Back to league action after the Easter break for our Under 9s. This week, it was a first visit to Sully Sports Club for their round robin fixtures which saw us taking on Dinas Powys, AFC Porth, AFC Whitchurch, and Baglan Boys and Girls.
Our first game against Dinas was quite an even affair. Both teams having some good spells of possession, though it was Dinas who made the most of the attacking opportunities they had. Catrina playing in goals made a string of good saves, though eventually the pressure took its toll, and Dinas managed to score a couple without reply, mainly thanks to the stand out player they had on their team (certainly one to look out for in the future).
A 20 minute break before the next game say they girls given the opportunity to recharge their batteries, and get in an extra little bit of training on grass, which was noticeable taking a while foe the girls to adjust to.
The 2nd game against Porth proved a much more of a one sided affair, with Porth having most of the possession, and Caerphilly finding it hard to get any time on the ball, or string any significant periods of play together. Porth took an early lead, and kept on attacking, scoring a couple more very well executed goals. A deserved victory for Porth in the end.
A quick turnaround, and Caerphilly were back out on the pitch for match three, this time against AFC Whitchurch. A change in formation saw Ava in goals, with Tayla and Grace taking up defensive duties. It turned out to be very much a game of attack v defense, with Whitchurch piling on the pressure, though Caerphilly stood firm. Excellent clearances and last minute tackles from Tayla and Grace kept Ava protected in goals, and Catrina provided a great outlet in helping clear the ball up the field, supported by Lundun, Heidi and Scarlett. Whitchurch continued to pressure the Caerphilly goal for much of the game, but as time went on, the Caerphilly girls could be seen to sense they were going to be able to get something out of the game. Eventually the referees whistle went, with the game ended in a 0-0 draw. The first draw our Under 9s had managed on grass, and they were all clearly delighted to end our run of losses.
The final game saw Caerphilly keep with the same formation, playing a Baglan side who had beaten us in every previous encounter. It was all change in this match though. Still elated from the previous match, Caerphilly started positively, and won all the 50/50 balls. Catrina had another blinder of a game, running the ball out of defense/through midfield confidently. This match also saw Seren come on to make her debut for the Castle, and make an immediate impact with some great tackling and confident running on the ball. Being buoyed by the increase in possession, Caerphilly managed to start bossing the game, and three great goals from Tayla, Lundun and Grace saw us run into an unexpected three goal lead. Baglan weren’t to be beaten lying down though, and managed to get two goals back – a beautifully struck effort going in off the post, and a very unfortunate own goal saw Caerphilly pegged back to 3-2. Despite a late onslaught from Baglan, Caerphilly managed to hold on, to claim what has to be one of the most satisfying performance and result to date.
Whilst it is clearly apparent the improvement we have seen in the girls football week on week, the improvement in their play game on game today was a sheer delight to see. Not once did the let their heads drop. The continued to support one another, on and off the pitch. The girls suffered a few knocks throughout the games and the sportsmanship and compassion they showed for one another is really a pleasure to witness.
Thanks to Sully for hosting today. A great set up. Cheers to all the other teams to for such an enjoyable few matches, and to all the players, and parents for coming along. See you Wednesday back at training!