As if an interim manager, unfamiliar with the boys, stepping in for one game at the last minute wasn’t enough, the absence of a few regular players, forcing a tactical reshuffle, meant Welford would have to adapt quickly if they were to get anything out of this game.
As it happened, Welford started very well and held their own for a lot of the game but allowed Wootton too many chances. Despite reasserting some authority towards the end of the first half, Welford found themselves 3-0 down at the break.
At the half-time break the team spoke about pressing the ball, playing the off-side trap, the importance of the counter attack and our desire to at least win the second half. The lads took these points on board and started the second half very well: some great wing play saw Welford turn defence into attack and a great cross from the left was met with a great finish from Kristian to pull a goal back.
As the second half continued Welford put in more great work from front to back and, in particular, superb defensive play from the full backs in the fight to keep a clean sheet in the second half. A special mention goes to Josh S (star player) who made some great goal saving tackles throughout the half. Unfortunately, though, what appeared from Welford’s angle to be a clean tackle on the edge of the box was given as a foul and, of course, the opposition scored from the resulting free kick. Perhaps demoralised, Welford then started to let the opposition striker get the better of them and, when all that was needed was an old fashioned “have it” clearance, instead they conceded a foul from which the fifth and final goal was scored.
Nonetheless, an enjoyable game against a good opponent, and with perhaps just a little more effort in preventing the opposition from having chances and a bit more willingness to gamble in the final third of the pitch it might have been a different game.
As always, thanks to all the parents and guardians who attended and to Club Secretary Simon Stevens for stepping in to manage the team at the last minute.
Welford Victoria U16s
1 – 5
Wootton St George Youth U16s
|12th December 2021
|Newlands Road, Welford
|Northampton and District Youth Alliance League