Yaseen Valji (c)
Mohamed Zain Kalyan (gk)
On a chilly Saturday morning on the 28th January, SJFA U16s played a friendly against St James in Gerrard’s Cross. On a muddy and very uneven pitch, the game started off on the front foot. At the start of the game we put a lot of pressure on our opponents and were able to create a lot of space for our wingers to run into. After a string of good passes, starting from the back, Yaseen struck the ball beautifully into the bottom corner. However, our midfield didn’t come back like they have done previously, our defence was stretched and we conceded a goal.
The momentum shifted and our defence became shaky. Our centre backs struggled to deal with aerial threats and didn’t look confident on the ball. This lead to us conceding 2 more goals. At this point we could have come back into the game. Our wingers looked dangerous going forward and we had a lot of chances. However, we weren’t clinical enough in front of the goal and wasted many chances. Due to this our heads dropped and our confidence was low, so our football wasn’t as fluid as it could have been.
While the result was disappointing, there were positives to be taken from the match as well as weaknesses that could be worked on. We created space well and our wingers played a key part when we went forward. However, we need to work on our defence; making sure that they are comfortable on the ball, and are coping with aerial balls. We also need to make sure we convert our chances more. The most important thing, however, is to ensure we keep our heads up and stay engaged in the match, as football is a game where anything can happen at any time and so we need to stay sharp at all times.
Final Result: St James 5-1 SJFA
Match report by:
Mohammedmehdi Karim, U16