U17 Boys: Two wins back-to-back!

20 Apr

Oxfordshire 2-1 Middlesex

Oxfordshire boys U17s made the long trek to Belgium (well nearly) to play Kent and Middlesex. After a very promising start to the campaign with a draw and two wins, the small, but perfectly formed, squad had a real chance to show they could finish high in the competitive South Championship.

With only 13 players available due to illnesses and other commitments Oxfordshire were again forced to bring in super-sub forward Callum Chapman to maraud up front. In the first match Middlesex started the stronger and Oxfordshire were grateful a few times to Ollie Wickens for superb saves that kept them level. But the pressure eventually told and Middlesex took a deserved lead. Oxfordshire slowly worked their way into the game through shear effort and after going down to 10 men for a while we rallied and as the first half came to a close Ben Clark found a equaliser. We were lucky to be level at half time. The second half was a different story, Oxfordshire upped their pace, got to grips with the pitch and began to dominate possession. But Middlesex held out till the five minutes front the end when John Corran weaved into the area and crossed for Thomson Harris to knock it home. A frantic finale saw Oxfordshire hold out for a great victory 2-1.

Oxfordshire 3-2 Kent

30 minutes later and the might of Kent, a side that five years ago beat us 9-0. Five years is a long time and we have come a long way. Oxfordshire dominated from the start, controlling possession and territory. And midway through the half a deserved lead as John Corran followed up a short corner. After half time Oxfordshire showed their control as they eased into a comfortable 3-0 lead through two sharp Thomson Harris finishes at the far post, one from a superb measured pass from Callum Chapman. All was serene till four minutes from the end when we conceded one and then another in quick succession as tired legs and minds took their toll. The last minute felt like a half in itself but we held out for a second victory of the day, 3-2.

5 matches played, 4 wins, 1 draw. Two matches to go. Can we keep this form going? It’ll be tough but if it’s down to teamwork and commitment then the boys have a great chance to finish their JAC careers on a high.

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