Match report 9th dec away Wigton Moor

Monday 03rd December 2012

 Match reports

9th Dec away at Wigton Moor

Terriers Report From: Richard Horbury

Game 1 - George M (gk), James W (rdef) Josh D (ldef). Matthew (centre mid), George H (left mid), Henry St (right mid) Lewis (AMC)

To say those involved with the Terriers started the day with a degree of apprehension would be an understatement. Due to circumstances ,we had a completely new defensive unit. Not ideal against a side we know are good going forward. Anyone who had witnessed practice on Saturday morning would rightly have feared the worst for us as we looked all over the place yesterday. To the credit of this team though the bigger the challenge, the bigger the response from them. Unrecognisable from yesterday they somehow produced what our coach called "the performance of the season". I've said many times it is a pleasure to watch this team when they hit form and it was the case again today. We started very much on the back foot but this defensive unit was not going to let WM get the lead. George M came off his line to make a good catch which was followed with a quality diving save. More of Josh D later, but he was in action to make many of his crucial interceptions and a great block from James W to keep us level. The front 3 joined in the defensive effort starting our defensive play high up the pitch, and it will be of little surprise to learn that Matthew sat in front of the back 2 making his trademark tackles time and time again which prevented WM getting any momentum. Our efforts to keep WM's best player from the final 3rd were immense, and he was left with little option but to shoot from distance. That initial hard work was rewarded when a long pass from George H was collected by Lewis with his back to goal. Plenty still to do but he turned the defender and tucked the chance away. Almost a carbon copy for the 2nd but this time a lovely pass inside from Lewis to George H and again plenty to do but a quality powerful finish for 2-0. Defence back into action with George M saving and Josh D tackle and clearance. Matthew produced a great double tackle and then some near misses with Henry S close and George H wide after a good run. Half-time 2-0.

We got some welcome breathing space at the start of the 2nd half with a sublime Gareth Bale style pass from Josh D finding Lewis, and he made it 3-0. WM got one back with George H unfortunately turning into his own net but what an effort to chase back to try and prevent the goal, just not able to adjust his body position in time. It was this sort of commitment from all of our players which epitomised the whole day. We created some more chances but were left biting our nails when WM pulled it back to 3-2. What do you need in such a situation? A quality striker helps, and Lewis was outstanding in the latter part of the half. He scored to make it 4-2 and I have to confess missing the 5th goal after my own version of time wasting as I was returning from the stream after retrieving the ball.  Didn't need the Ferguson style mind games as I am told it was an even better pass from Josh D than his first one to put Lewis in. We had someone with us watching the terriers for the first time today and as he said - "can that lad (Lewis) finish!" - praise indeed. Late consolation for WM but a deserved 5-3 win for us and more points to keep us competitive in the league.

I'll cover the 2nd game and then the individual comments.

Game 2 - Archie (gk), Josh D (rdef), Woody on debut (ldef) with the other 4 players as they were in the last game. 

We started well and a great shot from George H saved by the keeper but credit Henry S with some lightning reactions to tuck it away. Pressure from WM resulted in them getting it back to 1-1 after we were a bit sloppy conceding a corner, but that was probably the only criticism in the entire 2 games. Their keeper then turned on the style in a big way denying Matthew, George H, Henry S and Lewis, as we would have been out of sight. Game switched to the other end where Archie made a great save to keep us level at 1-1 at half-time. Early in the 2nd half we went 2-1 down and for a time it looked as though we were in trouble as WM dominated and credit the quality of their attacking play - it was extremely good. During this time Archie was outstanding, making 3 or 4 reaction saves, standing big in 1 on 1s and distributing well to relieve pressure. George M came on at the back and battled well as did everyone else with Woody showing some nice tackling technique with the timing of his tackles. Matthew by this time was playing deep and making some great blocks and tackles. George H made a good run and set up Henry S who finished well for 2-2. Our greater fitness seemed to kick-in during the last quarter of the game as Matthew and George combined for Lewis to make it 3-2. Archie on hand with a vital save to keep us in front and then a run of the highest quality out of his own half from George H and an exquisite pass for Lewis to make it 4-2 just before the final whistle.

An extremely proud coach decided that there were no individual man of the matches and that it should be awarded to the whole team such was the contribution of everyone involved and difficult to argue with that. He also wants to compliment the parents for the incredible encouragement given to all of the players today. Not really difficult to do that when watching the commitment on display. It was a great team performance with a work ethic which eventually over-powered WM in both games. It was completely unexpected because we were  underdogs in both games against a very good outfit who were clearly used to playing together. Both goalkeepers had outstanding games today with some tremendous shot-stopping and good distribution too. It is sometimes difficult to distribute the ball in a way that doesn't put the team under pressure but they did that today and there will be healthy competition for the keepers jersey between these 2. Defensively was the most pleasant surprise today and I cannot praise Woody, James W and Josh D enough for their work-rate, intelligent reading of the game and the countless tackles, interceptions and blocks. Add in the quality of distribution from the back by Josh D showing a cultured left-foot, and we had a great weapon that was able to open up the pitch which makes such a difference. I imagine that the opposition players detest playing against a player like Matthew. Even if you think you are past him he's back to make another tackle on you and it seems you have to work about 3 or 4 moves to get away from him. A player like this is critical against the better sides and it is his ball winning and tremendous "unglamorous" work which creates a platform for our creative players. For much of this season we've been lucky to admire the developing understanding between George H and Lewis but, as our coach remarked today, it is now a front 3 who have developed the ability to form a high quality attacking (and defensive unit). That is testimony to the development in Henry Stubbs' play. Quite incredible that he generally plays rugby in the morning before starting the games, such is his work-rate. If anyone needs an example of someone who has worked hard and improved dramatically then Henry S is your man. George H with some precision passing, great work-rate and vision as well as even managing to slip in a maradona turn which coach James had given him licence to do in the 2nd game. Lewis was exceptional once again. We know the quality of his finishing but some great link-up play today when coming off the defenders, good aggression and he is really starting to get stuck-in with tackling giving the defenders less time on the ball. Makes a massive difference when we start our own defensive efforts in their defensive 3rd of the pitch.

All of the Terriers players should be extremely proud of their effort today. It means we end the year having won every league and cup game bar the first one where we had a substantially weaker team on show. As our coach said if we produce the effort we did today, playing for each other, then we are going to be extremely difficult to beat. They all deserve a great Christmas and what a new year to look forward to.

Yes They do, Thank you Richard....

 

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Bulldogs report From: Jane and Dave

Wigton Moor v Bulldogs           9 Dec 2012

 

In contrast to the Terriers who were somewhat nervous in what was to come on this fixture, Bulldogs were confident after a great training session the day before and our high expectations were finished with disappointment.

 

Game 1

 

The game was played in a very strong wind, blowing lengthways down the pitch and there was a real advantage to the team with the wind. This was Wigton in the first half and they were quickly on the attack taking advantage of some questionable defending by the bulldogs.

Some of the team looked tired and slow, missing tackles and giving no protection to William in goal, who wasn’t at fault for any of their goals.

At half time we were losing 3-0 and heads were down and confidence was low-they must have thought Xmas had come early!

Despite the scoreline, Ben S and Dan were having a good game although due to our inability to clear the ball upfield, there was very little action in this half of the pitch.

 

Half time-Bulldogs 0 WM 3

 

Second half started with us attacking with the wind behind us but there was still some nervous defending going on.

We then proceeded to miss 4 excellent chances by hitting soft shots straight at their keeper who had no problem saving them and wasn’t really tested.

The highlight of the half was a superb volley, turn and shot from just past the half way line by Dan which crashed against the crossbar with their keeper well beaten, and brought applause from spectators of both sides-really hard luck-speaking of which we had none of today.

 

Final score 0-3

 

We lost a game which we could, and should have won.

 

In this game we forgot the basics, players were getting in each other’s way and didn’t seem to know which position they were covering which led to mistakes. They seemed tired and again, a slow start cost us dearly again-a recurring, worrying theme which is a concern. Yes, it was windy and the muddy pitch was difficult and perhaps if we had been kicking the other way in the 1st half it may have been a different story.

A disappointing performance as we know we can do better than this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 2

 

This game was played 8 a side which didn’t seem to help! Dan moved into goal to allow William a run outfield and Joe B had now joined us. Nothing really improved and by half time we were 4-0 down, again no goals being the fault of the keeper.

William tried manfully up front and Ben S was having his usual excellent game trying his heart out to salvage something.

 

Half time 0-4

 

Dan then came out of goal to be replaced by Josh M who, although playing in an unfamiliar position, made some excellent saves and had a really good half-well done Josh!

Ben and Dan resumed their partnership up front, well supported by William and the improvement was noticeable.

Ben scored two excellent goals capping off his already excellent performance which was thoroughly deserved.

Dan coolly slotted home a third after a perfect through ball from Ben which gave us some hope although it was all a little too late and despite putting them under pressure, we were unable to add a fourth.

 

Final score WM 4 Bullodgs 3

 

Our 2 best players today were Dan and Ben S who are forging a great partnership due to their understanding of the game, and accurate passing between each other.

We lost both games by having a mountain to climb in the second halves and I would hope that some of our players would admit that they had an ‘off’ day today which in conjunction with some change of positions, poor conditions sums up our day.

WM looked fitter and faster, a part of our weakness which needs to be worked on.

 

It is worth commenting that, we are one team not two, and thanks must go to the Terriers and James for their three points as we, as a unit must help each other out on bad days to win points.

 

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