Clapham Rangers U13 Colts vs Broomwood Jets
- • Venue: Clapham Common
- • Match Type: League
- • 1000 hrs kick off
- • Result: 3-3 draw
- • Scorers: Marcus, Cooper, Stan
A bright but cold January day on Clapham Common and the first home game for the Colts in a while. Arrived late after forgetting Arthur’s contact lenses, and discovered that not only was Darren stricken with the lurgy, but that I’d been voted to take charge of the team in his absence.
I have no problem setting up a team, but felt mildly awkward, having been unable to attend training sessions or even all the games, I’m still struggling to get all the names. Never mind, we had 12 players available and we know the quality of the team. ‘Right guys, do you all know where you’re playing? Is is 4-4-2? Turns out they all did, and it was 4-3-3. Thankfully. So all that was needed was to rotate the sub and give them maximum encouragement.
It’s a great testament to both the team and Darren that the boys were able to organise themselves so effectively without their coach there. They did indeed all know where they should be playing, and applied themselves to the job in hand.
Broomwood are a strong side, most of them have been playing together for five years or more. Arthur was with them for five years, Lower Reception to Year 3, and I was involved in coaching during that time. Obviously this made beating them even more important, from our perspective.
When the opposition scored first, early in the game, it didn’t bode well. But the boys steeled their resolve and hit back. Marcus, Cooper and Stan scoring in quick succession. The Clapham boys clearly had the edge skill-wise, but Broomwood were well organised and patient and were never going to roll over.
Be that as it may, the first half finished 3-1 to the Colts. There were then a couple of personnel changes as Luca arrived and Jamie needed to rest his hamstrings. Instructions were no more than to keep doing the same thing, and to stay focused.
Broomwood though, were bolstered after the break, and they were also playing down the slight slope. They quickly pulled one back after a mix-up in the Clapham box, and then a second with a shot from distance. With the score at 3-3 an end-to-end battle ensued which could have gone either way but finished with the draw.
All the boys played exceptionally well, supported each other, and pulled together as a team. But special mention, I think, to Brandon who time after time dived fearlessly at the feet of oncoming strikers to thwart their ambitions.
In my view, had Darren been there to exert an extra level of organisation and tactical nous, the Colts would likely have come away the victors. But on the day a draw was probably a fair result.
Get well soon Darren.