MATCH REPORT – SAT 17/10 – PNE U10S V BLACKPOOL
Great to be back on home ground, after three away matches, and playing back at Uclan. There was an autumnal feel to the early morning and a fresh crispness to the air that helped awaken the senses and focus the mind as we lined up for the Respect hand shake and the minutes applause in respect for the Cadley FC player, Melissa Smith who tragically died one year ago.
This local League Derby brought together two unbeaten teams. Early from the kick off this match looked as though there would not be many goals in the game as both sides looked evenly matched each creating chances but the attacks broken down by good defending.
After initial nerves had settled, PNE began playing their passing game with Grace, Emma, Kelsey, Ella and Jaz pressing the ball hard in midfield giving Blackpool little time on the ball. Macy and Sarah were so calm and well organised in defence, communicating together and with the rest of the team; they were reading the game so well Blackpool found it difficult to break through on goal. Sarah and Macy were both contenders for Man of the Match for their outstanding defending – some of their efficiently simple but clinical tackles were outstanding from both players but I deservedly gave the trophy to Grace who raised her game to meet the challenge of Blackpool’s midfield. Some of her touches of the ball and creativity, with the quick interchanges of play were hard to defend against. When Grace had the ball things started to tick and we suddenly became a threat again. The lasting impression that I have of today from the match, is how well we passed the ball around even though we were against a good team and under pressure. Ella also impressed me today with her undiminished work rate and fighting spirit, winning the ball back for PNE all over the pitch – she was brilliant. Determination like that sets an example for the rest of the team to follow and spurs the team on to play even better – well done Ella.
Chelsea and Olivia combined brilliantly in attack today creating numerous chances on goal. Olivia’s off the ball movement was excellent with the timing of her forward runs away from her defenders, as were Chelsea’s through balls with precise direction and pace to set up Olivia on goal. Late in the second half, Chelsea’s opportunistic overhead kick from outside the Blackpool penalty area, when the keeper was off her line, was as cheeky as it was daring. Her improvisation beat the keeper but she was only to be denied a goal by a deflection off the crossbar.
Finally, Shanae the keeper, had a great match and made one truly outstanding save when she came off her line to meet the advancing Blackpool winger spreading herself across the ground in the path of the players feet to block the shot with her outstretched foot, was a remarkable save for someone so young. Another impressive team performance. Well done girls!