City under 13's hosted Kidderminster in the JPL and after a shaky start came away with the points
City started the game once again in a sloppy fashion, giving the ball away to easily and Kidderminster put their stamp on the game winning most of the early tackles and wanting the ball more than their hosts. The visitors were on the front foot and took a deserved early lead in the 6th minute when they won possession in the midfield and played a ball into their striker who lobbed the stranded Zac Watkins in goal after some hesitation by the keeper. Although the visitors were dominating especially in midfield City had a chance for a quick reply when Jay Bennet won the ball with a typical strong challenge and played a neat ball in behind the defence for Hayden Russell who beat the retreating defence but struck his shot early and the visiting keeper saved with his legs. The scores were level in the 14th minute when the impressive Jake Brookes stole the ball, showed some neat footwork to beat a couple of defenders before laying the ball to Ash Doyle who's cross was met by Hayden Russell who fired home from close range. The goal seamed to settle the boys and they started to play the ball around and work hard when not in possession but further efforts from Henry Guy, Doyle and Brookes failed to find the net as the quarter ended even at 1-1
The second quarter started with City still giving the ball away cheaply attempting to play in the wrong areas and the visitors continued to battle hard but the midfield of Guy, Bennet, Brookes and Adam Willis started to gain control and the home side took the lead in the 26th minute when Doyle, Willis and Brookes combined to put a ball out wide to the lively Joe layland who advanced from his full back role to delivery an inch perfect cross to Russell who fired in his second with a neat half volley. Kidderminster refused to give up and continued to battle but they were denied by an organised defence of Josh Francis, Layland, Chester Hooper and Josh Sanders. The visitors pressure rewarded them with a couple of corners and after a melee in the box they had a great scoring opportunity denied by a superb, brave tackle by the impressive Henry Guy. In the 34th minute the home side extended their lead when Francis played a neat ball out from the back to Hooper who controlled well before playing a ball over the top of the defence to Russell who out paced the chasing centre half before slotting the ball home to complete his fine hat trick
To their credit the visitors refused to give up and continued to press for a way back into the game but with the home side playing a high line any balls over the top of the defence were being swept up by Watkins in the home goal. Guy had an effort well saved by the visitors keeper before City grabbed their 4th in the 46th minute after substitute Rafe Green danced his way into the penalty box only to be brought down with a clumsy challenge. Russell stepped up to convert and record his 4th goal. Green then got his name on the score sheet in the 56th minute when he converted another excellent cross from Brookes at the far post to make the score 5-1
City played their best football in the final quarter opening the visitors up many times with some neat, crisp passing and retention of the ball. Russell saw his effort go over the bar and Green had a curling effort tipped wide by the visiting keeper, Doyle shot wide after good work from the energetic Willis and another Brookes cross almost resulted in a goal for Doyle but he shot wide. Despite totally dominating the final quarter the home side had to wait until the 78th minute for their final goal when Russell produced a great, strong run into the box and a perfect cross to his striking partner Doyle who hit a fierce drive across the keeper into the bottom corner.
After a shaky start all of the boys improved and it was pleasing to see that the recent work with the Coach on pressing and ball retention is starting to pay off.
Gold - Jake Brookes
Silver - Hayden Russell
Bronze - Zac Watkins