For the Winter cross league program the U10’s travelled to the Gol centre in Leckwith, Cardiff. Today’s opponents came in the form of three teams from the Gwent League, Albion Rovers, Abertillery and Tredegar and two familiar sides from the South league, Fairwater Juniors and Llantwit Major.
All U10’s winter program fixtures going forward will be played on the Gol’s 3G pitches which are totally enclosed, meaning no corners or throw-ins, while the teams drop a player each to a 6-a-side format. A new challenge for the girls indeed!
The yellows were today without some familiar faces but still managed to get 10 turn up. Today’s squad were Seren E, Danielle, Summer, Grace, Ava, Megan B, Megan H, Kate, Ellie-may and Tayla. It gave the luxury of frequent changes and prevented tired legs in what proved to be fast-paced encounters.
In the 10 o’ clock kick off Caerphilly faced Tredegar for the first of their five fixtures. It was clear from the off that the new format would need some adapting to and it was the Valley’s team that found their feet first scoring in the first 5 minutes. It wasn’t long however before Caerphilly got on the scoresheet and were soon level from a strong Ava strike.
A further goal from the reds of Tredegar meant Caerphilly were playing catch up. Fresh legs were brought on and Caerphilly found a few more gears. Grace was the main beneficiary for some solid defensive and midfield play and showed she was really in the mood today rounding off the game off with 4 unanswered goals of her own.
The second encounter brought the first unknown quantity of the day, a match vs Abertillery. Again Caerphilly found themselves behind early on and it was clear that the opponents were a formidable outfit, moving the ball with speed and keeping a tight formation. Caerphilly, on the back of several weeks of great league performances dug deep and good work from Ellie-May, Tayla and Meg B set up Grace to equalize. A string of saves from the excellent Summer in goal and some last gasp Abertillery saves from the lively Danielle made sure that the honours were even at the final whistle.
In the third game of the day Caerphilly faced Albion rovers, another team new to the girls. Caerphilly kicked off by moving the ball back to Grace. Deciding to try her luck Grace took on the opposition midfield before firing home from outside the day. Surely the fastest goal of the day. From the restart Grace powered through to intercept an Albion pass and again stroked the ball into the corner of the net from 15 yards. A brace in under a minute. Surely it couldn’t happen again….but it did. From the 3rd restart in under a minute Grace again sped through to dispossess the opposition defence and with the second touch coolly slotted the ball low to the keepers left. A hat-trick within the first two minutes of the game!! The Gwent side then found their feet and got a goal of their own before Grace again got on the end of a searching Kate through-ball to score the yellows forth of the game. A tight last 5 minutes were played out with no further scores, tribute to some excellent defending by Meg B and Meg H.
The fourth game brought the Reds of Fairwater FC, a team well known to Caerphilly and one that always provides a close competitive game. With Summer back in goal and again showing excellent form, Ellie-may and Kate rock solid in defense the Caerphilly really did look tough to break down, and so it proved. The strong base meant that the midfield of Tayla, Ava and Grace found some freedom to try different patterns of play. Multiple great interchanges between the three brought a string of chances before Grace again proved what golden form she is in at the moment adding another 4 goals taking her day’s tally to 13!
In the last game of the day vs the skilled Llantwit side a complete new outfield five took to the field, with only Summer remaining constant from the last encounter. Caerphilly again started fast and some powerful shots from Seren in Midfield were well kept out by the opponent’s keeper. It was however Llantwit who got on the score sheet first after some pressure on the Caerphilly defense. Caerphilly were trailing once more. With some fresh legs on Caerphilly started to get more possession. It soon paid off when a Grace cross was met first time by Ava for a fine left foot finish. Further pressure on the back of some resilient defending again from Meg H and Meg B eventually paid off where Ava completed her with her third of the day. A tight last 5 minutes were played out and with only seconds left on the clock a well worked move down the left sucked in the Caerphilly defense leaving a central striker free to finish the play and make it all square at the final whistle.
All around a great mornings football with 5 entertaining, skillful and competitive games. For her heroics in goal the players voted for Summer to look after Footy the mascot for the upcoming week. Well done Summer!
Thank you to Abertillery, Albion Rovers, Tredegar, Fairwater FC and Llantwit Major for the games, all played in great spirit and to Ryan for organizing superbly!