U16B - Peterborough (EHB U16B R3) - L 1-7 - Warning: The Scoreline does not Reflect Reality!
U16 BOYS XI - 24/11/2013 VS PETERBOROUGH (A) |
TEAM: U16 Boys XI
FIXTURE: U16 Boys XI VS 24/11/2013
HEADLINE: Warning: The Scoreline does not Reflect Reality!
LEAGUE: U16 Boys Cup
VENUE: City of Peterborough
RESULT: Lost 7-1
In all my many years of hockey, I am not sure I have ever seen a match where the score has so not reflected the balance of the match! To be fair to City of Peterborough they finished their chances much better than we did and so deserved a win. However, this was a very even and high quality game, in which Norwich has several periods when they were the better team. So how did we end up on the wrong end of a 7-1 scoreline? Let’s start at the beginning…
Norwich’s U16 Boys turned up at a damp, grey City of Peterborough ground with some trepidation. A couple of our players carried knocks including the brave Alex Fisher who had come all the way to Peterborough with one good leg, following a strong Dereham challenge the day before. Combined with a late withdrawal, this left us with only 11.5 players to play a strong City of Peterborough team which was unbeaten in the Cup and had defeated the very impressive Cambridge City.
City started the stronger and for 15 minutes the match was goalless with good hockey on both sides. First blow was to City of Peterbrough who won a short corner. Whilst City were still organising themselves, CoP were allowed to inject the ball and shoot unopposed for a 1-0 lead. City bounced back quickly winning a short corner themselves, which Ross Pitcher duly dispatched with a thumping hit against the backboard to level the scores.
City were now beginning to win the midfield battle and it was then that the big turning point of the game happened. City attacked the CoP goal at speed, the ball was slipped through to Jonty at the top of the D and his majestic slaphit beat the stranded keeper before being saved by an obvious foot on the line. Sadly for us, the only two people not to see it were the two umpires and nothing was given. CoP broke quickly and scored, making it 2-1 to them, rather than a City lead. The game continued to ebb and flow and Peterborough nicked a third before the break.
The second half continued in a similar pattern. The game surged back and forth and, without a substitute, our midfield and forwards put in a massive shift, chasing everything down with determination and speed. Skipper Ethan Marchant and Jonty were bossing the middle of the park, the two Sams (Paterson and Tomlinson) were causing trouble dribbling down the flanks and Ross and George Brine were chasing everything down up front. However somehow our chances just did not get over the goal-line: Ross beat two players before hitting the inside of the post, Jonty missed two short corners by a whisker and the CoP goalkeeper made some excellent last ditch saves.
At the other end it was a different story. Our defensive line of Fred Anthony, Will Kidner, Tom Ling and Ali Husband, supported by Alex’s good leg, tackled as if their lives depended upon it and our open play defending was good. However, we were vulnerable at short corners and, during the half, City of Peterborough scored four identikit short corners out of five, including one on the final whistle. Each time the first shot was saved well by Tom Watling in goal but CoP reacted quicker to the breakdown and scored with either their second or third attempts on goal.
And so it ended 7-1, much to the bemusement of all involved. Nevertheless the story is much more positive than that. The boys played well against a strong team, and showed much character and backbone in doing so. The effort put in by the team and some of the skill and passing was a joy to behold and made the parents and coach proud.
Fittingly just about the whole team won votes in the MOTM process in what was surely the ultimate team effort. The winner was Ali Husband who showed typical dynamism both in defence and surging forward with the ball, although special mention has to go to Ethan Marchant for some wondrous karaoke which kept the team bus "entertained" on the way back.
RESULT: L 1-7
SCORERS: Ross Pitcher
POTM: Alistair Husband
City U16s go out fighting in Indoors Tournament
Last Sunday the UEA Sportspark was the venue for the first U16 Norfolk Clubs Tournament, with Norwich City, Dragons and Magpies competing for the title. The Event was organised at short notice, with the aim of finding a winner to go through to represent Norfolk at the Regions. From a City perspective, this was about gaining experience and having fun – although three of our boys play indoor regularly at school, we had little experience in the squad and hadn’t had the chance to practice as a team before the event. |
Our first game was against Magpies. City started well, going 1-0 up through a well-taken goal by Ross Pitcher. However, it wasn’t long before Magpies came back, aided perhaps by the inexperience of the City team as we got used to the game and the rules. Soon Magpies were scoring at a quick rate, despite the bravery of Fred Anthony in goal and some excellent defending from Alex Fisher. City hit back three times, with good goals from Ross, skipper Ethan Marchant and Sam Paterson but sadly it wasn’t enough. The final scoreline of 10-4 did not reflect what was actually a fairly balanced game!
Following Dragons exciting but narrow win against Magpies, City could still win the overall competition if they beat Dragons in the final game by a good margin. Again City scored first through Ethan Marchant before Dragons equalised through a rocket-like short-corner. The pattern for the game was set, with first one team going ahead, and then the other. Sam P and Ross were dominating the play and muscling their way through tackles and Sam Tomlinson was quickly getting to grips with indoor and using his pace and ball skills to run at the defence. Meanwhile George Brine was chasing down opponents with speed and determination and Alex Fisher and Ethan Marchant were like brick walls defensively.
However, in the end, despite City’s dominance, it came down to set plays. Both teams had about eight short corners: Dragons converted a fantastic seven of these corners (all of them absolutely unstoppable it has to be said) whilst City scored a miserly one. The final score, a 9-6 win to Dragons would have been a City win had we been able to convert at a similar rate. And that comes down to one thing: practice. For the record, the scorers of the remaining City goals were (I think) Sam P 2, George, Sam T 2.
This was a great taster of indoor hockey for both boys and parents alike. We loved it and would like to do it again!
The Squad: Fred Anthony (GK), Ethan Marchant (Captain), Alex Fisher, Ross Pitcher, George Brine, Sam Tomlinson, Sam Paterson
U16B - Bury St Edmunds (EHB U16B R2) - L 4-7 - Norwich City U16 Boys Lose out in Goal Bonanza!
TEAM: Boys U16s |
FIXTURE: Norwich City U16 Boys vs Bury St Edmunds U16 Boys
LEAGUE: EH U16 Cup
RESULT: Lost 4-7
HEADLINE: Norwich City U16 Boys Lose out in Goal Bonanza!
Our very young U16 Boys team hosted Bury on Sunday, giving away a year per player to a Bury team who have National Finals aspirations. It is credit to the City Boys’ performance that we look back at the game disappointed that we didn’t win!
The match started at a quick pace with both teams attacking strongly. After six minutes Ross Pitcher put City ahead at a short corner, with a hard shot that was deflected in by a Bury stick. 1-0 to City and Bury realised they were in for a game! Bury came back hard and City were a little guilty of not clearing the ball strongly enough and giving too much possession away. Bury scored three times in 15 minutes, to take them into a 3-1 lead, before Ethan Marchant slammed a short corner home to make it 3-2 at the break.
The coaches needed to galvanise the team at half time, pointing out that if we played anywhere near our best we would have been winning rather than losing. City listened and came out better in the second half. Sam Tomlinson did some good work on the left side of the D before smashing the ball across the D where Ross skilfully controlled the ball and banged it home. Back level! Sadly it didn’t last and some sloppy defending let Bury ahead again after three minutes.
With both teams tiring, the game opened up and both teams got more space. City continued to defend manfully with Fred Anthony, Sam Kenny and Will Kidner all making crucial tackles in our own D to stop Bury scoring. Tom Watling in goal made some excellent saves which made the next goal particularly cruel. Bury, attacking out of the setting sun, hit the ball hard into the D. Tom left the ball, not realising that a Bury attacker had got the slightest deflection on it inside the D, and it was a goal, much to Tom’s bemusement. City hit back, scoring courtesy of Sam Paterson who poked the ball home with his reverse stick to make it 5-4 with 20 minutes to go.
Could a City revival be on the cards? Sadly not – a telegraphed City sixteen yard pass across goal was intercepted by the Bury forward to make it 6-3, before they added another for a one-sided 7-4 scoreline that didn’t reflect the balance of play.
On the plus side, we gave a good game to a Bury team who are significantly older than our Boys and have some very good players, and at times we played some very good hockey. However, we really could have won this match if we had stuck to our game plan, used our heads and made the right decisions at the right time. Man of the Match was elder statesman, Ethan Marchant, who played a gutsy game in midfield, diving all over the place to stop the opposition.
RESULT: L 4-7
SCORERS: Ross Pitcher,Ethan Marchant,Ross Pitcher,Sam Paterson
POTM: Ethan Marchant
U16B - Cambridge City (EHB U16B R1) - L 0-12 - U16 Cup – Part 2: A bridge too far!
TEAM: COLTS XI |
FIXTURE: U16 Boys Vs Cambridge City
LEAGUE: U16 Cup
RESULT: Lost 12-0
HEADLINE:U16 Cup – Part 2: A bridge too far!
Before we judge the game solely on the scoreline, let’s consider the context. Cambridge City has an impressive line-up. Only two of their squad was under 15, compared to nine of Norwich City's, the average age of their squad is about 15 months older than ours and physically their team was markedly bigger than ours. On top of this, the Cambridge squad is filled with JRPC, HiPac and national players. That, in itself, made the match a mountainous task. Then consider the fact that our boys had just finished a very hard-fought battle against Pelicans and the Cambridge City boys were fresh, this being their first game of the day. And finally, in about the third minute of the game, our dynamic Centre Back Ali Husband got struck on the ankle and could play no further part in the match.
Inevitably, this match was backs against the wall stuff from the first minute to the last. City fought valiantly, with Tom Watling in goal flinging himself all over the place and Skipper Ethan Marchant leading by example making some crunching tackles in the middle of defence. Sam Kenny, Fred Anthony and Will Kidner defended manfully despite being outgunned by some top quality opposition, and our midfield and forwards ran themselves into the ground trying to repel the opposition. Cambridge scored 12 against us, and although we forced their keeper into a couple of saves and won a couple of short corners, we remained goalless.
Nevertheless, today was a good day for City with a win and a loss and some good experience for a team that is very young for the competition, and the boys should be proud of the resilience and effort they showed in what was a very, very difficult game. Man of the Match goes to Tom Watling in goal, who pulled off some great saves.
RESULT: L 0-12
POTM: Tom Watling
U16B - Pelicans (EHB U16B R1) - W 7-2 - U16 Cup – Part 1: Fabulous Win for our Boys
TEAM: COLTS XI |
FIXTURE: U16 Boys Vs Pelicans
LEAGUE: U16 Cup
RESULT: Won 7-2
HEADLINE: U16 Cup – Part 1: Fabulous Win for our Boys
Norwich City travelled to Kings Lynn to play matches against Pelicans and Cambridge City in the League stage of the U16 Cup. Despite the success of the U14 Boys in reaching the National Finals last year, our expectations were limited as we have a very young side– all but 5 of our squad are still only 14 years old!
Our first game was against Pelicans who, on paper at least, had to be the favourites. The game started with a high tempo, both teams playing a fast passing game and the City midfield of Ross, Sam P, Jonty and Sam H working very hard. It was Norwich who broke the deadlock, with Henry dribbling skilfully round the back of the Pelicans defence and, as the goalie moved off his line anticipating the drag back, coolly slotting the ball home. City continued to attack, winning a short corner. Ross Pitcher struck the ball well at the goal and only a Pelicans foot could prevent it going in. Ross stepped up for the flick and slotted the ball home with aplomb. 2-0!
The game continued at pace with Pelicans winning a short corner and reducing the deficit with a dragflick past the despairing Tom Watling in goal to make it 2-1, before Sam Paterson restored the two goal buffer, dribbling into the D, riding a couple of stick tackles and slotting home.
So 3-1 up at half-time and you think the coaches would have been happy. Not a bit of it! Whilst we had fought well for the ball, we were guilty of not passing early enough and trying too much showboating . The boys listened and the second half was a thing of beauty! Jonty, playing majestically at the bottom of the diamond, threaded a lovely pass through to put Sam Tomlinson through for 4-1.
Pelicans got one back when Will Means scored a good solo goal to make it 4-2 and after that it was all City. Ross won the ball in midfield, passed the ball to George Brine who laid the ball off to Sam T for his second. Next George beat two players before setting up Sam P who also scored his second and a 6-2 lead, and then finally George scored a lovely reverse stick goal to round off an excellent 7-2 win.
The boys had really put everything into this game against good opposition and all of them had earned the well-deserved praise from the coaches at the end. The only downside was whether the boys had enough left in them to play the exceptionally strong Cambridge Squad half an hour later.
Man of the Match is awarded to George Brine who chased and harried the Pelicans defence throughout, as well as showing some lovely skill and unselfish play.
RESULT: W 7-2
SCORERS: Own Goal,Ross Pitcher,Sam Paterson,Sam Tomlinson,Sam Tomlinson,Sam Paterson,George Brine
POTM: George Brine