The U13s travelled to Newport Pagnell seeking their first win of 2018 after a challenging start to the year. The hosts had defeated Brackley in a tight fixture a fortnight ago in a 1-0 scoreline.
Brackley were challenged to work in two different formations during the game, one setup when they had possession of the ball and another when the opponents had control. This proved to benefit the young Saints as they raced into a controlling position.
Brackley Town U13s went into the game hoping to avenge the 3-0 defeat suffered in the return fixture at MK Wanderers. The squad was down to bare bones due to injury and illness, just 12 out of the usual 16 available.
The young Saints started the brightest and corner in the 4th minute of the game caused chaos in the Wanderers box, Mark Furness was the first to react to fire Brackley into the lead.
MK Wanderers finally got into the game and equalised in the 9th minute and then flipped the game on its head in the 11th minute and took the lead, and were fortunate to grab two more goals before the half time whistle after the ball was given away cheaply.
Brackley used the half time break to identify and resolve the problems posed by MK Wanderers and were able to grab their second goal of the match three minutes after the restart. Barney Timms provided another wonderful delivery which evaded everyone within the six yard box and landed perfectly for George Mullis to volley home at the back post.
Injuries struck Brackley - captain Joe Nugent came off at half with a knee problem and Nathanael Wakefield came off for the last fifteen minutes of the game after landed heavily following a crunching challenge, meaning the young Saints finished with ten men. MK Wanderers took advantage of this and were able to add three more goals to make it 8-2 to the visitors.
A brave effort from a side who had to adapt, some of the boys played in new positions - Mark Furness as a striker and Elliot Price as a defensive midfielder.
Next week, Brackley face a home fixture against Newport Pagnell Town.
Saturday 20th January 2018
This morning we welcomed Mickleover Sports Club to a rather cold, wet and soggy Hethe.
Before the match kicked off we all observed a minutes silence for Cyrille Regis MBE, who died suddenly this week.
From the whistle Mickleover applied some very early pressure trying to take control and within a few minutes got a shot off that hit Bens left post as we struggled to clear our lines.
Brackley created a good early chance as the tempo increased and we moved the ball quickly up the pitch but a good shot was slightly too high to trouble the keeper.
After 15 mins of play both teams settled down and matched each others tempo and ball retention, although Brackley were starting to look the better team.
A cracking shot on target from Luke draws an easy save from the Mickleover keeper resulting in a corner kick.
On 26 mins Brackley won a freekick just inside our own half. Lewis delivers the ball really well, Luke picks it up, rounds the keeper and scores from a very tight angle giving us a well earned lead.
Despite Brackley still looking the better side, Mickleover show some flashes of quality as they break easily from corners and create some good chances from counter attacks.
Throughout this period Lewis Haley is called on several times, putting in some excellent defensive tackles clearing away the danger.
So far this has been a really good match as both teams work hard to play some good football but neither keeper has had a lot to do.
First half ends.....
The second half begins and Brackley come out with a much improved tempo and reassert themselves quickly, starting to show the quality of passing and moving they are capable of.
Early in the second half a bit of quick thinking from Noah sees a kick from his hands land at Crawfords feet when almost through on goal is brought down to win a free kick 20 yards out and a yellow card for the defender.
Brackley continue to assert themselves early in the second half applying plenty of pressure and drawing plenty of fouls but with no end result.
Brackleys early dominance drops, we are still the better team but with no meaningful shots on goal to get us the second goal and give us a much needed buffer.
Finally, from the centre edge of their 18 yard box Luke drills the ball into the back of Mickleovers net after a great ball is delivered by Warren from the left and laid off perfectly by Sam Thompson.
Brackley 2 Mickleover 0
Mickleovers heads didn’t drop and got themselves back in the game quickly when a low goal kick from Noah is intercepted and played back towards our goal and a low shot comes off Noah’s leg and into the net.
Brackley 2 Mickleover 1
The work rate of both teams lifts as Mickleover now search for a goal to draw level and Brackley start to lose a little of their early composure.
We thought we’d got a much needed 3rd goal when Sam T delivered a perfect ball into the box with an excellent snap shot from Luke rifled the ball into the net, only to be judged offside.
Brackley did not give up and we attacked Mickleovers defence time after time which resulted in a well deserved goal for Warren who had to climb high to head the ball into the net after Sam Thompson won the ball on the outside of Mickleovers 18 yard box.
The match ended soon after with Brackley coming away with all 3 points.
This really was an exhausting match to watch, both teams battled extremely hard and the result was a real relief for Brackley as in the conditions tired legs started to show late on.
Brackley 3 Mickleover 1
The U13s travelled to top of the league Haddenham Youth, seeking to bounce back after a heavy defeat the previous week.
The hosts dominated the first 10 minutes of the game and bombarded the Brackley defence with corner after corner but failed to find the back of the net.
Brackley finally settled into the game and created some great opportunities for Kyle McKechnie to latch onto some through balls on a very boggy playing surface but the Haddenham stood firm.
The turning point of the game came in the 25th minute after the Haddenham striker ran past Sam Richards to beat Callum Ardron at his near post with a first time finish.
The second half produced few opportunities as the pitch proved to be a challenge for both sides. Brackley came close to an equaliser via some great cornee deliveries from Barney Timms but neither goalkeeper were tested up until the final couple of minutes.
Brackley won a free kick on the edge of the box in the last minute of the game, allowing all 22 players to enter the penalty area with the exception of Barney who delivered another superb ball into the box. Joe Nugent who had made the run at the back post managed to head the ball back into 6 yard box to cause a bit of panic in the area but the hosts held our to seal a 1-0 win.
A strong response from the young Saints after the 5-0 from the previous week and ever so unlucky to not steal a point. They now look to next weekend's home fixture against fourth place MK Wanderers.
Remember kids, trainers are not allowed on the pitch on match day.
We learnt that the hard way on Saturday, with most of the substitutes’ time spent swapping boots on the sidelines, and the depressing fact that a lot of the u11’s are only one shoe size smaller than their coach…
As for the match there was a remarkable improvement from our first match of the season, with a real end to end game going on, though much has to be said for our finishing currently. We lost out a few times on goal kicks but to be honest the fact that the boys kept trying it made me more proud than anything and I know that we’ll see the benefits of this even by the end of the season. Also stats wise was really good to see over 80 successful passes from the team, which again shows we’re on the right track. And to be honest that number is probably higher, this was our first week of using voice recorders to keep track of stats instead of looking up and down from bits of paper. Also the stats showed how well Richardson (9 successful tackles) and Powell (12 completed passes) played. So whilst a frustrating day, I think we’ve learnt a hell of a lot and there’s a lot of encouraging points to take away.
Brackley Towns Player Development Academy are currently holding open trials for all players from Under-7's to Under-18's.
We are looking to add players to all of our squads for this coming season and for season 2018-19.
These trials will be open for February 2018.
Brackley Town - 4
Moreton Rangers - 2
Brackley started the game off very slow and went 1.0 down early on from some poor marking at a corner,
That goal seemed to wake Brackley up and they started to get a good hold of the game some great football and slick passing led to a couple of quick goals, Ht 2.1 to Brackley
The second half started with Brackley coming out of the traps and scored 2 well taken goals
Moreton continued to play some great flowing football and Brackely had to dig deep,
After a great attacking move Moreton scored again to make it 4.2,
There was a couple of chances either end but the game finished 4.2 to Brackley
An excellent game of football with some great flowing football from both sides, credit to Moreton they continued to try and play until the very end of the game