EDITORS NOTE: Sorry for the delay in getting this match report up, busy week!! Well done Tigers….
Match Report for 13th February home game against Whitchurch.
Clothed in the familiar orange & black checked Michelmersh & Timsbury Tigers Under 10s ushered in the Chinese new year with a return to winning ways.
As the fans on the side of the pitch bobbed up and down tapping feet together and blowing warm air onto cold hands, the temperature on the pitch was raised as tackles flew in and the tension grew in a game that manager Mark Sills called at half time as being one that had 0-0 written all over it.
The visitors Whitchurch got the game underway and provided the first attempt on goal despite Tigers starting very positively. A well organized Whitchurch though continued to shut out the advances of Rob, James and Nick C. Will Hoggath turned in a captain’s performance in midfield disrupting the play, pushing forward and unleashing that potent right footed shot at the Whitchurch goal. He was unlucky not to score when he unleashed yet another belter from the right side of the box which must of stung even the gloved hands of Whitchurch’s keeper who played excellently throughout the match.
With Rob C in goal and Scott and Nick Evans forming the protective rear-guard Tigers defense were equal to anything that Whitchurch threw at them in the first half.
Tigers enjoyed a lot of possession in the first half and tried all sorts to break down Whitchurch who seemed able to absorb the pressure. At times Rob appeared to be a little isolated up front but as the half continued James & Will pushed forward to support. Will put a beautifully weighted ball over the defense for Rob to run on to but within seconds he was surrounded by four defenders, who demonstrated the merits of team defending.
It wasn’t all one way traffic, with Whitchurch creating a number of opportunities to take the lead. Scott and Nick had to be at their very best and were often called upon to break up the play or make telling challenges to halt an attack. At times the tackles came in thick, fast & fierce and referee Martyn Evans was on hand to calm the game and also redirect passionate if not misguided shouts for penalties or free kicks in both halves of the pitch.
Despite chances at both ends the half ended goal-less, an observation from the sidelines that the difference between the two teams was that Whitchurch were more likely to follow up on the half chances and parried shots and as a result looked the more likely to score.
Within 20 seconds of the restart though Tigers had followed up on a half chance and were one-nil up. Nick and Rob got the half started from the kick off and proceeded to cut through Whitchurch midfield and defense. Nick unleashed a shot which the keeper parried to the waiting Rob Sills who tapped into the bottom corner.
Despite a scare immediately after scoring, Tigers dominated the next 10 minutes of play, creating opportunities for Nick, Rob & James.
The goal gave Tigers confidence to push forward, Nick went on a trademark mazy run from his own half putting the ball through to Rob whose left-footed strike was saved by the keeper. Nick was not the only one pushing forward from the back, Scott was encouraged forward as the game opened up in front of him, his cross was cleared by the defender no 5 who had a superb game for Whitchurch and was personally responsible for keeping Tigers from scoring on a number of occasions.
Before going off, both Will and James had further attempts on goal, Will again from long range and James with his head. James was substituted for Jacob, Will for Will Garland and the final substitution was Lewis for Nick Evans. Nick had successfully disrupted the Whitchurchs forwards who had started to show their frustration as the game was not going their way.
In the final minutes of the game Tigers came close to both doubling their lead and dropping two points. Scott who had been superb throughout took a heavy knock to the left leg, battled through to clear the lines in the last minute of the game to make sure that Tigers earned a well deserved three points and extend their unbeaten run.
Final Score, Tigers 1 Whitchurch 0
Friendly Game will follow as an audio commentary supplied by Scott Gilmour