|Date||17 November 2018|
|Venue||Small Heath Leisure Centre|
|Result||D 0 - 0|
Yardley Badgers 0 v 0 Edgbaston Kestrels
As the score suggests, this was a very even contest. Yardley again fielded two adults, Anthony in goal and Jahed in defence. Edgbaston fielded no adults but generally had older, taller squad members.
Anthony in goal continually talked to his defence and midfield. He had saves to make throughout the game and every save was controlled so the visitors couldn't get rebounds or second chances.
Jahed played central defender alongside Jack and Edan. The solid back line came under pressure constantly in this "end to end" game of hockey. They defended with quality, like they have all season and pushed high when the opportunity presented itself. Their telling tackles at crucial times kept the team in this game.
Islam was playing the sweeper roll this week linking defence with midfield turning over possession and starting many attacks with runs from deep.
Aeysha, Zak and Barakah played across the middle of the pitch. Throughout the game the middle of the pitch was very congested. So congratulations to these three who all tried to dribble into space and make telling passes to the forward players.
As I said before, the visitors where much older, and bigger than the rest of the young Yardley squad.
Evie who played wide, made lots of space for herself and got plenty of chances in the "D" to score. Emily tackled the visitor’s defenders and midfielders continually winning possession for her team. Henry used his rugby knowledge effectively getting into great positions waiting for the passes, he also put the visitors under pressure when they were on the ball forcing errors. Vinnie played his first game on a full sized pitch and looked a natural in the wide position. The Yardley forwards of Samuel, Thomas and Dawood held their positions fantastically. For long periods the midfield congestion meant that our strikers had long spells without the ball but they continuously made runs, moved off their markers and stayed involved with the game, being a general nuisance to the visiting defence.
For the first ten minutes Yardley used the congestion in midfield to their advantage, making quick short passes throughout the whole team, cutting through the congestion.
It put the visitors on the back foot and boosted the home teams’ confidence. Unfortunately the chances at goal were wayward but our young strikers never gave up and kept trying to get a deserved goal throughout the game. The visitors eventually got their stability and the game became more even handed.
When off the ball every Yardley player worked hard to find space or win back possession. This work rate throughout the game was impressive against a very well drilled Edgbaston.
The most impressive moments during the whole game was Yardley's many sharp crisp passing and quick breakaway attacks on goal. The fluid movement from the players on and off the ball was instinctive, and they were just unfortunate not to get a deserved goal.
The whole team should be proud with their performance both as a collective and on an individual basis. A great result against one of the big clubs in the Midlands.