Aylsham U13s Snatch Late Victory
Match Report 23.09.18
Aylsham FC U13 v Fakenham Town U13, Youngs Park
Aylsham FC U13 continued their Norfolk Combined Youth Football League Premiership title defence hosting Fakenham Town U13 at Youngs Park this morning (Sunday 23rd September).
A wet and windy morning greeted the teams as Fakenham kicked off and immediately looked to get the ball forward. Two minutes in, a composed clearance by Adam fell to Alfie who drove into the centre of midfield picking out Mitchy in the centre circle. A great through ball set Freddy clear who calmly side footed the ball past the onrushing keeper but he saw his effort ruled out for offside. Jaiden took a knock in the 4th minute, having to come off for treatment, with Denver taking his place at the heart of the Aylsham defence.
The rain began to fall as Fakenham looked to break with a long ball over the top. The visiting striker accelerated clear and directed the ball past Bailey but Tyler was on hand to block the effort with Jack completing the clearance. In the 8th minute Fakenham had a great chance from a corner but the final header flew narrowly wide.
Soon after Brad dropped back to win the ball in midfield releasing Alfie on the Aylsham left who accelerated forward, playing a neat one-two with Freddy, before seeing his shot deflected up and over the bar for a corner. It was from this set-piece that the home side broke the deadlock as they took a 9th minute lead. Freddy curled in a dangerous centre that was well cleared by a Fakenham defender to the edge of the box. Brad retrieved the ball, playing a one-two with Mitchy, before holding off his marker to create enough space to bend an accurate right-footed shot into the net from outside the area.
Scoring the opening goal seemed to settle Aylsham as they played the ball around with confidence combined with some nice passing and movement as they looked to take control of the game. The home side had to remain resolute in defence though, Fakenham almost drawing level from a free-kick on their right that was whipped in with pace and only a finger-tip save from Bailey kept the ball out, the Aylsham stopper deflecting the effort onto the far post and away.
The home side looked to further their advantage winning a flurry of corners. Mitchy from the right and Freddy from the left sent in consistently dangerous deliveries, one in particular that Adam met on the volley, the effort being bravely blocked with Brad side-footing the rebound goalwards, forcing a good diving save from the Fakenham goalkeeper. Aylsham were creating the better chances as the game wore on, Mitchy trying his luck from distance stinging the hands of the visiting keeper. The home side still had to be on their guard, Fakenham playing directly looking to get in behind the home defence, Ollie and Denver in particular dealing with the high ball confidently.
In the 19th minute Denver rose to head a free-kick clear with Alfie completing the clearance to set Brad away. The striker sprinted clear of two defenders before going round the keeper but away from goal. His pinpoint cross was met first-time on the run by Mitchy who had raced up in support but his shot went over the bar.
As the game reached the 25th minute Aylsham put a lovely move together as Bailey’s clearance was picked up by Jack, lifting it forward to Freddy to knock it back to Mitchy whose first-time pass was returned to Freddy. The ball was moved to Brad who played a lovely through-ball into Alfie’s path, showing a neat piece of skill to turn his defender beautifully before bringing an excellent diving save from the Fakenham keeper. Fakenham fashioned themselves a shooting chance after winning a defensive header and lifting the ball forward. The visiting striker let the ball roll across him to create space for a supporting midfielder to fire in a shot that Bailey beat down and claimed confidently from above his head.
In the 31st minute Aylsham had the ball in the net again after a quick free-kick by Tyler gave Freddy a chance to play the ball into Mitchy’s feet. A lovely turn and shot brought another fine save from the Fakenham keeper, the ball rebounding to Brad who side-footed home but the linesman’s flag had gone up so the score remained 1-0 to the hosts. Aylsham were having the better of the game as half-time approached, Mitchy trying his luck from distance after a great ball forward by Josh, the keeper saving well low down. The home side finished the half on the offensive but the whistle blew to signal the end of a well contested half with Aylsham deserving their 1-0 lead.
The hosts kicked off the second half but Fakenham pressed to force an error to win possession and a crucial touch from Jack prevented a low cross finding a visiting player in the box, Ollie clearing the loose ball. The early exchanges were frantic with the visitors enjoying plenty of the ball and playing very directly to put pressure on the Aylsham defence. Bailey had to come off his line quickly to clear a long ball over the top as Fakenham looked to get back into the game early in the second period.
In the 47th minute Jaiden came back on into the midfield replacing Jack, with Adam moving to right back. Jaiden was straight into the action controlling a bouncing ball before trying his luck from distance but curling his shot narrowly wide. The rain began to fall again making playing conditions challenging as the game ebbed and flowed but neither side was able to create any meaningful chances, a promising break by Fakenham being halted by a beautifully timed challenge by Denver.
In the 55th minute Aylsham won a free kick within shooting distance following a handball. Alfie struck it well but the visiting keeper was equal to it, saving well low down to his left. A minute later Bailey was called into action but he too showed safe hands, holding a shot from just inside the area, judging the bounce perfectly. It was end to end stuff with Aylsham going back on the offensive, Brad laying the ball into Josh’s path but again the goalkeeper saved well. The home team won a corner and Freddy’s cross was flicked on at the front post to Adam who got a touch to send it goalwards but the Fakenham keeper clung on with Brad waiting to pounce on any loose ball.
In the 64th minute the visitors drew level from a free kick just inside the Aylsham half. The ball was lifted forward and a defensive header sent the ball looping skywards where a Fakenham player reacted quickest to bravely nod the ball into the net to make the game all square. The visitors had their tails up and looked for a quick second, Josh doing well to block a shot taking the sting out of it to give Bailey an easy save as the game approached its finale.
Jack returned to the fray down the right with 4 minutes left giving Josh a breather and a minute later was involved in the turning point of the game. A throw from Adam was only partially cleared and he rose highest to nod the ball to Brad who picked out Jack in space on the right. Jack flicked it round the corner into a Freddy’s path and he accelerated into the box before being tripped as he looked to shoot, winning his side a penalty. Mitchy remained calm under pressure to blast the ball home, straight down the middle into the roof of the net. This set up a grandstand finish with a frantic last two minutes but Aylsham stood strong to see out the game, taking the three points with a narrow 2-1 victory after a tough encounter against a very determined opposition.