The U10’s today made the trip to the Capital for the latest round of 4 games against Cyncoed, Llantwit Major, Porth and the home side Fairwater FC.
Playing in bright sunshine, Caerphilly started the mornings proceedings with a match against Cyncoed.
Caerphilly took to the field with Summer in goal, Lexi and Megan B in defence, Layla, Sophia and Grace in midfield and Danielle up front. Caerphilly quickly settled into their usual pattern. Lexi and Megan again showed strong positional play and awareness to quickly snuff out any half chances the opposition created, with the ever-industrious midfield mixing power with pace and finesse to set up a stream of chances for the yellows. Playing against the wind it was an attack down the right that eventually broke the deadlock. A series of passes across the midfield moved the ball from left to right before a through ball was played down the right flank. Danielle used her speed off the mark to beat the covering defence to the ball. With still a lot to do, Danielle cut inside, and with a tight angle to goal moved it back on to her right before firing past the Cyncoed keep at the near post.
While the pace of the game stayed high and work-rates on both teams higher still this proved to be the only goal of the game, Caerphilly notching up another clean sheet in an impressive, controlled performance against an organised Cyncoed side.
The second encounter saw a change of pitches and ends and a game against the home team Fairwater FC. In a game similar to the first both sets of defences had most of the moves covered, with clear cut chances hard to come by. With Lexi now in goal, Tayla taking up the right midfield spot, Megan H with Danielle in defence and Summer up front Caerphilly proved that they have strength in depth in all positions. With a whole new defensive line up, the pattern of play was similar, Caerphilly playing with a high defensive line and using the pace to break down any attacks that did break initial lines.
Several chances did eventually fall Caerphilly’s way, with the midfield of Tayla, Layla and Grace again putting in a powerful display. Several long range efforts from Grace and some probing through balls from Megan B, Tayla and Layla weren’t quite enough to help the travelling team take a lead although it did suggest momentum was starting to swing the Caerphilly way. On the back of a strong seam of possession it was Grace who eventually found the back of the net. A typically powerful break from the centre spot saw Grace outstrip the home defence and place a shot past the advancing home keeper – another trade mark goal from Caerphilly’s top scorer.
As in the first game the teams played out the rest of the game without any real goal mouth action, meaning another clean sheet for the Caerphilly juniors
With a busy schedule to get through Caerphilly moved straight on to the third game of the morning -a match up with Llantwit Major. Danielle switched to take over the goalkeeping duties, while Sophia moved to striker and Megan B to midfield.
After two low scoring games Caerphilly were keen to get on the front foot from the off and showed some impressive passing and good use of the space behind the defence. The first shot of the game came in the form of a long range effort from Grace, skimming the cross bar from 20 yards after being set up by Meg B. The first goal of the game was however, just around the corner, and it was the Caerphilly pressing play that eventually forced the break. With Llantwit struggling to clear their lines Layla showed good instinct, pounced on a loose ball, gathered and placed the it to the right of the stranded keeper
Caerphilly then had to do some defending of their own. A break down the left saw a great solo effort stopped by the ever-sharp Meg H with Lexi, her defensive partner covering well to clear the danger. Layla took the ball inside her own half and countered with a 40m run of her own, only to be stopped by a great save by the Llantwit keeper. It wasn’t long before Caerphilly got another goal. A determined run down the right saw Tayla cut in and thread the ball through to Summer, who in turn laid the ball into Grace’s path for another clinical finish.
Within minutes Caerphilly scored their third of the game. After a good attack down the left by Summer got shut down, Grace charged the resulting clearance, chased the ball as it squirted into the centre of the pitch only to see Layla burst through, gather the ball and bury it into the centre of the goal.
Llantwit then enjoyed some good pressure and after playing from deep worked the ball to Caerphilly’s left. For once it penetrated the excellent ‘yellow wall’ and was slotted home from 10 yards by the red-bibbed Llantwit attacker.
Getting back on the front foot, Sophia showed that she had shaken off a light knock picked up in the fairwater game when collecting a pass from Lexi turned and placed a through ball through the crowded defence. Grace, quick to read the play raced forward, controlled, cut in from the left and rifled a shot to the bottom left of the net to round of the scoring.
With Caerphilly now playing their fourth game on the bounce they came up against a physical and determined Porth team. Tayla and Megan B moved to play alongside Lexi in defence, with Meg H taking up a midfield berth. Early pressure on the Caerphilly goal from the Rhondda team, backed by a vocal travelling support seemed to knock Caerphilly out of their usual rhythm. Struggling to clear the ball from their lines meant it found its way to a red jersey 5 yards out with only the keeper to beat. Caerphilly were behind for the first time in two weeks.
Porth grew in confidence and scored another shortly after. An impressive break by their midfielder saw her gather ball, run 20 yards and slot home from outside ‘the box’.
Caerphilly had a good period of play and set up a series of chances to get back in the game. Summer and Danielle worked tirelessly up front to carve an opening against an organised defence but it was Grace who went closest after hitting the upright with a lobbed shot from almost the left hand touch line. Two more Porth goals came before the final whistle with the girls starting to tire after an hour of solid football.
All around a great morning’s football for the Caerphilly heroines. Every player can be proud after all giving 100% and smiling their way through 4 excellent performances.
Well done to Danielle, who got the players vote to look after Footy the mascot for the week. A well-deserved reward for playing excellently and in great spirit in her first game’s of the season (and scoring a great goal)
Thank you to Fairwater FC who hosted superbly.