Undefeated in their new division and coming off the back of a very satisfying win over close rivals Haddenham, Thame u12 youth team took part in the London Soccerdome tournament on the last Saturday before Xmas.
The format was 5 group matches, 15 minutes one way, on tight pitches played over a hectic couple of hours in SE London. Thame gave a great account of themselves before slightly running out of steam in the 7th place play off.
Thame were unlucky to come up against the eventual champions in their opening match...with keeper Felix Horner stuck in traffic somewhere in central London. Matty Archer stood in as goalie and Dylan Holmes scored a fine free kick before Thame shipped a couple of late goals in a hard fought defeat.
Thame then had a 0-0 draw they could have won, followed by a 1-1 draw they should have won (another well-taken goal for Dylan) before losing to the second strongest side in the group in a strangely disjointed game littered with injuries.
Thame had steadily got to grips with the format which suited strong direct football. Nevertheless they did best when they got their passing game going and it came together in a comprehensive 4-0 win in the final group game with 2 goals for Jonny Archer, a third of the tournament for Dylan and the fourth nicked in by Eddie Bottomley.
Thame were playing good stuff with the Archer boys and Charlie Hayday reading the game well, defending strongly and bringing the ball out of defence with real purpose. Taylor Carruthers created space and opportunities with his super ball control and Billy Garnett and Eddie ran hard, looked for their passes and competed well in midfield. Dylan was a constant threat as striker and once he was restored to goal Felix Horner kept really well and kept the game moving.
Thame showed plenty of spirit and not a little courage lining up in the play off with 3 limping players. They all worked really well for each other and kept their heads up in a close defeat for 7th place.
Thanks to Carlo for entering the team, Phil for getting so much out of them and all the parents and family for the great support. Roll on 2014.