Under 8’s Football Tournament at Cumnor House School

Elmhurst School for Boys

22nd November 2013

On Friday 15 November at the Cumnor House U8’s Football Tournament, the Elmhurst squad were drawn in a pool with Parkside, Shrewsbury House, City of London Freemen’s, Cranmore and Aberdour.

Their first match was against Parkside.  With matches only eight minutes long, any goal scored is often the difference between loss and victory. In this first game Elmhurst started slowly and were on the back foot almost immediately. After a few minutes the boys started to settle down. Oliver had already made two excellent saves to keep the game at 0-0, when we started to pass the ball out to the wingers and Andrew in particular on the left wing was enjoying some success and getting crosses into the ‘danger area’ in front of the Parkside goal. The final whistle blew at 0-0 and one point had been gained.

The second match was against a strong Cranmore side. We started this game a little more composed and ready for the challenge, but a mistake at the back enabled their sharp centre forward to slot the only goal of the game past Oliver.

The third game of the tournament was against Shrewsbury House and we seemed a little demoralised from the Cranmore defeat. A lack of focus in the first few minutes of the game led to Shrewsbury House taking the lead. This goal appeared to galvanise our team and there was a steely determination in our boys in the final few minutes of this game.

In the post-match analysis, there was a change in the focus of the team. We had not played badly in the two losses; only individual errors had led to us conceding two goals. As the team entered the field for the match against Aberdour there was a clear difference in their mentality and it showed in their play. There were several chances created in this match. Finally, Andrew managed to score our first goal of the tournament which secured the win.

In the last game of the pool, against City of London Freemen’s, there was a mathematical possibility that we could go through to the ‘Plate’ knockout stage of the tournament. We needed to score a goal and try and win the game. Confident from the victory against Aberdour and playing some very good football, we started this game well. In the first few minutes Elmhurst had created a number of clear chances to score. On the occasions when City of London Freemen’s attacked our goal, we defended with determination and a special mention should go to Temu who protected our goal exceptionally well. Despite four good chances to score, a 0-0 draw meant that we had to rely on other results to progress in the tournament. Three teams found themselves on the same points: Elmhurst, City of London Freemen’s and Aberdour.

Unfortunately, goal difference was the deciding factor and we did not progress to the knockout stage. However, the boys involved learnt a tremendous amount from the day. I think the most important lesson of the day was to remain focused throughout. The boys played five games on the day which was not only a valuable experience in their footballing lives but also a tremendously enjoyable experience and a great way to end a school week.

I would like to say well done to all of the U8’s squad. We can now look to the future with confidence and experience.

Squad: Oscar Sweeney, Oliver Wilcox, Andrew Dowsett, Isiah Opara, Alex Iyaniwura, Temu Liburd-Appiah, Tobi Ogunyemi.

Mr Padfield

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