U12s Clapham Rangers Colts v Santley U12 (H) 08/10/2016

Type of Match League
Venue Clapham Common, SW4
Squad Josiah Adams, Jahvan Ball, Nicholas Boyle, Alvaro de Calonje, Nico Dykes, Zak Lavender, Matheo Mesny, Xavier Mills, Ugo Nguyen, Kamran Pradham, Robert Sloan, Oscar Turpin
Result Clapham Rangers 3  Santley 2
Scorers Oscar Turpin, Alvaro de Calonje, Nico Dykes

Man of the Match Xavier Mills – Awarded by the coach for his skillful display down the left wing and his tenacity. 

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Match Summary  (by Ignacio de Calonje)

Wow, what a match! First win of the season and what a great second half performance! Nico’s last minute winning volley from outside the area was a goal worthy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at his best. A truly amazing strike! It was a deserved finale to a great second half, which saw us wake up from a lethargic first half display and beat Santley 3-2 in the dying minutes of the game.
The match started reasonably well, but neither side seemed able to dominate play. Then, in the 13th minute, came a breakthrough for Rangers… Nico was fouled in the box and the referee mercifully awarded us a penalty.  Oscar lined himself up to take the penalty and calmly slotted it away in the left hand corner of the goal.  1-0 to Clapham. All was looking good…But from that point onwards, the team seemed to lose its chutzpah. Passing wasn’t flowing and we could only resort to long balls.  The heroic defense was doing its best to keep a clean sheet, with a special mention for Matheo’s assertive performance.  But it wasn’t enough.  Santley scored the equaliser in the 24th minute from a messy scramble in the six yard box.  They came again just one minute later and scored their second from a cross that a Santley player slammed into the back of the net.  Clapham were 2-1 down at half time and things were no longer looking that good…
Not sure what Darren told the boys during the half time talk, but his words worked magic. Clapham came out storming, putting Santley immediately on the defensive. Xavier was spectacular down the left flank, carving his way through Santley players like a knife through butter. Our forwards and midfielders, including Jahvan, Nico, Oscar, Ugo and Kamran were putting the opposition under constant pressure. Pep Guardiola would have been proud of their “total pressing”.  This led to one chance after the other for Clapham. A powerful shot by Ugo was deflected to corner in the 7th minute. Nico had another good chance two minutes later. Rob tested the goalie in the 18th minute. It was relentless.  But Santley were a tough team. Harsh tackles by the team in red put both Oscar and Matteo out of action.  But finally, in the 19th minute of the second half, a low shot from Alvaro from outside the area weaved its way into Santley’s goal. 2-2 with 10 minutes to play. Clapham Rangers didn’t relent and we maintained our discipline in defense, with Nicholas doing a great job at closing them down and Zak, as always, solid as a rock as our “sweeper keeper”.  Then, in the last minute of the match, the wonder goal…  Reminding me of Zinedine Zidane’s mythical goal for Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final, Nico struck arguably the most amazing volley in the young history of this team to seal an immensely satisfying 3-2 victory. Well done boys!

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