The Curtain Comes Down On A Successful League Season For Aylsham U12s
Match Report 13.05.18
Aylsham FC U12 v North Walsham Town FC U12, Greens Road
After clinching the Norfolk Combined Youth Football League U12 Premiership title, Aylsham FC U12 made the short journey to face North Walsham Town FC U12 in the final league game for both teams at Greens Road this morning (Sunday 13th May).
It was an overcast morning after some overnight rain as North Walsham kicked off proceedings. The opening exchanges were very cagey and evenly contested with both teams sizing each other up, trying to move the ball quickly. The first opportunity fell to Aylsham as a long clearance from Loz was helped on by Alfie sending Mitchy down the left. Mitchy took a good first touch and fired a left-footed shot that the keeper dived to brilliantly push away, getting a strong hand to the ball. In the 5th minute North Walsham created an opportunity after a long ball over the top but the striker fired high over the bar.
Aylsham forced a corner after a good move down the right. Mitchy played it short for Freddy to run on to and blast a shot goalwards that was bravely headed away from just in front of the keeper. After a promising break down the right, a North Walsham player put in a dangerous cross that Charlie did well to get a vital touch to, clearing the danger. The ball was retrieved by Josh who went on a mazy run beating three men before shooting from distance, his effort dropping just over the bar. Adam found Jude in space moments later and the skipper made enough space to get a shot away but the home keeper held confidently.
In the 14th minute North Walsham took the lead after winning a corner on the left. The home striker escaped his marker and met the dangerous centre first to chest the ball into the corner of the net for the opening goal. North Walsham continued to look dangerous from set-pieces and only two brave headers from Jude, deep in his own box, prevented further goalscoring opportunities. Alfie picked up the ball midway inside the Aylsham half and turned to spot Mitchy’s run, picking him out with an accurate through-ball. Mitchy sprinted clear and looked up for support but his left footed cross-shot went just wide of the far post.
A tactical change by the Aylsham coaches in the 19th minute paid dividends immediately after Jude and Freddy swapped positions with the former dropping back to allow the latter to move forward. Josh flicked a bouncing ball to Freddy who found Jaiden on the right with a first-time pass. Jaiden played it back inside to Alfie who held it up well before Freddy continued his forward run to receive a defence-splitting pass, finishing in style on the run with a low right-footed drive from the edge of the area to level the score. Aylsham had their tails up after their equalising goal and a long clearance from Loz fell to Alfie who bullied his way past his marker and into the box but lifted a shot narrowly over the bar. Moments later Mitchy put in a dangerous cross that the keeper did well to claim just in front of Freddy who looked to get on the end of the centre.
Denver came on for Jaiden in the 23rd minute in a straight swap out wide. North Walsham went close to regaining the lead a minute later from another corner. The centre was well attacked by a home player who powered a header towards goal but Loz was equal to it, pulling off a reaction diving save to keep the ball out with Denver completing the clearance. With two minutes to go Denver linked up well with Freddy who found Mitchy on the right, cutting inside to strike a low shot that the home keeper saved at the second attempt. The whistle blew to signal half time after an even 30 minutes with nothing separating the teams at the break.
Aylsham kicked off the second half with Jack and Ollie coming on for Mitchy and Charlie. Within a minute of the restart North Walsham regained the lead after winning possession midway inside the visitor’s half before a home player hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net giving Loz no chance. Aylsham almost equalised a minute later after a ball forward by Ollie was flicked into Freddy’s path by Jack on the edge of the area and, while he got his shot on target, the North Walsham goalkeeper parried and recovered quickly to smother the loose ball.
Aylsham got their second leveller in the 33rd minute after a headed clearance by Jude reached Freddy on the edge of the centre circle who moved it right to Denver. After a good first touch, Denver looked up before lifting a shot over the keeper and into the net from well outside the area to bring parity to the game once again. Aylsham began to take control of the second half and a good clearance from Adam was misjudged by a North Walsham player, falling nicely for Freddy who drove forward and crashed a shot narrowly wide of the upright with the keeper beaten. The visitors continued to break with pace and purpose and after Jack won a header, Denver and Jude combined well to keep possession feeding Alfie in space on the right. With his route to goal blocked, Alfie intelligently played it into Josh’s path but his low drive went inches past the post.
A devastating move created another Aylsham chance with first Adam and Jack linking up well on the left hand side before Alfie and Denver moved the ball swiftly down the right to bring Josh into play. A jinking run from Aylsham’s number 6 created enough space for a shot with only a desperate challenge keeping the ball out. The visitors were very much on top at this stage and Ollie, Denver and Alfie combined well to open up the North Walsham defence but Freddy fired his effort just wide. Freddy showed great strength to hold the ball up on the very next attack before laying it off to Alfie who struck a low shot that the home keeper saved brilliantly, diving low down to his left. Alfie went close again moments later, striking the bottom of the post from the edge of the area as Aylsham continued looking most likely to take the lead. North Walsham played a long ball forward to relieve some of the pressure and a snap shot from distance was well held by Loz before launching a further visitor’s attack.
In the 42nd minute Aylsham created another chance after Jack’s centre was only half cleared to Josh who spotted Freddy’s run to spring the offside trap, but the North Walsham keeper came off his line quickly to block the shot. The visitor’s wave of attacks continued after Ollie cleared the ball with Jack controlling it well on his chest before playing a neat one-two with Alfie. Jack switched play first-time from left to right sending Freddy through, but another fine save kept the scores level.
Josh headed a goal-kick forward to Alfie who held off his marker before a slick one-two with Jack and playing a lovely ball through to Josh who had come forward in support, again only another fine diving save kept the ball out. Aylsham still had to be on their guard after North Walsham put together a nice move with only a perfectly timed challenge by Ollie in the box bringing the passage of play to an end. In the 46th minute Tyler came on for Jude at the back as Aylsham continued on the offensive. A ball forward by Adam was nodded into Josh’s path and a neat flick gave him a chance to strike but his left-footed volley dropped just outside the far post. Mitchy returned to the action replacing Alfie up front with 6 minutes left and he was in the right place at the right time to receive Freddy’s cross but again the North Walsham keeper was equal to it, holding his crisp right-footed shot. Despite Aylsham’s dominance in the second half, North Walsham could have snatched it right at the death with a chance that rattled the crossbar and from the rebound had another great opportunity with a home player unmarked in the box who volleyed just wide.
The final whistle brought the curtain down on both team’s league seasons after a game full of endeavour, good play and plenty of goalmouth action with the visitors having the better of the second half, but an excellent North Walsham goalkeeping performance in particular keeping Aylsham at bay, the final score 2-2. The newly crowned Norfolk Combined Youth Football League U12 Premiership champions Aylsham finishing a successful league season with a three point advantage over their nearest rivals at the top of the table.