The u10’s today travelled to Eastern leisure centre for the first 4 games of the 2018/ 19 league season. Having played Cardiff Bluebelles and Porth previously we knew there was some close, high energy encounters ahead of us.
It was the home side, the Bluebelles, up first in the 10am kick off. Adopting the same formation as in the last of our warm up games meant that the girls started with confidence and were keen to get on the front foot from the off. A lot of the play was built on a solid Caerphilly defence with Ava and Lexi and Seren Edwards in goal, quick to pounce at every opportunity. The solidity at the back freed Summer, Tayla, Grace and Seren Gibbs to press forward and look to keep the play in the homeside’s half. In what was a tight game the enterprise shown from the attacking quartet did eventually tell. It was a superb finish from a tight angle allowing Summer to open the scoring, her first goal for the club. Another powerful finish from Grace rounded off a great team performance.
In the second tie of the day, facing Cyncoed for the first time, Caerphilly Castle were clearly buoyed by their efforts in the first game and were quick to pick up where they left off. Helped by the tireless Layla who came into the side for the second game the yellow and blacks again showed great interplay again in midfield and created a stream of chances. A few long range efforts from Layla and Tayla went just wide but it was Grace in particular who took full advantage of the possession, showing a mix of skill, pace, positional awareness and finishing ability to add a further 7 goals to go along with the first in game 1. Tayla through continued pressure on the oppositions goal found a great position to score the other. A special mention must be given again to the defensive efforts of Ava and Lexi who were absolute rocks, helping Seren Edwards keep their second clean sheet of the day.
Before game 3 was a 30 minute break for our team, a chance to have a rest before the Porth encounter. From previous experience we knew that Porth would be a well drilled team, and so it proved to be. Skye starting to make her first appearance of the day in attack and with Summer picking up the reins in goal it meant a few changes to adjust to as well, a real test lay ahead.
After some early exchanges and chances for both sides it was Porth who managed to get the first goal from close range, for once our defensive unit was breached. The game was certainly a step up in terms of physicality for the team, but they rose to the occasion and despite conceding another close range effort found space to score a terrific goal of their own through Layla. In what was a tense last 5 minutes the tie was really in the balance, the girls giving everything they could to try and secure a result. It wasn’t to be on this occasion, a couple of long range efforts again went wide before Porth finished the game with a late goal.
Another new challenge awaited the girls for the final game of the day, an encounter with Llantwit Major. With a new defensive pairing of Tayla and Ava, Skye again leading the line in attack and Summer taking up a position in midfield it offered a chance to trial some new pairings. With the rain now pouring and legs getting a little weary the game proved to be more about grit and effort than the silky skills seen earlier. It looked, for long periods that the game would end in deadlock, but a slight lapse in concentration from a Llantwit corner meant that the last goal of the day was against the Caerphilly heroines.
Overall a brilliant morning of football, with lots of smiles, celebrations, moments of great skill, huge heart and key learnings. Well done girls and parents alike!! Roll on next week!