ignored the trapper and injected straight to Will’s left who took it on his reverse.
Joergen was giving me an inspirational speech on the sideline whilst we were watching a messy rebound allowing our golden boy Leo to slide it into the corner.
Halftime – after a cool, calm and collected Joergen motivated the troops, we were ready to go again. Tensions were rising as Old Lought’s players started circling the umpires like great white sharks. Unfazed by this, the Gate themselves were now circling to oppo D like sharks and finally KG smashed it across goal on the back post were Reggie (who also may have been glimpsing at the balcony) secured it into the back of the net.
The fellas had done it. We came from nothing. And on top of tis, tensions now started reaching boiling point and coloured cards started coming out for the opposition for fruitful chat to the umpire, they were finally down to 10. However, we couldn’t capitalise initially, but with a lot of testosterone on the pitch Leo had won another battle in and amongst the D. Our golden boy does it again.
Southgate 4-3
The crowd were singing from the balcony and victory was insight just a stressful 15 minutes was in our way. Once more we were under a famous Old Loughts counterattack as one of their players sent Kyle to the floor and KG on his backside. I knew the captain should step up and remembering Wills voice going through my head “man or ball, but never both” I earned myself a well-deserved 5 mins break. With 10 minutes on the clock, we had conceded another shortie. A chance to regroup the 4 defenders I told Will to please calm the game down. As the defence expertly won a 16, Will took my advice to heart slapping the ball 40 yards across the pitch… not slowing the game down. Really Will ….. until I realised the Gate counterattack “Old Lougths style” was in full swing with Joshim expertly passing the ball to Reg who slapped it back post to Jack deflecting it one touch into the goal. The balcony loved Jacks finish as relief came to my face.
The fellas played the game out and we had done it. A victory over local rivals Old Loughts. A nice sit down in the pitch during the girls warm up saw Saj and Reg take MOM and myself DOD.
Congrats fellas. Keep up the hard work and we go again in the cup match coming up. Still lots to work on but what a way to start the season.
MOM: Joint Reggie and Sajiv
Goal Scorers: Leo (2), Jack, Reggie, Will