Sat 08
Stoke RTC
U13s JPL
Away Defeat for City

Away Defeat for City

By Gary Watkins
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Missed chances costly

City U12's made the journey up to Stoke and came away empty handed

With the recent wet weather it was no surprise that the pitch in places was like a marsh mellow which didn't really suit the City boys passing game. The first quarter was dominated by Stoke who pressed hard and made the most of the missed passes and seemed to win every challenge. The home side had an early effort curl past the post before against the run of play City had the ball in the back of the net after Kyle Clayton bundled the ball over the line but it was ruled out for off side. That was the visitors only effort on goal as the home side continued to dominate play and their striker again came close striking a first time shot just over the bar. The warning signs were there at it was no surprise when Stoke took the lead when the dangerous Brendon Catanho was through on goal and he smashed the ball past the stranded Louis Hudson in the city goal. Minutes later he almost added a second with an effort but Hudson superbly tipped the ball over the bar to keep the score at 1-0

The second quarter followed the same pattern as the first with Stoke pressing and wining challenges and the visitors struggling to find the passes. Zac Watkins was called into action in the visitors goal with an early block inside the area which was followed by a goal saving tackle from Jay Bennet. Catanho again found himself free of the defence and in on goal but he was denied by a brave diving stop by Watkins. He was however unable to stop Catanho grabbing his second goal with a fierce strike into the far corner in the 30th minute after some sloppy defending from the city boys. City's chances were few and far between but Ash Doyle did break free towards the end of the quarter but he was denied by a great tackle from the Stoke centre half who was impressive

With the wind in their favour and a good team talk the city boys started to press high and began to get a foothold in the game. An early Kyle Clayton cross almost found Adam Willis in the box before Centre Half Josh Francis came close when he won the ball on the half way line and crunched through the home defence but his effort struck the home keepers legs and fell agonisingly past the post. From the resulting Joe Layland corner City did pull a goal back when Josh Sanders struck a volley into the far corner. Sanders saw a great long range effort just over the bar before a Bennet free kick from range struck the bar as the visitors pushed for the equaliser. The stoke defence held firm to keep their slim lead intact

The final quarter again saw the majority of play in the stoke half but again a combination of some strong defending and poor final ball meant that the visitors struggled for an equaliser. Stoke were still looking to increase their lead and when they did get the ball up to the dangerous Catanho he was denied by a fine double save by Watkins in the city goal. Clayton came close but his effort was saved by the keepers legs and as the game was coming to a close Ash Doyle had two efforts which were easily saved by the keeper and as the final whistle was blown the visitors ended disappointed with missed chances but credit to Stoke who over all deserved the victory

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Match details

Match date

Sat 08, Feb 2020