Tough Test For Aylsham U12s

Match Report 28.01.18

Aylsham FC U12 v Fakenham Town FC U12, Clipbush Park

A fresh and chilly morning as Aylsham FC U12 travelled to Fakenham Town FC U12 in the Norfolk Combined Youth Football League Premiership this morning (Sunday 28th January) for a top of the table clash at Clipbush Park.

Aylsham kicked off and looked to pass the ball quickly and keep it on the ground against the wind. The opening exchanges were frantic and very evenly balanced with possession constantly changing hands as both teams looked to take an early advantage. The first shooting opportunity fell to Aylsham after Adam and Jaiden combined well to send Josh away but his early shot flew just wide. Fakenham looked to break forward with a long ball that Ollie dealt with confidently under pressure.

There were two contrasting styles with Fakenham playing forward quickly and directly with Aylsham trying to pass and move through the thirds. The Aylsham defence stood strong limiting the hosts to shots from distance that Loz handled comfortably. In the 5th minute a promising move from Aylsham beginning with Denver and Freddy on the right was only halted by a crucial block as Alfie looked to play Jaiden in. A couple of minutes later Fakenham had a good sight of goal but a cross-shot from the left was well saved by Loz.

In the 9th minute Fakenham took the lead following a trip on the edge of the Aylsham area and a well struck left footed free-kick opened the scoring. Fakenham had their tails up and pushed forward quickly putting the Aylsham defence under further pressure. In the 11th minute, however, a great passage of play by Aylsham opened up the hosts down the left. First Adam and Jude linked up before a neat one-two between Jaiden and Jude created space for Jaiden to swing in a cross that agonisingly evaded the head of the onrushing Alfie at the near post and Freddy’s outstretched foot at the back post.

In the 16th minute Charlie came into the fold replacing Jaiden down the Aylsham left. The game remained very evenly balanced with both teams pressing the ball quickly to restrict space and time. Loz did well to punch away a corner under pressure and was on guard as the ball was returned into the middle but went just too high to threaten the Aylsham goal. Freddy and Charlie swapped flanks and Charlie forced a hurried clearance from a Fakenham defender. Charlie’s quick throw found Josh who in turn looked for Alfie in the box but it just ran away from him to be picked up by the grateful home keeper.

In the 25h minute Freddy put in a great corner that Jude met first time but a fantastic block and follow up tackle by a Fakenham defender kept the ball out. Josh was injured in the second challenge so Jack entered the fray on the left with Freddy moving more centrally. A great long clearance from Loz was flicked past a defender by Jack who looked up to see Jude in space, setting up a break forward as the half neared it’s end, but another strong challenge prevented a clear shooting opportunity. The whistle blew to signal the end of a full-blooded competitive half with the game finely poised as the wind picked up.

Fakenham kicked off the second half with Archie replacing Denver at right back. The next goal was always going to be crucial and it was the hosts who increased their lead in the 32nd minute from the penalty spot after a foul in the box. Loz went the right way but just couldn’t keep out the well struck penalty. Undeterred, Aylsham looked to move the ball quickly to create chances and Archie and Charlie combined well down the right to set up a promising attack that was halted with a great tackle on Jude. From the left Jack put in a dangerous cross moments later but Freddy’s powerful shot was brilliantly blocked as the Fakenham defence stood strong.

In the 36th minute Freddy had a shot from distance that whistled past the post as Aylsham looked to find a way back into the game. Soon after Charlie forced a good save from the home keeper, diving down to his left to keep the goalbound effort out. A long ball over the top from Fakenham threatened to breach the Aylsham backline but Loz advanced smartly off his line to claim the ball before the home striker could apply a finishing touch.

The visitors continued to play passing football but always had to be on their guard against a determined and well organised opposition, Charlie making a great block after Fakenham created another shooting opportunity. At the other end Alfie cut inside his defender and struck a shot from outside the area that clipped off Charlie and looped up with the keeper adjusting well to keep the ball out. Jaiden came back on for Archie with Charlie moving back and Jack and Freddy swapping flanks.

The game was still being played at a frantic pace with both sides giving their all. With 10 minutes to go Loz was called into action making a great diving save from a shot taken from the edge of the area and got up smartly to keep out the rebound. With 5 minutes to go Aylsham pulled a goal back with a brilliant strike to set up a grandstand finish. Jude strode forward and released Alfie who cut inside onto his left foot but found his way blocked by a Fakenham defender. The ball was only half cleared where Jack was quickest to react, running onto the loose ball to smash a right footed shot first time into the top corner from well outside the area.

Freddy picked up a knock and Denver re-entered the fray as the game approached its closing stages and it was real end to end stuff as a promising Aylsham attack broke down. Fakenham played a long ball forward that lead to a shot that was well saved by Loz who kicked it long. A hurried clearance was recovered by Alfie who swung in a cross that was deflected to Jaiden on the left hand side of the box. Jaiden struck the ball cleanly and beat the keeper but saw his effort drop agonisingly over the bar. The final two minutes saw Aylsham throwing everything at Fakenham in search of an equaliser but the home team stood strong. The final whistle blew with Aylsham on the attack to signal the end of a very even and well contested game of football between two determined sides. Fakenham just shading it to win 2-1, closing the gap on Aylsham who stay top of the Norfolk Combined Youth Football League Premiership by two points with a game in hand.

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