Thame U16 Colts 1 Florence Park U16 4
Colts fall to first half Florence Park flourish
The U16 Colts finally got to play Florence Park at the third time of asking on a sticky but playable pitch at Meadow View Park. Late withdrawals meant a squad of just 12, and any pre-match optimism was dented almost immediately after kick-off as the visitors took the lead, Jonno stumbling under pressure after a short goal kick and letting Florence Park in on goal to take the lead with an emphatic finish. Thame weren't disheartened and battled hard to get back into the game (Barna in particular catching the eye going forward and defending on the right) though some loose passing at times didn't help their cause. The visitors were strong and solid on the ball, the number 10 catching the eye in particular and a failed clearance created another opportunity following a run into the box from the right which concluded with a curling effort beyond Reuben and in off the far post to double the lead. This was further increased shortly afterwards: a corner resulting from Reuben's fine save low to his right led to a loose ball in the 6 yard box which was smashed home mercilessly. There was just time for Reuben to make another fine stop before the whistle blew for half-time: 3-0 to Florence Park and the proverbial 'mountain to climb' for the Colts after the break.
The second half saw the home support urging our boys to shoot more against a rookie 'keeper who seemed unwilling to use his hands. This they did, but typically the man between the sticks decided that the things on the end of his arms were after all useful tools, denying Adam with them from the edge of the box. Cameron's cross after a jinking run down the right flank found Tom E who shot just wide: this raised hopes of a revival, but as Thame pushed forward gaps at the back appeared and eventually led to Florence Park's fourth as our backline was outpaced and Reuben's brave save was in vain, the ball falling kindly to an opponent who slotted home despite Jonno and Oscar's best efforts on the line. It was pretty much game over but the Colts best spell was yet to come: Ioan reduced the deficit after Adam's nice lay-off, Adam had a header punched out by the goalie then chipped over after good work by Jonno, Tom E and Tom Felgate to create the opportunity, Ioan shot wide when he probably had more time than he thought and Adam was denied again by a good diving save. Final score Colts 1 Florence Park 4, and our league cup campaign was over as soon as it began.
Once again we came unstuck against opposition from the division above, but the scoreline was perhaps a little flattering as had the boys taken a few of several second-half chances things may have ended differently. Special mention to Reuben for a string of great saves, to Oscar for another committed and vocal display and to Jason for running the line: next up the long trip to Newbury as we return to league action against CSA07.