2019/20 Season Match Results

In June 2019 I joined Paringdon Youth FC U11 Tigers, playing in the Echo Junior League Edgeware Division (3 of 10).

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HOME v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 15th March 2020, KO 10am

LOST 4-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Unbeknown to us at the time, today's match was to be our last of the season at U11's in the Echo Junior League...

Last time we played Hannakins Farm we lost 5-1, I gave away a penalty but saved it, so we aimed to improve on this result...

We started confidently and scored early, going 1-0 up. Hannakins equalised with shot which I initially saved but sadly didn't get up quickly enough for the rebound. We scored again to go into half time 2-1 up.

In the second half they scored with a ball through our defence to their striker who ran towards goal with another striker beside him. I advanced and set low & wide but he struck the ball over my head into the roof of the net... 2-2.

Their 3rd goal was a 25 yard screamer with me only 3 yards off my line, the ball flew over my head (wind assisted) into the net... 2-3.

The next goal was a free shot from 12 yards out, with me 5 yards off my line, again into the roof of the net... 2-4.

Not a match to remember, but it turned out to be our last of the season due to COVID-19... onward and upward next season 🤞🏼

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS HERE

AWAY v Cobra Red, 2nd February 2020, KO 10.30am

LOST 3-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Our last meeting against Cobra Red wasn't a good one. We had some bad decisions against us and lost our heads a bit. So today we were determined not to let that happen again...

We went 1-0 up early on and were dominating for the 1st 10 minutes. Then they got a counter-attack and their left winger was too fast for our defence, got through on goal, I narrowed the angle, but he toe-poked it low past me into the net.

They then scored 2 more in the 1st half; 1 shot which I parried, pounced onto the rebound but they kicked it out of my hands into the net. Goal given. The 3rd goal was a corner which went out to the edge of our box, I was pushed to the ground, got up and dived to get 1 hand to the incoming shot, but not enough to keep it out. Goal given.

We scored our 2nd (well done Franky for scoring both goals) with some really good team play and right at the end we had a shot cleared off the line. We were unlucky to lose today as we played the better football but the volunteer referee without a whistle (!) simply wasn't up to the job and made some poor decisions against us. We kept our heads though, when everything was going against us.


My distribution was really consistent today, positioning was good and I kept my head up when things were going against me. Very proud of the team today.

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AWAY v Lakeside Trojans, 26th January 2020, KO 10.00am

LOST 4-3 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Today was a frustrating day, as the pitch conditions were poor and we should have come away with the win.


Early on in the game, their goalkeeper & defender clashed and had to both go off injured, leaving them with 1 man down due to only having 1 sub. We took advantage of this and went 1-0 up. Both players thankfully recovered so 1 came back on and they got back into the game, scoring before half-time to make it 1-1 at the break. The goals we conceded were 2 free kicks which were over my head and unreachable (maybe my positioning could have been better?), a 1v1 and a ball across the box which I nor my defenders dealt with, enabling them to score an easy goal from 4 yards. So I was disappointed in 2 of the 4 goals and this gives me something to work on. Our team scored 3 great goals and played well but struggled to play our normal passing game on a very muddy pitch.

AWAY v Euro Dagenham White, 19th January 2020, KO 10.30am

LOST 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today should have been a home match but we travelled away to Romford as our pitch was un-playable. When we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue... however the pitch was frosty and the referee deemed it un-playable! So after much discussion, we agreed to play a friendly 7-a-side on the smaller, less frozen pitch next door without the referee. It was a tight game on a smaller pitch than we were used to, making it hard for either team to get ahead. However, Euro Dagenham did score first and we went into half time 1-0 down. We levelled it early in the 2nd half but they managed to score another and although we played better 2nd half, we just couldn't break through. My distribution was better today and I made a few good saves which I was pleased with after a poor performance last week.

WATCH MY GK HIGHLIGHTS HERE

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AWAY v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 12th January 2020, KO 2pm

LOST 5-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 5/10

The weather was cloudy & sunny today and the pitch was in great condition considering a lot of other games had been cancelled due to waterlogged pitches. Hannakins were looking for revenge after we beat them 4-1 earlier in the season.
We started badly, conceding within the first few minutes! We were soon 2-0 down but managed to get a goal back before half time to give us confidence going into the 2nd half. Sadly, we didn't get back into the game and conceded a further 3 goals to finish the match losing 5-1.
I made a few saves but didn't have a great game. My kicking wasn't as good as normal and we got punished for not playing as a team. I gave away a penalty right at the end of the match, but saved it, diving to my left to make amends. Lots to learn from today for the whole team. Hannakins played some really nice football and deserved the win.

HOME v Ryan FC, 5th January 2020, KO 11.30am

WON 9-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 9/10

The pitch was quite wet today but playable as we hadn't had much rain for a week or so. We expected a tough match after drawing 1-1 in the away fixture earlier in the season. However, we went ahead within 1 minute and were 3-0 by the 7th minute! After our fast start it stayed this way until half time and Ryan FC had a few chances getting through 1v1 and having a few shots on target, so I was quite busy. In the second half we pushed on again, going 7-0 up before they managed to score, when I failed to punch clear and they scored from close range. We ended up winning 9-1 which was our highest score this season. I made quite a few saves in the second half too with block saves, smothers, catches, foot saves, diving saves and a double-save in the last seconds of the match. The whole team played amazing today and I was proud of my own performance, my best this season.

WATCH MY MATCH GK HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO HERE

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AWAY v Upminster Park Rovers White, 15th December 2019, KO 11.15am

WON 5-0 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today should have been a home match, but our pitch was unplayable, so we reversed the fixture. Our last match against this team was a tricky 2-1 win, so we expected another tough game. It started this way and was a very even match for the first 15 minutes. I didn't have lots of saves to make but dealt with many through-balls, playing high up the pitch helped me deal with these well. I varied playing short and long from goal kicks and my kicking was good on a muddy, uneven  pitch. We started to dominate and George scored to go 1-0 up before half time, giving us confidence going into the 2nd half. The whole team played strong, the defence held off a few attacks and we dealt with corners well. Luca (who hadn't played for a while) got a hatrick and Frankie scored a belter from outside the box. So we ended up winning 5-0 and another clean sheet.

AWAY v Tigers JFC Stripes, 24th November 2019, KO 12.45pm

WON 1-0 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today we aimed to repeat our home win over Tigers JFC earlier in the season. It was a difficult game from the start with neither side able to string many passes together. Both sides played tough but fair. We had most of the possession in the 1st half but couldn't get a goal. I had to stay focused as I wasn't called upon to make many saves, just sweeping up, dealing with back-passes and goal kicks. We scored early in the 2nd half with a looping shot over their keeper's head. Then I was called upon with a bouncing ball over the top of our defence in a 1v1 situation. I was pleased to spread block their shot with my chest which ended up going out for a throw in. They pressured us towards the end with a flurry of corners which we managed to keep out of the goal. I saved a shot towards my bottom left hand corner in the last minutes of the match to keep our 1st clean sheet of the season and win the match 1-0.

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HOME v Essex Rangers, 10th November 2019, KO 11.30am

WON 4-3

In my absence, George played in goal again. We played against a team who had just come down from Division 2 so it would be a tough test. We went 3-0 down in the 1st 15 minutes, but pulled a goal back before half time, going into the break 3-1 down. After a stern talking-to from the manager, the team played amazingly to win the match 4-3... what a comeback !! Well done boys !

AWAY v Lakeside Trojans, 3rd November 2019, KO 12.30pm

DREW 2-2

I was on holiday for this match, so my team mate George played in goal. We drew 2-2 which was a great result and well played George.

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AWAY v Hornchurch Urchins Stripes, 27th October 2019, KO 11.30am

WON 5-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

It was a great morning for football; blue sky, sunny but just 10 degrees. We started brightly, but went 1-0 down when a pass across our own goal area was intercepted and I could only parry the shot and didn't get to the 2nd shot quickly enough. Thankfully my team got us back in the game with a well-worked goal and then we went ahead with a shot from outside the box. Hornchurch equalised before half time after a scramble inside our box and I was un-sighted for their shot. I had a busier first half making a few saves, dealing with many back-passes and through-balls. I was pleased with a one-handed diving save which I was able to parry far enough outside the post that they couldn't hit the 2nd shot on target. In the 2nd half we dominated and I had no major saves to make but was still active and focused. We scored 3 more making the full time score 5-2 and I was pleased that one of the goals came from my goal kick to my left winger, who ran through and slotted the ball home for his 1st goal of the season (well done Luka!). My kicking was good and my communication is getting better.

HOME v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 20th October 2019, KO 12pm

WON 4-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

We expected a tough match against Hannakins Farm as they had beaten us in a friendly 2-0 in pre-season. They are a good passing team and moved the ball around the pitch well. I made a 1v1 save with my foot early on, then we scored a goal against the run of play which gave us some belief that we could win the match. However, they equalised just before half time with a header from a corner which I couldn't react to quickly enough. I made another foot save and almost let one in through my legs but luckily got away with it. In the second half we started to dominate play and our midfield/defence broke up all of their attacks. I made more 1v1 saves and dived on the ball after a scramble in the box. My kicking was good today apart from one pass-back which I should have cleared 1st time, but I got tackled and nearly conceded. We pushed on and scored 2 more and a penalty towards the end. A great result against a really good team. My performance was ugly but effective!

ps. I met Stampy from Hashtag Utd playing on another pitch...

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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AWAY v Upminster Park Rovers White, 13th October 2019, KO 11.15am

WON 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Conditions today were the most difficult so far this season. It was very windy and raining making kicking & judging the flight/bounce of the ball tricky. In my warm-up we focused on these issues so I was well-prepared. In the 1st half we were playing against the wind and the ball rarely left our half of the pitch. We conceded early by losing the ball and allowing a shot from the right hand side - I got tips to the shot but it curled into the side netting. We battled hard afterwards and went into half time 1-0 down. In the 2nd half with the wind behind us and the rain coming down harder, we had most of the possession and scored 2 goals in quick succession in the 1st 10 minutes. One was a screamer of a free kick and the 2nd was a great half-volley off our striker's weak foot from a ball over the top of their defence. Overall I had a quiet game, but had good positioning, footwork and catching, kicking was good in the tricky conditions and my communication is improving with every match.

HOME v Cobra Red, 6th October 2019, KO 10am

LOST 6-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

A big scoreline against us today, but these are the games us goalkeepers learn from the most and we should enjoy them. Sadly most young goalies get frustrated when conceding goals and I am no different. We played against a strong, physical side and it was a real lesson for the whole team. 2 goals against us were penalties which we didn't feel should have been awarded. Another goal came from a bad back-pass from my team-mate which was impossible to control. We scored 2 goals but didn't make the best of other opportunities and we got bullied off the ball a lot. I made a few crucial saves and was pleased with a really good 1v1 block I made against their biggest player (something I've been working on). Even though we conceded 6 goals, I actually played well, but must learn to control my frustrations better. To move up a division next season we must learn how to deal with these types of matches and we look forward to next week's match.

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AWAY v Ryan FC, 29th September 2019, KO 10am

DREW 1-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

The pitch was excellent today and the rain held off, so it was great conditions for the match. It started fairly even and I had a lot of through-balls to deal with early on. My kicking was good and I made a nice save to my right from a shot which bounced just in front of me, parrying it around the post. I had a few 1v1's to deal with which I did better than normal. My team were playing well and we began to dominate, going into half time feeling confident at 0-0. 10 minutes into the 2nd half we scored and had lots more chances but their goalkeeper pulled of loads of great saves to keep the score down. They had a few chances but our defence played well to stop them. With about 5 minutes to go, they put in a low cross which i didn't hold onto, then they put away the rebound. I was really annoyed at myself as I'd had a good game until then. We had a few more chances to win the game but their keeper kept making saves. It ended in a draw so we were disappointed not to win with our great all-round team performance. We're still unbeaten though.

HOME v Tigers Stripes, 22nd September 2019, KO 10am

WON 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

We had a free week last week so the team started this match a little bit rusty. It was another tough Echo League game against the Stripes and they pressured us from the 1st minute all the way through to half time. This meant I was kept busy having to deal with lots of through-balls, corners, crosses, shots/headers on goal, goal kicks and distribution in free-play.
At half time our Coaches gave us the team talk we needed (!) and in the 2nd half we got back in the game and dominated. We scored directly from a corner early on but sadly conceded a harsh penalty just after. I chose the wrong way and it was 1-1. I had a busy 2nd half too but our defence was much more organised and we kept the Stripes at bay. With 5 minutes to go we scored from some smart play down the right hand side and slotted the ball home. We stayed strong until the final whistle winning the match 2-1. A great result against another strong side. I was really pleased with my performance in all areas and hope I can stay at this level for every match going forward.

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AWAY v GFA Loughton Yellow, 8th September 2019, KO 10am

DREW 2-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Today was our 1st match of the season, new team, new league, new beginnings...
We knew GFA Loughton were a strong side so we planned to keep things tight at the start and not play our normal short game out from the back initially. The match started evenly and after 10 minutes we scored with a screamer from the right from outside the box. But we conceded a few minutes after when they got through 1v1 and slotted the ball past me along the floor and I couldn't get my right hand down quick enough. A good finish. Just before half time they scored their second goal which was a shot from centrally outside the box. I dived full stretch, got 2 hands to it but not enough to keep it out of the top corner. After a constructive half time team talk we went out and dominated the 2nd half full of energy and desire. We didn't get the break we deserved until about 5 minutes from the end when a goal area scramble ended in an own goal from the pressure our players applied. In the end, a fair and well deserved draw after an all-round strong team performance.

Wickford 9-a-side Tournament, 15th June 2019

WE WON 🏆 | MY PERFORMANCE: 9/10

This was a great tournament with 2 mini leagues then the top 2 teams went through to a semi-final, then a final. This was the first time our team had played together as we had lots of new players. 1 of our players sadly broke his wrist from a fall early in the 1st match, so we played the rest of the tournament with just 9 men and no subs. We won the final after a penalty shoot-out, with me making the winning save. A very proud moment for me.

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2019/20 Season Match Results

In June 2019 I joined Paringdon Youth FC U11 Tigers, playing in the Echo Junior League Edgeware Division (3 of 10).

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HOME v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 15th March 2020, KO 10am

LOST 4-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Unbeknown to us at the time, today's match was to be our last of the season at U11's in the Echo Junior League...

Last time we played Hannakins Farm we lost 5-1, I gave away a penalty but saved it, so we aimed to improve on this result...

We started confidently and scored early, going 1-0 up. Hannakins equalised with shot which I initially saved but sadly didn't get up quickly enough for the rebound. We scored again to go into half time 2-1 up.

In the second half they scored with a ball through our defence to their striker who ran towards goal with another striker beside him. I advanced and set low & wide but he struck the ball over my head into the roof of the net... 2-2.

Their 3rd goal was a 25 yard screamer with me only 3 yards off my line, the ball flew over my head (wind assisted) into the net... 2-3.

The next goal was a free shot from 12 yards out, with me 5 yards off my line, again into the roof of the net... 2-4.

Not a match to remember, but it turned out to be our last of the season due to COVID-19... onward and upward next season 🤞🏼

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS HERE

AWAY v Cobra Red, 2nd February 2020, KO 10.30am

LOST 3-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Our last meeting against Cobra Red wasn't a good one. We had some bad decisions against us and lost our heads a bit. So today we were determined not to let that happen again...

We went 1-0 up early on and were dominating for the 1st 10 minutes. Then they got a counter-attack and their left winger was too fast for our defence, got through on goal, I narrowed the angle, but he toe-poked it low past me into the net.

They then scored 2 more in the 1st half; 1 shot which I parried, pounced onto the rebound but they kicked it out of my hands into the net. Goal given. The 3rd goal was a corner which went out to the edge of our box, I was pushed to the ground, got up and dived to get 1 hand to the incoming shot, but not enough to keep it out. Goal given.

We scored our 2nd (well done Franky for scoring both goals) with some really good team play and right at the end we had a shot cleared off the line. We were unlucky to lose today as we played the better football but the volunteer referee without a whistle (!) simply wasn't up to the job and made some poor decisions against us. We kept our heads though, when everything was going against us.


My distribution was really consistent today, positioning was good and I kept my head up when things were going against me. Very proud of the team today.

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AWAY v Lakeside Trojans, 26th January 2020, KO 10.00am

LOST 4-3 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Today was a frustrating day, as the pitch conditions were poor and we should have come away with the win.


Early on in the game, their goalkeeper & defender clashed and had to both go off injured, leaving them with 1 man down due to only having 1 sub. We took advantage of this and went 1-0 up. Both players thankfully recovered so 1 came back on and they got back into the game, scoring before half-time to make it 1-1 at the break. The goals we conceded were 2 free kicks which were over my head and unreachable (maybe my positioning could have been better?), a 1v1 and a ball across the box which I nor my defenders dealt with, enabling them to score an easy goal from 4 yards. So I was disappointed in 2 of the 4 goals and this gives me something to work on. Our team scored 3 great goals and played well but struggled to play our normal passing game on a very muddy pitch.

AWAY v Euro Dagenham White, 19th January 2020, KO 10.30am

LOST 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today should have been a home match but we travelled away to Romford as our pitch was un-playable. When we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue... however the pitch was frosty and the referee deemed it un-playable! So after much discussion, we agreed to play a friendly 7-a-side on the smaller, less frozen pitch next door without the referee. It was a tight game on a smaller pitch than we were used to, making it hard for either team to get ahead. However, Euro Dagenham did score first and we went into half time 1-0 down. We levelled it early in the 2nd half but they managed to score another and although we played better 2nd half, we just couldn't break through. My distribution was better today and I made a few good saves which I was pleased with after a poor performance last week.

WATCH MY GK HIGHLIGHTS HERE

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AWAY v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 12th January 2020, KO 2pm

LOST 5-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 5/10

The weather was cloudy & sunny today and the pitch was in great condition considering a lot of other games had been cancelled due to waterlogged pitches. Hannakins were looking for revenge after we beat them 4-1 earlier in the season.
We started badly, conceding within the first few minutes! We were soon 2-0 down but managed to get a goal back before half time to give us confidence going into the 2nd half. Sadly, we didn't get back into the game and conceded a further 3 goals to finish the match losing 5-1.
I made a few saves but didn't have a great game. My kicking wasn't as good as normal and we got punished for not playing as a team. I gave away a penalty right at the end of the match, but saved it, diving to my left to make amends. Lots to learn from today for the whole team. Hannakins played some really nice football and deserved the win.

HOME v Ryan FC, 5th January 2020, KO 11.30am

WON 9-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 9/10

The pitch was quite wet today but playable as we hadn't had much rain for a week or so. We expected a tough match after drawing 1-1 in the away fixture earlier in the season. However, we went ahead within 1 minute and were 3-0 by the 7th minute! After our fast start it stayed this way until half time and Ryan FC had a few chances getting through 1v1 and having a few shots on target, so I was quite busy. In the second half we pushed on again, going 7-0 up before they managed to score, when I failed to punch clear and they scored from close range. We ended up winning 9-1 which was our highest score this season. I made quite a few saves in the second half too with block saves, smothers, catches, foot saves, diving saves and a double-save in the last seconds of the match. The whole team played amazing today and I was proud of my own performance, my best this season.

WATCH MY MATCH GK HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO HERE

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AWAY v Upminster Park Rovers White, 15th December 2019, KO 11.15am

WON 5-0 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today should have been a home match, but our pitch was unplayable, so we reversed the fixture. Our last match against this team was a tricky 2-1 win, so we expected another tough game. It started this way and was a very even match for the first 15 minutes. I didn't have lots of saves to make but dealt with many through-balls, playing high up the pitch helped me deal with these well. I varied playing short and long from goal kicks and my kicking was good on a muddy, uneven  pitch. We started to dominate and George scored to go 1-0 up before half time, giving us confidence going into the 2nd half. The whole team played strong, the defence held off a few attacks and we dealt with corners well. Luca (who hadn't played for a while) got a hatrick and Frankie scored a belter from outside the box. So we ended up winning 5-0 and another clean sheet.

AWAY v Tigers JFC Stripes, 24th November 2019, KO 12.45pm

WON 1-0 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Today we aimed to repeat our home win over Tigers JFC earlier in the season. It was a difficult game from the start with neither side able to string many passes together. Both sides played tough but fair. We had most of the possession in the 1st half but couldn't get a goal. I had to stay focused as I wasn't called upon to make many saves, just sweeping up, dealing with back-passes and goal kicks. We scored early in the 2nd half with a looping shot over their keeper's head. Then I was called upon with a bouncing ball over the top of our defence in a 1v1 situation. I was pleased to spread block their shot with my chest which ended up going out for a throw in. They pressured us towards the end with a flurry of corners which we managed to keep out of the goal. I saved a shot towards my bottom left hand corner in the last minutes of the match to keep our 1st clean sheet of the season and win the match 1-0.

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HOME v Essex Rangers, 10th November 2019, KO 11.30am

WON 4-3

In my absence, George played in goal again. We played against a team who had just come down from Division 2 so it would be a tough test. We went 3-0 down in the 1st 15 minutes, but pulled a goal back before half time, going into the break 3-1 down. After a stern talking-to from the manager, the team played amazingly to win the match 4-3... what a comeback !! Well done boys !

AWAY v Lakeside Trojans, 3rd November 2019, KO 12.30pm

DREW 2-2

I was on holiday for this match, so my team mate George played in goal. We drew 2-2 which was a great result and well played George.

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AWAY v Hornchurch Urchins Stripes, 27th October 2019, KO 11.30am

WON 5-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

It was a great morning for football; blue sky, sunny but just 10 degrees. We started brightly, but went 1-0 down when a pass across our own goal area was intercepted and I could only parry the shot and didn't get to the 2nd shot quickly enough. Thankfully my team got us back in the game with a well-worked goal and then we went ahead with a shot from outside the box. Hornchurch equalised before half time after a scramble inside our box and I was un-sighted for their shot. I had a busier first half making a few saves, dealing with many back-passes and through-balls. I was pleased with a one-handed diving save which I was able to parry far enough outside the post that they couldn't hit the 2nd shot on target. In the 2nd half we dominated and I had no major saves to make but was still active and focused. We scored 3 more making the full time score 5-2 and I was pleased that one of the goals came from my goal kick to my left winger, who ran through and slotted the ball home for his 1st goal of the season (well done Luka!). My kicking was good and my communication is getting better.

HOME v Hannakins Farm Tigers, 20th October 2019, KO 12pm

WON 4-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

We expected a tough match against Hannakins Farm as they had beaten us in a friendly 2-0 in pre-season. They are a good passing team and moved the ball around the pitch well. I made a 1v1 save with my foot early on, then we scored a goal against the run of play which gave us some belief that we could win the match. However, they equalised just before half time with a header from a corner which I couldn't react to quickly enough. I made another foot save and almost let one in through my legs but luckily got away with it. In the second half we started to dominate play and our midfield/defence broke up all of their attacks. I made more 1v1 saves and dived on the ball after a scramble in the box. My kicking was good today apart from one pass-back which I should have cleared 1st time, but I got tackled and nearly conceded. We pushed on and scored 2 more and a penalty towards the end. A great result against a really good team. My performance was ugly but effective!

ps. I met Stampy from Hashtag Utd playing on another pitch...

WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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AWAY v Upminster Park Rovers White, 13th October 2019, KO 11.15am

WON 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

Conditions today were the most difficult so far this season. It was very windy and raining making kicking & judging the flight/bounce of the ball tricky. In my warm-up we focused on these issues so I was well-prepared. In the 1st half we were playing against the wind and the ball rarely left our half of the pitch. We conceded early by losing the ball and allowing a shot from the right hand side - I got tips to the shot but it curled into the side netting. We battled hard afterwards and went into half time 1-0 down. In the 2nd half with the wind behind us and the rain coming down harder, we had most of the possession and scored 2 goals in quick succession in the 1st 10 minutes. One was a screamer of a free kick and the 2nd was a great half-volley off our striker's weak foot from a ball over the top of their defence. Overall I had a quiet game, but had good positioning, footwork and catching, kicking was good in the tricky conditions and my communication is improving with every match.

HOME v Cobra Red, 6th October 2019, KO 10am

LOST 6-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

A big scoreline against us today, but these are the games us goalkeepers learn from the most and we should enjoy them. Sadly most young goalies get frustrated when conceding goals and I am no different. We played against a strong, physical side and it was a real lesson for the whole team. 2 goals against us were penalties which we didn't feel should have been awarded. Another goal came from a bad back-pass from my team-mate which was impossible to control. We scored 2 goals but didn't make the best of other opportunities and we got bullied off the ball a lot. I made a few crucial saves and was pleased with a really good 1v1 block I made against their biggest player (something I've been working on). Even though we conceded 6 goals, I actually played well, but must learn to control my frustrations better. To move up a division next season we must learn how to deal with these types of matches and we look forward to next week's match.

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AWAY v Ryan FC, 29th September 2019, KO 10am

DREW 1-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

The pitch was excellent today and the rain held off, so it was great conditions for the match. It started fairly even and I had a lot of through-balls to deal with early on. My kicking was good and I made a nice save to my right from a shot which bounced just in front of me, parrying it around the post. I had a few 1v1's to deal with which I did better than normal. My team were playing well and we began to dominate, going into half time feeling confident at 0-0. 10 minutes into the 2nd half we scored and had lots more chances but their goalkeeper pulled of loads of great saves to keep the score down. They had a few chances but our defence played well to stop them. With about 5 minutes to go, they put in a low cross which i didn't hold onto, then they put away the rebound. I was really annoyed at myself as I'd had a good game until then. We had a few more chances to win the game but their keeper kept making saves. It ended in a draw so we were disappointed not to win with our great all-round team performance. We're still unbeaten though.

HOME v Tigers Stripes, 22nd September 2019, KO 10am

WON 2-1 | MY PERFORMANCE: 8/10

We had a free week last week so the team started this match a little bit rusty. It was another tough Echo League game against the Stripes and they pressured us from the 1st minute all the way through to half time. This meant I was kept busy having to deal with lots of through-balls, corners, crosses, shots/headers on goal, goal kicks and distribution in free-play.
At half time our Coaches gave us the team talk we needed (!) and in the 2nd half we got back in the game and dominated. We scored directly from a corner early on but sadly conceded a harsh penalty just after. I chose the wrong way and it was 1-1. I had a busy 2nd half too but our defence was much more organised and we kept the Stripes at bay. With 5 minutes to go we scored from some smart play down the right hand side and slotted the ball home. We stayed strong until the final whistle winning the match 2-1. A great result against another strong side. I was really pleased with my performance in all areas and hope I can stay at this level for every match going forward.

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AWAY v GFA Loughton Yellow, 8th September 2019, KO 10am

DREW 2-2 | MY PERFORMANCE: 7/10

Today was our 1st match of the season, new team, new league, new beginnings...
We knew GFA Loughton were a strong side so we planned to keep things tight at the start and not play our normal short game out from the back initially. The match started evenly and after 10 minutes we scored with a screamer from the right from outside the box. But we conceded a few minutes after when they got through 1v1 and slotted the ball past me along the floor and I couldn't get my right hand down quick enough. A good finish. Just before half time they scored their second goal which was a shot from centrally outside the box. I dived full stretch, got 2 hands to it but not enough to keep it out of the top corner. After a constructive half time team talk we went out and dominated the 2nd half full of energy and desire. We didn't get the break we deserved until about 5 minutes from the end when a goal area scramble ended in an own goal from the pressure our players applied. In the end, a fair and well deserved draw after an all-round strong team performance.

Wickford 9-a-side Tournament, 15th June 2019

WE WON 🏆 | MY PERFORMANCE: 9/10

This was a great tournament with 2 mini leagues then the top 2 teams went through to a semi-final, then a final. This was the first time our team had played together as we had lots of new players. 1 of our players sadly broke his wrist from a fall early in the 1st match, so we played the rest of the tournament with just 9 men and no subs. We won the final after a penalty shoot-out, with me making the winning save. A very proud moment for me.

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