Whyteleafe FC

Under 7 Youth Match reports

Worcester Park U7s v Whyteleafe Under 7s
Saturday 22nd April 2017

In our final league game of the season, Leafe continued where they left off last week with another tenacious battle against great opposition at Worcester Park.

The game was end to end across all four quarters. Both teams needed their goalkeepers to be on top form, with Michael excelling in making numerous saves as well as the WPFC keeper saving some great attempts, particularly from a Sam free kick.

Attacking play was of high quality from both sides. The Leafe shaded the first quarter but Worcester battled back in quarter two. Highlight of the first half was a brilliant dipping half volley from the half way line by Sam. The team stayed tight to their players and had to maintain a high level of concentration throughout so as not to be caught on the break, or in behind.

Whyteleafe continued to press with intent, with Josh leading from the front and pressuring the opposition into losing possession. Across midfield, the team had to defend well, tracking runners down the wings as well as making some good blocks through the middle.

As the game progressed, Leafe continued pressing, drive and attacking pressure got them the rewards with some clinical finishing by Josh, Sam and Elliot.

Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth vs AFC Ewell
Saturday 8 April

With the Easter holidays upon us, Whyteleafe arranged to play a friendly with Ewell accepting the match.

This was anything but a friendly. Both teams agreed to play 6 v 6 and a bigger pitch for the game. It produced the performance of the season so far, in a well contested, hard fought 40 minutes.

Both teams started positively, well organised and looking to push forward at every opportunity. Action was centered in midfield with Michael and George patrolling the wings and Sam and Josh harassing the opposition when the ball was cut infield.

From the second quarter, Whyteleafe started to show their superiority by maintaining their positions, pulling the opposition out of theirs and creating space. Leafe maintained their composure on the ball, and worked hard to get back to defend. The Leafe started having more sight of goal and forcing corners.

It was a ball from Emerson in defence that led to a wonderful effort from Josh to break the deadlock.

The coaches roared their team on and rotated the positions astutely, ensuring the midfield engine was robust and pressing, supported upfront by willing runners - and everyone defending as a pack.

Crucially the boys maintained their tremendous levels of discipline, concentration and energy through to the end, forcing the opposition to spend large parts of the latter stages defending. Luke and George in particular continued to cut out opposition passes and moves allowing quick counters and balls up to the free players and into the box, forcing mutiple saves and goal mouth blocks.

A thoroughly enjoyable game to watch and the boys definitely enjoyed their morning.

Cobham Boys vs. Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth
Saturday 25 March 2017

A lovely sunny Saturday was in store as Leafe made the trip to Cobham after a week off due to a postponed fixture. The team were missing Josh and Michael, which given the size of the pitch (long and wide) meant a longer shift for the rest of the team in the match.

The game started quickly, with goal mouth action at either end within the first quarter. The extra space gave the Whyteleafe team far more options including time on the ball to pick a pass, space to run into and a fluid passing game. The Leafe quickly settled into a strong rhythm, with balls from defense and midfield finding Sam upfront who brilliantly took on the defenders at every opportunity. The first quarter was outstanding and by far one of the strongest showings by the team this year.

The game settled in the next quarter, with both teams attacking and defending well. Whyteleafe used the wings well, with lots of attacking play occurring here. The team got back well in numbers to defend.

With the game finely poised going into the final quarter, Leafe attacked at every opportunity, forcing last-ditch defending and numerous corners. The team, despite being tired from the tremendous effort exerted, continued to harass their opponents off the ball and turning potential defense into attack.

Sadly, it was not to be their day but the boys can be very proud of the effort, desire and willing shown across the game.

Whyteleafe U7 Youth vs. Teddington Athletic Turbo
Saturday 4 March

Spring is here! A sunny, crisp morning for parents and players alike to enjoy as Leafe took on another of Teddington's U7 teams.

Whyteleafe started extremely strongly with a dominant display across all positions in the first half of the match. Josh up front was on top form, harassing the defence, taking players on and displaying some excellent finishing. There was great play across midfield with Sam, Michael, George and Zane all working the wings and passing well to create space and chances. Luke, Elliot and Emerson in defence held off any attacks from the Teddington team.

Excellent passing and finding space was rewarded with some great finishing, two highlights being a great volley from MOTM Sam (with a worm celebration thrown in) from a corner and a thunderbolt from Emerson (no celebration).

With the game drawing to its conclusion, the Leafe boys let their guard down and lost a little shape and discipline, allowing Teddington belatedly back into the game. However Whyteleafe had put in one of their strongest displays in 2017.

Whyteleafe U7 friendlies:
Worcester Park Vs Whyteleafe - Saturday 11 February
Whyteleafe Vs Walton Warriors - Saturday 18 February

The U7s used their half term break to keep working and training by playing two friendlies and two contrasting games in so many ways.

Firstly the weather, with the game at Worcester Park played whilst snowing! The U7s started well, pressing the Park into lost possession and the Leafe capitalising on the opportunities. However as the game wore on the team lost their shape and found themselves out of position allowing their opponents to get back into the game. The pattern continued through the last two quarters and Worcester Park kept their heads and made it count. Leafe were very disappointed but the areas to work on were clear.

Fast forward a week to a brighter Sat with no snow and a game against a new set of opponents in Walton Warriors. From the previous game the coaches pressed home the need for the team to move the ball to their team, keep their positions and keep going and not let their heads drops. Again, Leafe started very strongly with good passing, team play and goals scored. The team maintained this approach through the quarters with all the players keeping their heads up and looking for space, a pass or a follow up opportunity to score.

A much improved approach than the previous week with everyone contributing to an entertaining game.

Whyteleafe U7 Youth vs Worcester Park
Sat 28th Jan

The sun paid Whyteleafe a much welcome visit as the U7s hosted Worcester Park in a superb match with a very high standard of passing, defending and shooting.

The team's focus was to keep their positions with and without the ball. Both teams were into their stride almost immediately and exchanged end to end play and goals in quick succession. Whyteleafe's defending was compact and combative whilst in attack they looked up and tried to find a player in space. This was epitomised by man of the match Michael who worked very hard down the wing.

The pace and momentum was maintained in the second quarter by the team. Emerson provided solid defense at the back to counter Worcester's ball over the top whilst George and Luke marshalled the wings. Some excellent finishing from Josh gave Leafe a cushion going into the second half of the game.

Leafe lost some of their shape and concentration in the third quarter, allowing confidence to rebuild with their opponents who made it count. Some great saves by Luke in goal kept the game finely poised. However Whyteleafe kicked on a gear in the final quarter and a super hat-trick was completed by Elliot.

A great performance by the 'Leafe with another home game next week before the half term break.

Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth vs Epsom Athletic
Saturday 21 January at Whyteleafe

Due to a frozen pitch in Kingswood this game was rearranged to be a Whyteleafe home game. A chilly, frosty morning greeted the players who are becoming very familiar with each other after three previous matches.

Epsom were out of the blocks quicker, hustling the Leafe team whenever they had the ball and moving it quicker when in possession. For the second game running, the visiting team made their quick start count with some well taken goals.

However, Whyteleafe regrouped and responded very well, beginning to match their Epsom counterparts by showing strength in the tackle and chasing the second ball. Emerson, Elliot and George provided more defensive cover whilst Sam and Michael got forward with the ball at every opportunity.

In the third quarter, Leafe had found their rhythm and took full advantage of their chances with some great finishing from Josh, Sam and Michael.

The final quarter for both teams was rather ragged with stray passes and scrappy play dominating.

Lots to consider before the next game for the coaches - and hopefully some warmer weather will help!

Whyteleafe FC Under 7s vs Cobham Boys Under 7s
Saturday 14 January

The first game of 2017 and a wintery scene to get us underway, with a snow covered AstroTurf pitch to keep all players (and a few hardy parents) entertained.

The weather had scuppered a pre-match training session and a disjointed display in initial stages was evident. Cobham quickly settled into their passing game and the Leafe team struggled with the movement of the opposition as well as staying in their positions particularly when defending. Cobham capitalised on their superiority in the early part of the match.

However Mark and Peter used their substitutions well, adding more steel to the defence and width for attack. Emerson made a good save in goal whilst Luke and Elliott and then Michael and Josh combined well down the right. The boys got to grips with the physical nature of the game as the quarters progressed, as well as injecting more attacking drive with the ball - a man of the match performance from Zane epitomising this.

The match was more evenly balanced in the latter stages with both teams having more of the ball in attacking positions. Whyteleafe had a flurry of shots in attack coupled with last man tackles in defense. A couple of great goals from Josh and organised set piece defending meant WFC finished on the up.

A great start to the new year! Now if we could sort out the chill...

Whyteleafe FC U7 Youth vs Teddington Athletic
Saturday 10 December

Whyteleafe hosted Teddington looking to continue executing their focus areas of "triangles" and retaining their positions particularly when not in possession of the ball.

Leafe started brightly and were extremely strong in the first two quarters. Strong midfield play from Michael and Emerson both in attack and defense kept the Teddington team on a more defensive footing. The team kept their shape and defended well when Teddington attacked, with Sam making some good saves in goal. The highlight of the first half was a cleverly worked free kick from Sam, finding birthday boy Luke unmarked on the edge of the area for a top corner finish. Sam also got to top off his man of the match display with a dubious chicken dance celebration.

However Teddington came back strong in the third quarter, capitalising on Whyteleafe's lapses in positional play which created space down the wings.

Leafe kept their heads up and kept battling with the game finely poised. Some robust defending coupled with great pressure on the ball and some good throws down the line from George allowed Whyteleafe to finish the game on the up.

The team look forward to their final game at home before the Christmas break.

Redhill Athletic v Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth
Saturday 3 December - KO 10.30am

A beautiful sunny (and not biting cold) morning greeted the Under 7s as they headed to their away fixture against Redhill Athletic for their first meeting this season. A big pitch, wider than the team usually play on, coupled with the slower grass made for a game of lots of running and a need to pass the ball to players.

The previous day's training had focused on passing in triangles, and the team quickly picked up the passing with some fine back to front play.

A lively 1st quarter saw the game see-saw between both teams. Redhill closed the ball down in twos and threes, leaving WFC players available on the break. A super individual effort by Josh saw him take on 3 defenders, showing his strength to hold off the challenge to score in the bottom corner,

Whyteleafe continued to press their advantage into the second quarter with some great defending and passing from the back down the wings. Luke and Zane (man of the match) were industrious in getting forward and tracking back when needed, ably supported in defending by Michael, Elliot and George who read the danger on multiple occasions and pushes the Redhill attackers wide or out of play.

The game continued to be close between the 2 sides, Redhill making several substitutions to keep their players fresh and add more midfield strength.

However Whyteleafe continued to make inroads down the wings, with some great crosses and corners from Emerson and Sam into the box for the team to attack.

The game saw some good goals and a super team effort from the Leafe.

Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth v Nork Park
Saturday 25 November - KO 9.30am

Whyteleafe Under 7s faced another team from Nork Park this week, but this time at home.

The two sides started out with some great football, with clinical passing and progressive play out from the back from George creating several opportunities for the Leafe early on. With the sides inseparable, it was only until late in the 1st quarter that the first breakthrough in the game came; in the form of an unfortunate own goal from WFC.

The Leafe kept their heads high however, and continued with their game plan. They soon reaped their rewards and scored two goals in quick succession, leveraging the set play scenarios which have been practised and executed so well throughout the season so far.

The game was far from over however, and goals continued to come from both sides. WFC headed into the final quarter just in the lead, and the coaches emphasised the importance of positions as a team. The Leafe came out strong, and really stepped up with their defensive play as Nork Park went for all or nothing. Nork Park’s team pressed continuously for the last few minutes in hope of an equaliser, but WFC remained compact and saw out the final throws of the game to secure the victory.

Nork Park Rangers vs Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth
Saturday 19 November - KO 9.30am

The Under 7s travelled to Banstead to face Nork Park Rangers for the first time this season. A last minute illness to last week's man of the match Michael meant a quick reshuffle of the team.

It was a clichéd game of two halves. Leafe had a super first half, pressing and defending as a unit, tracking back to defend and attacking in numbers. A bigger pitch than the home astro meant more use of the wing space and some great passing into the box. The team made their dominance count with some excellent goals including a great strike from Josh.

The second half were far more open, with Nork Park finding themselves with a two-man advantage in attack on a number of occasions. Brilliant saves from Elliot and some last ditch defending from George and Sam kept the game close.

Leafew kept their heads and stamina up to the very end, contesting possession where they could. Emerson earned the man of the match for his display in left midfield in the first half, exploiting space and taking some good corners.

Nork Park's other Under 7s team visit Whyteleafe next week.

Epsom Athletic Falcons vs Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth
Saturday 5 November

The first game after the half term break saw the WFC U7s return to the Kingswood Recreation ground to play Epsom Athletic Falcons. Supporters braced a very cold morning to witness an excellent, combative and high tempo game played by both teams.

Both teams were aware of each others style of play and Epsom made the most of the first two quarters, capitalising on space behind the midfield and forcing some saves from Emerson in goal. Epsom showed some great positional awareness and an eye for goal.

Whyteleafe grew as the game went on and excelled in the last two quarters, with good defensive play, making tackles and tracking back. A man of the match display by George down the wings was capped with a fine goal (and celebration,  if you like a certain Mr C Ronaldo!). WFC continued to press with several chances from Sam, Josh and George.

Unfortunately WFC weren't able to make all their chances count but they showed significant improvement in their team play and defensive duties.

Coaches Mark and Pete were more than satisfied with the display!

October half term friendly matches

A week of mixed fortunes for the Under 7s as coaches Mark and Pete took advantage of the half term break to arrange two friendlies.

The first against Leatherhead Youth produced arguably the best display of the season to date with the team playing some super football.

The second against Ashtead Colts gave the coaches an opportunity to identify key areas for further training and development. Ashtead were very well organised, with some excellent goalkeeping and well practised corner routines. For Whyteleafe highlights included some great goals from Sam, good defensive work from Luke and some great link up play between Michael and Emerson down the right.

Coaches and players alike will have learnt much from these two games - good and bad - providing a solid platform for improvement as we move into the next phase of the league.

Epsom Athletic Falcons v Whyteleafe U7 Youth
Saturday 15th October, 11.30am

Following the challenging game in the previous week, Whyteleafe looked to build upon this against the Epsom Athletic Falcons (EAF). Leveraging the success of the high pressure game play would still be key, but Mark and Peter reminded the boys of the importance of defending as a team.

The tone of the match was set early on; two well contested sides with constant end to end play. EAF’s physical presence and pressure on the ball resulted in an own goal from Leafe early in the first quarter, but they held their heads high and managed to bring the game back under control. This paid off, with two well worked goals in the second quarter; not only giving Whyteleafe the lead but changing the momentum in the game.

A very physical match ensued as Leafe managed to keep EAF at bay by staying strong in the tackles. One small Whyteleafe mistake however resulted in them conceding a free kick just outside their penalty area. EAF capitalised on this, bringing the teams level as they headed into the final quarter.

EAF kept up the pressure and Leafe continued to defend valiantly, with goalkeeper Elliot performing a couple of remarkable saves; including palming one shot off of the crossbar to safety! The competition remained fierce right up until the final whistle, with the score line reflecting how inseparable the teams had been throughout.

A great game for Whyteleafe Under 7s to get under their belt, and providing great promise for upcoming games.

Teddington Athletic Under 7s vs Whyteleafe Under 7 Youth
Saturday 8 October, Kick off 9.30am

Report courtesy of Shailini Blackwell

Leafe travelled (early!) to Teddington on the back of a very successful start to their brand new season.

Managers Mark and Peter were looking to maintain the high pressure approach whilst the team continue to develop their positional play. Quick throw-ins and running into the box were the focus of the day.

The match was extremely well contested with both teams showing determination, strength in the tackle and a willingness to run at the opposition.

There were some great saves from Sam and George in goal, whilst Elliot, Zane and Michael harried and harassed the TAFC players when they had the ball. Standout goals included two from Teddington, one a header from a corner and the other a beautiful control and finish on the break - whilst Whyteleafe impressed with a free kick from Sam and a cleverly worked goal from a quick throw in.

The Under 7s team continue to develop, learning about how to play with their teammates as well as the requirements of positions, possession and passing.

We now look forward to next week!
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