AFC Kirk Hallam U12's 5 - Ilkeston Town Juniors Saturday 1
By Dave Morley
Boys claim a first, long overdue win in style
After a long and hard few weeks in the Young Elizabethan League top division, the lads chalked up their first win with a fantastic display against a team who won last seasons' winter division 1. With only a point from five matches, and an 8-0 battering last weekend, the opponents could have been forgiven for thinking that this would be an easy match. Having had four very close matches early in the season, where the boys felt they deserved to win at least three of those matches, there was a determination to do well against a side who relocated from Lowdham to join Ilkeston Town, which was a completely new location for the vast majority of their players.
In horrible, blustery conditions, with very strong gusts of wind, Kirk Hallam started the game well, with every player being given a specific task to do. Using pace to devastating effect, the boys were able to get behind the Ilkeston defence and create a good chance within the first couple of minutes. Ilkeston then managed to gain control of the ball for a ten minute period and could probably have snatched a goal. It was Kirk Hallam who broke the deadlock following some great defensive work, with the ball finding its way to Ben Morley who, on the halfway line threaded a delightful ball in between the centre half and full back for Harris Khan to race through and slot into the net, albeit with some help from a desperate defender. Minutes later, Ben hit the crossbar from around twenty yards after winning a free kick from a clumsy challenge from a defender who couldn't keep up with his quick feet. This proved to be just a sighter as Harris Khan then returned the favour for Ben to race through and make it 2-0 by slotting into the bottom corner to record his first goal of the season. Ilkeston then rallied briefly and it took some great work from Caleb Topley goal to keep his clean sheet intact. The defence of Liam Evans, Harley Rose and Owen Robinson stood firm performed brilliantly in reducing the number of shots on goal. The midfield engine room were given the task of keeping the two Ilkeston midfielders quiet and Richard Frost, Emin Alcin and Finley O'Neill did this fantastically well. The ball was again sent through for Ben Morley to run at the Ilkeston defence, who by now had put two players on him. He won another free kick and casually stepped up to stick the ball in the top right corner from twenty yards, with an arrogant French shrug the only celebration afterwards. Twenty minutes in saw the introduction of Joel Ogden, Finn Rydzyk and Lewis Smith for Harris Khan, Owen Robinson and Finley O'Neill, who fitted into the team seamlessly and allowed the boys to carry on as if nothing had changed.
The second half saw the home side kicking against the wind. The game plan changed and the players expected a lot of heavy pressure from the right of the pitch as the heavy gusts of wind was most definitely having an impact on play. Ilkeston started the half with an increased tempo and looked determined to get themselves back into the game. Having survived a good ten minutes of pressure, Lewis Smith, Liam Evans and Harley Rose again stood firm, with Liam sending some fantastic balls along the right wing for Finn Rydzyk to run onto and create mayhem. Richard Frost and Emin Alcin again rocks in the midfield, both defensively and attacking brilliantly. The change on 40 minutes saw Finlay O'Neill, Harris Khan and Owen Robinson replace Liam Evans, Richard Frost and Emin Alcin and go to a changed formation of 3-3-2. Kirk Hallam won a series of free kicks on the left hand side of the Ilkeston penalty area through the quick feet of Ben Morley and Harris Khan. The latter sending a ball into the Ilkeston box, which wasn't dealt with and Joel "the goal" Ogden made it 4-0 from a yard out. Ilkeston responded with a goal of their own minutes later. With 5 minutes left, Ben Morley was withdrawn from the action and Richard Frost was brought into a 4 man midfield, leaving Harris Khan up top on his own. A minute later, Joel Ogden twisted his knee and was replaced by Emin Alcin, who then played his part in a great bit of football with Harris Khan in the opposition box and for Harris to score his second of the game, third of the season to make it 5-1 to the hosts.
A fantastic performance and proof that when the chances started going in, things would improve. Having narrowly lost the earlier matches, where chances were abundantly created but either the post, crossbar, goalkeeper or narrow misses denied the boys over and over, a deserved win was just what the doctor ordered.
Well done boys