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Hall of Fame: Happy managers and coaches after another successful weekend for Maidenhead United Juniors

Neil Maskell

Maidenhead United Juniors u16s beat Coley Park 3-2 this weekend

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There were some very happy managers and coaches of Maidenhead United Junior sides after another successful weekend of matches.

This week’s Hall of Fame looks back at the best of the action from all age groups.

The u7sBlacks faced the Whitgrove & Wargrave Falcons. Blacks got off to a strong start with an early goal in the first quarter. Half time saw things move to an equal footing with both teams on the score sheet. In the second half the Blacks started to tire and a couple of chances were spurned. Manager Georgina was upbeat about the team’s performance: “the boys showed some great quality play especially in the first half, using the space better and thinking about safe passing under pressure - every day is a school day!

The u7s Colts played away against Langley FC Youth and enjoyed a very even game. Player of the match (POTM) went to Yoan who showed some great skills and scored a fantastic goal.

The u8s Juniors had a good day against a well organised Burnham Juniors Yellows. The Juniors showed great energy and focus to keep going in every quarter with the POTM going to Patrick who made excellent saves in the first half and scored 4 goals in the second. Manager Eduardo was very pleased: “special praise to Hayden who played an excellent first half continuing learning and developing every week, very impressed. Today all boys were very willing to try new things during the match which was great to see. We are very proud boys, keep it up!”

The u8s Braves played 4Your Future and came away with a very satisfying outcome. Coach Phil was thrilled: “they showed a lot of desire and worked hard for each other. POTM went to team Captain Ben, who epitomised the team with a great work ethic covering every blade of grass to help his team mates. Well done Braves!”

The u8s Blacks returned to action after 2 weeks of cancellations to host AFC Charvil in the Cup. Blacks started brightly and made a couple of early chances, one of which was well finished by Luke. Blacks were well on top in the first quarter and Hayden added a further goal before the break. Goals from Jude and Ciara in the 2nd quarter and some fine goalkeeping from Noah saw Blacks in the ascendancy at half time. There were further goals from Jude, Ciara and a fully deserved strike from Lachlan which delighted Blacks manager Tony: “ Some excellent assists from Alistair and great runs from Lachlan caused the opposition problems all day. POTM this week goes to Ciara who worked hard all game, scored 2 and was inches away from a hat trick when she hit the bar. Another all round solid performance with the children really trying to play football and bring what we’ve worked on in training into the games.”

Coach Byron was super proud of the U8s Whites: “They have been working hard in training on learning to hold their shape and today that hard work really paid off. We had a Cup game against Ascot United Raiders who play in Section A, 2 divisions above us. Ascot got off to an early lead but the performance from the boys in the 1st quarter was faultless. They held their shape and moved the ball around beautifully. In the second quarter Finley came on temporarily for an injured Henry. Finley went on to win, then convert a penalty. Quickly after the restart he intercepted the ball and stuck it in to the top corner. In the 3rd quarter Bradley made a fantastic one on one save and Finley converted his second penalty, scoring his fourth hat-trick of the season. In the final quarter Ascot put the boys under pressure but coolly finished penalty from Joe complete the scoring. There was strong defending and great passing today from Henry, Fahad, Dougie and Jude. It was one of the best team performances of the season so all the boys won POTM and eagerly await the treat we have promised next week at training!”

The u9s Colts were away to Chalfont Saints Hornets playing uphill and against the wind in the first half. Manager Matt summarised the game: “The players themselves identified changes to make at half time with a switch in formation producing more purpose to our attacks. However the team just ran out of energy second half to compete. Good effort all round but POTM went to Ethan for physically competing all over the pitch against a much bigger opposition.”

The u9s Diamonds finished their half-season with a strong performance in Cup tie with Berks Elite. Coach Tom gave a glowing ‘half term’ report: “The way the kids are developing as a team has been a pleasure to see and we look forward to having a bit more of a challenge in the new year. It was difficult to pick one player out today as they are playing as such a solid unit but Aiden deserves a special mention today for his energy, drive and relentless running to chase every ball for every minute he was on the pitch.”

The u11s Stripes welcomed Aylesbury United to Summerleaze. The opposition manager stated Stripes were the best footballing side they had come across this season. Stripes showed class and quality at the top of this age group with their link up play through the thirds which at times was superb and they scored remarkable goals through Barney and Tao; 2 previously predominant left footed players, both scoring with precision with and power with their right foot. POTM was Arhaan Sharma with another standout display of athleticism, power and composure.

The u11s Cobras came up against the Bullets Greens. Cobras manager Karen was pleased with the team: “Cyrus was amazing in adapting from defence to attack and received POTM .Dexter scored another great goal today. Adam fought hard up front and his goal is just a touch away. A lot learned from playing up against one of our fellow teams today. Really proud how both teams congratulated each other at the end and how Mike congratulated me when we got a goal! Mike of the Bullets Greens was equally effusive: “It was a super game played in a great spirit. POTM went to Pablo for his solo strike and disciplined defensive performance in the second half.”

There was a positive outcome for the Jets against Aylesbury Whites. An early goal from Katie, bursting into the box and finishing powerfully past the keeper, set Jets on their way. Aylesbury were full of energy and direct running which kept Jets focussed until the final whistle. POTM went to Jimi in helping to marshal the defence and create counter attacks.

Meanwhile it was 2nd vs 3rd when U12 Blacks came up against Westbyfleet Scorpions. Manager Craig reflected after the game: “In a very competitive game the players continue to show their resilience, going 1 down early in the half before before turning it around before half time. We dominated all areas of the pitch in the 2nd half, with the players choosing their own team challenges and completing 2 of the 3. We are still a defensive work in progress but we are exhilarating at times going forward. 2 POTM today - Krish for great tackling at Full Back and Adam for his creativity in the middle of the park.”

The u13s Blades rekindled their team spirit and played some really effective football, leading to a well deserved win for The Blades at FC Cippenham. The first half, in particular, saw the Blades confidently pass the ball, with passages of play effectively starting out from the back and taken through the phases. There were two goals from Charlie and Reuben, with POTM awarded to Left Back Archie who did a sterling job in orchestrating moves going forwards from the back.

The u13s Diamonds played against a strong and developed Caversham team. Coach Simon was pleased: “Real progress by the boys with their tactics and quality. POTM for the Diamonds was Nicolai and Connor. Dogged defending keeping their influential super striker relatively quiet. We had a game plan!”

There was a good 4-2 win for the U14 Vipers against Tring Tornadoes. Vipers played some great football in the first half especially with all 4 goals down to great team play and finishes. A goal each from Thomas, Dan, Bobby and Charlie saw Vipers deservedly go in 4-1 up at half time. Vipers perhaps switched off a bit in the 2nd half and the blustery conditions didn't help but they comfortable for most of the game and never really looked like losing the lead. POTM was Jamie Shepherd for a great display and work ethic.

The u14s picked up another 3 points with a 4-2 win over Pinewood Panthers. 2 goals for Rajan and strikes from Morgan and Samuel secured the victory which was never in doubt as the team dominated from start to finish.

The Mighty Colts recorded a 3-1 win against Rotherfield Jets FC. Manager Gaz provided the detail to us: “This was a good test of character for The Colts. Rotherfield took an early lead direct from an in-swinging corner but the Colts are confident of their abilities and know how to score goals, it was not long before we equalised through our engine midfielder Callum who turned two players and lobbed their keeper from 20 yards out and into the top corner then a corner from Henry on the left hand side found captain Patrick who rose the highest to head the ball past the advancing keeper. A well worked training ground routine practice from last Wednesday! Some scrappy play on a tough pitch before a ball through the Rotherfield midfield found Patrick who raced on and slotted the ball past the keeper. On another day - and another pitch – we would have played better football, but massive credit to this team as they held firm to give them nine wins out of nine, scoring a huge 53 goals and are nine points clear at the top of the table leading into 2020! What more can I say about this team, a football manager’s dream of a team that are not only nice lads but players who know how to win games with maturity and respect for others.”

The u15s Panthers were at home to Knaphill and they enjoyed another great result, winning 6-0. Manager David was delighted: “It was fantastic to see everyone playing to a high standard with some great passing play all over the pitch, every player was confident on the ball. Movement off the ball was also fantastic. It was a joy to watch. Captain was Christiano. Player of the match went to Rhys who combined every element of play mentioned earlier. Well played all.”

The u16s Girls lost 3-0 in a tough game. The Girls played well in phases but lapses in concentration cost them. Despite that, the Girls created chances to try and get back into the game but the opposition keeper did well to prevent them from conceding. Coach Ben was bullish: “We will take the positives and negatives and build and learn from them going into the new year.”

Meanwhile the u16s were on top form, playing a very good Coley Park team and coming out with a fantastic 3-2 win in a thrilling game.

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