Penn & Tylers Green FC U13’s Season Update
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Penn & Tylers Green FC U13’s Season Update
Following on from a successful U12 season last year at 9-aside, when they won all of their competitive games and their divisional final, Penn & Tylers Green FC U13’s (“Penn”) are now enjoying their first season as an 11-a-side league team on bigger pitches. They play in Division 2 of the Wycombe & South Bucks Minor Football League. A little unlucky not to be in the top division perhaps, but it’s getting tougher for local “Village” sides to retain their best players and compete at the top now against local Academy teams and teams from Greater London etc.
After improving fitness levels pre-season, the first league game in early September yielded a 5-0 loss on a warm afternoon away to Burnham Junior Pumas Yellows. Having their talented keeper absent through injury didn’t help Penn in a tough opening fixture, but failure to win much of the “second ball” in midfield meant they were always up against it. A harsh lesson to learn, but probably needed!
Two excellent league performances then followed in late September with draws against Downley 0-0 and AFC Lightning 1-1. Great football was played in each game, but a failure to convert chances really cost Penn wins in both.
October came and chances were converted at last. First, a 6-0 win at home v Berkhamsted and then a 5-0 away win at Boyne Hill in Maidenhead. The latter was memorable for probably the best half of football Penn have played as a team to date, when in the second half they blew Boyne Hill away with quick interplay and 5 good goals. Two of these stood out; a 20 yard thunderbolt from Rowan Duff in first minute of the second half (after he had been told to work the keeper more at half-time!) and a good volleyed goal from Lewis Dale late in the game following a great overlap and left-wing cross from Lewis Mediratta.
These were followed up with a really good 3-0 win at the end of October half-term at home against a very skillful Gerrards Cross team. That win was particularly pleasing as Penn were missing their captain and commanding center half, Ollie Kenyon, along with three other starting players.
The most recent league game on 04 November 2018 was at home to Ruislip Rangers. A real challenge against a very good team made harder for Penn by the absence of Rowan Duff, who had broken his leg in the week before the game. We will miss Rowan and the skill, confidence and shooting ability he brings to the team. Get well soon Rowan and recover, and we hope to see you back in 2019.
Ruislip were tough and physical from the start, but they mixed their play up really well with plenty of skill on show also; particularly on their left side. They had the better of the first half but maintaining our shape and organization restricted them to very few chances. One great midfield switch move saw their striker just volley over from a superb left wing cross. Penn’s keeper, Tommy Dymott had provided a calm and reliable outlet anytime the back four was turned or put under pressure. He also made a great block save just before half-time to ensure we stayed in the game at 0-0.
The physical battle continued in the second half, but Penn began to get on top as Ruislip could see we weren’t prepared to roll over. Good chances came, including Lewis Dale putting a shot just over and Ollie Kenyon seeing a great header fly just over the bar.
Oli Layfield, with his pace and dribbling ability on the left wing, now had the beating of his man every time and crosses were coming in regularly from him as the half wore on. We kept telling the team a goal would come from the left wing, but as time passed it seemed that the game would end up 0-0.
Then on 63 minutes some great wing play from Oli drew a foul on the left side. Up stepped Monty Davis from right midfield to bend a superb 25 yard free kick over the wall and into the top right corner of the goal. A brilliant piece of skill by Monty to win Penn the game 1-0. Overall, a great team performance; very well done in particular Oli Layfield and Charlie Simons who both had stand-out games for Penn.
That win and just the single first game defeat leaves the U13’s top of Division 2 at the moment, although they have played a few more games than some of the other equally strong teams around them. A great start to the league season overall. The U13’s just need to keep enjoying it, putting in 100% effort at training, staying organized and strong in games to show they won’t roll over, and improve their decision making so there is more end product from the great football they play at times.
Their most recent game was on Remembrance Day in the 3rd Round of the League Cup at home to Burnham Junior Pumas Yellows. We mixed the team up a little and made a lot of substitutions to give squad players more of a game, but still a chance for Penn to show that they had learnt from their first game defeat. Unfortunately, we ended up losing 3-2 in a tough game after a fairly even first half ended 2-2; the highlight for Penn being a great opening goal in the game from Daniel Connor.
Burnham deserved the win based on their strong second half showing but we certainly gave them a game this time around. Well done in particular to Matthew Wellington in midfield, who ran and pressed all game as he always does, and to Jack Watson at right back who always seems to be in the right place at the right time and defended very well all game.
Credit to both Clubs for a tough but fair game played in the right way and also for observing the minutes silence before kick-off. A day for all of the boys to remember that some of the young men who gave their lives in the First World War were only three or four years older than them and perhaps had played “Village” football in South Bucks before they left their families to join up.
On to the next game……….
Manager – Penn & Tylers Green FC U13’s