Shinfield U13’s 2 – Bracknell Town Pumas 1 – 08Mar14

With the sun trying to makes it’s debut today, the game started strong for Shinfield. With the early run of the play, Shinfield capitalised within 10 minutes when Luke drives close to the right post, taps it across the goal for a mini-skirmish, the ball finally rolling nicely for Tom who has a relatively easy tap in for near-zero range. Then a long spell of changing possession with little to show. A few semi-dangerous drives from Bracknell petered out early with good Shinfield defending and a couple of minor chances for Shinfield, the best when Aidan curls a long shot just past the top of the left hand post.

The lean spell was finally broken when Max sprinted down the left towards the touchline, and was dispossessed by the defender. Max was straight back at the defender, took the ball back off him, cut in across the goal and knocked a low, hard shot under the keeper from 20 yards. The remainder of the half was end-to end but very little danger on the goals except for a Bracknell break on the left – the attacker cut in and sliced a hard shot wide of the opposite post.

In the second half, Bracknell looked hungrier, clearly having had a strong pep-talk from their coach. More chances started to appear. A Luke long shot couldn’t be held by the keeper, the ball rolling loose towards Ellis, but he couldn’t quite reach it before the keeper gathered it up. Luis is now seeing more of the ball and has to come of his line a number of times to collect long through balls. Also a decent shot from Bracknell bring s a great save out of Luis on the line. A Bracknell shot whistles just wide of the left post. Bracknell are sensing a way back into this game and it becomes a lot more physical with both sides working hard to control the play.

Finally, the Bracknell pressure paid off with around 15 minutes left to play as the ball rattles around in the Shinfield 6-yard box and is stabbed home to give Bracknell a vital life-line.
As the clock ticks down, it became a very nervy final few minutes for Shinfield as Bracknell put on pressure for the equalising goal. But Shinfield hold their own to take the game 2-1 at the final whistle.

So, an inconsistent display from Shinfield today, often lobbing the ball straight back to the opposition without looking for the decent pass. But at other times showing some lovely passing and thinking about their play. Our defence held their line well catching the opposition offside on numerous occasions. All-in-all a good display and a fair, if nerve-racking, result on the day – well done boys.

Reported by Chris Starke