The Under 15s started the stronger of the two teams and put pressure on the 14s defence for the opening exchanges. A superb save from Joe Mace Mckenney kept the score level and there was some frantic defending and last ditch blocks from the younger team.
The 15s early superiority showed and they were rewarded with a goal. A couple of corners and scrambles in the 14s penalty area resulted in the opening goal from close range. I will update the scorers once I have them.
The 14s showed great character by not folding after conceeding and actually started to compete more throughout the first half. A Liam Sayers free kick was headed onto the cross bar by Freddy Woolner and although the 14s had some hairy moments and Mckenney had to make another save - the half ended with the 14s matching thier older opposition.
The weather was now damp but brighter and the 15s had the upper hand at half time 1-0.
Matt Ward and Dylan Allen performed very well at the heart of defence and Fox Newsome and Edward Butchart as the full backs. A very encouraging performance from the defence who are working with Stuart Allen and seem to be benefiting from this additional coaching. New signing Tyman James also came on as a substitute and performed well. Scott Muhl was the other substitute and had a good game when called on at left back.
With the injured/missing players the 14s had out Liam Sayers and Matthew Vrchowsky played in the centre of midfield, and considering they had never played together they were not over-run and kept battling and making it difficult for the 15s. A combination of these two players and Woolner allowed Sayers to surge into the area early in the second half and drive home the equalising goal from a tight angle.
Jon Paul Avery and Joel Eckett provided the width, with Owen Ward and Woolner lively up front. Things look good for the 14s for the new season.
The younger team held out and fought hard throughout the second half, but the 15s were slowly creating chances and Mckenney was called on again to tip over a fierce shot.
The 14s were troubled a few more times before a fine goal carved open the back 4 and a superb little chip over Mckenney made it 2-1 to the 15s.
The game was getting scrappy as the heavy pitch took its toll on tired legs. Sayers was denied a second goal with a superb last minute tackle and that would be the last chance for the younger team.
The last ten minutes was all 15s and they added two more goals in the closing stages. to make the final score 4-1.
I hope we will have a report from the other sides point of view, but as the 14s manager I was very impressed with my teams efforts and we competed well with our older colleagues.
Good luck to both teams for the upcoming season.