Sun 2nd Dec 2018
Berkhamsted Raiders Red 2-0 TAFC U17 Youth Team Red
Berkhamsted Raiders 2 - Tring Athletic Reds 0
This will be our best loss of the season.
Facing the top of the league side, with a couple of regulars missing we setup a little different this morning - 5 in midfield and 1 up front.
I thought we started a little slowly with Berkhamsted put us under a lot of pressure for the first 15 minutes - perhaps we took some time getting used to the Astro turf pitch and the new formation. We weathered this early pressure and started to find space - Jake in particular looked threatening on the left. 20 minutes in we were unfortunate not to take the lead when Tom was unlucky to see a chip over their keeper go narrowly wide. The reminder of the half was pretty even and we looked to be heading to 0-0 at halftime. There was then an tangle on the halfway line, unfortunately the referee believes he saw a flick of the boot directed towards the Berko players head and felt he had no option but to dismiss Dylan M.
We reset and saw out the rest of the half.
Half Time Berkhamsted 0 - Tring 0
At half-time I told the boys this was a time to step forward, not step back. I told them to keep a very disciplined 4,4,1 shape and above all work hard for each other.
Once again they did more than I could have hoped. Front to back they were immense for the whole of the half. Our chances were few but Tom then Finn harassed their back 3 relentlessly and created some opportunities. We managed to last until the 60th minute when an error at the back gave Berkhamsted the lead.
We continued to press, with Charlie in a more advanced position allowing our midfield to take a higher line and press Berkhamsted more. We were unlucky when Berko cleared off the line twice follow a free kick from Charlie and we came close from 2 corners late in the match. On 92 minutes Berkhamsted scored a breakaway goal to make it 2-0 when we were pushing for the equaliser.
Final Score Berkhamsted 2 - Tring 0
Although this goes down as a loss in what I felt was another winnable match, I have nothing but praise for the squad this morning. It was always going to be a tough outing, made much harder when we were reduced to 10 men. However the boys never gave up, they worked enormously hard for each other and (Im sure) gave Berkhamsted one of the hardest games they will have this season.
Its hard to pick out individuals when the whole squad plays so well but Conner was excellent when he came on and Alex was outstanding in a deeper midfield position.
Would also like to note that I thought both teams played the game in an excellent spirit and the Berkhamsted Management team were gracious in victory. The Berko parents continue to let themselves down anytime we play them - applauding & cheering when a 16 year old is sent off was particularly disappointing.
Team as follows (all subs played)
Charlie McLeod (GK), Alfie Sharrocks, Adam Connors, Charlie Thomson, Josh Maxfield
Dylan Whitehead, Dylan McAuley, Harvey Chamberlain , Jake Saunders , Tom Ainsworth, Alex Holmes
Subs, Finn Euston-Moore, Connor Fitzgerald, Max Steel, Harvey Chamberlain