U8 v TS Sports – 1 October 2011

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On a scorching October morning, MR lined up against TS Sports for their second league match. We started brightly, Cam bursting through the TS defence 3 times. But on each occasion he thumped his shot straight into the keeper.

After all the early promise, it was TS Sports who took the lead. Their corner taker delivered the ball like it came out of a mortar. A couple of early ones screamed across the face of our goal and no 6 year old in their right mind was going to put their head in the way. So he tried a different tack and launched it straight into the goal from the corner flag. 1 – 0 to TS Sports.

Straight from the kick off TS attacked again. A long-range shot came through a crowd of players and bobbled past Lukas to make it 2 – 0. But we didn’t give up. Ollie found some good positions to receive the ball and pass to start attacks and Charlie started to run the ball past TS Sports midfield giving Cam more support. We finally got our reward when Cam was able to steer the ball wide of the keeper to make it 2-1 and he followed this with a double sliding knee goal celebration.

In the blink of an eye we were level. Alex Fern did an impression of a tiny Ryan Giggs and tore up the left wing and coolly slotted the ball into the onion bag to make it 2-2.

We had now built up a head of steam. Fred wasn’t letting anyone past him and made some great headers to return their goalies long kicks. There was a real pantomime moment when TS Sports great big defender stood with the ball at his feet on the half way line looking for a pass. Cam came roaring up from his centre forward position “He’s behind you!” roared the TS manager “Oh no he isn’t” shouted the MR supporters at which point Cam nicked the ball off his toe and sped downfield to score (followed by classic Alan Shearer 1 arm raised celebration). Faith and Josh then joined the action. Josh immediately used his speed to race up-field and worry the TS defence and Marlborough got to the half time break with their 3 – 2 lead intact.

In the second half things got even better when Fred put the finishing touches to another MR attack. He was very calm, slotting the ball into the back of the net to make it 4 – 2.

But suddenly TS Sports came alive and started putting real pressure on us. Faith and Adam at the back had a lot of work to do (but at least it stopped them talking for a bit, at one stage we thought they were holding one of their school council meetings on the half way line 🙂 ). Adam weighed in with lots of crunching tackles and Faith made sure she always had a TS player well marked and cleared anything Adam missed. Lukas used all parts of his body to stop the ball today. He caught some, dropped to the ground to smother some and even sat on the ball once to prevent it going over the line. His party piece was tipping the ball around the post with his face. It looked painful but he didn’t seem to mind – all in a days work for a quality keeper!

Finally TS Sports did break through to make it 4 –3 and we desperately wanted to hang on for a win as the last 5 minutes approached. Relief came when Cam broke clear from the half way line. He hadn’t got the ball fully under control and the TS keeper raced out to divert Cam away. But when he gathered the ball, the keeper was out of position. He curled the ball inside the unguarded post to make it 5 – 3 (Chest out, eyes closed, both fists raised – another text book goal celebration).

When the ref blew the final whistle the expression on the team’s faces was priceless. Andy was so proud he was lost for words and could barely string a sentence together for the Sky Sports touchline reporter.

Final Score – Marlborough Rovers 5 TS Sports 3
Marlborough’s Man of the Match – Fred (worked his socks off from start to finish)

This week’s awesome match report was brought to you by Mark Swain – many thanks!

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No wonder the kids can’t spell!!

kids, school
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It brought home to me how little hope there is for the little ones in being literate and grammatically correct when I saw a spelling list provided by school – have a look and note the corrections provided by the teacher.

Toothbush for the cavemem?

Toothbush for the cavemem?

I also like the way that correctly spelled ‘spring’ has been marked as incorrect!!

U8 v Stretton Eagles – 24 September 2011

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U8 Yellows 2011/12

U8 Yellows 2011/12

This week also saw the first league run out for the newly formed under 8 team, who to their credit should actually be U7’s, but what’s a year between friends? After a mid week friendly against Albert Village, spirits were soaring after a 9-1 victory (played across 3 halves ….I’ve never quite got the hang of how many halves there are in a friendly match!), including a couple of cracking goals and a Wayne Rooney-esque style free kick from Fred Jackson, and a hattrick (or was it two?) for out and out striker Cameron Coe. How would they fare against the more established and slightly older league teams?

Stretton were out to dominate from the kick off and an early goal caught defenders Charlie Gallop and Adam Longstaff and keeper Lukas Adams by surprise – to be fair, the looping goal was top quality and given another 6 months of growth, Adams would most likely have got his hand to it. As one of the parents pointed out, the goals looked much bigger than those at the earlier U9 match on the other side of town, when actually, it’s just the players that are proportionately smaller!!

Midfielders Ollie Gilbert and Lochlan McNeil did their best to fend off the Eagles attackers, but there was a touch of David and Goliath about the match at times. Some good attacking play saw Cameron Coe and Fred Jackson with a couple of chances up front, but the Eagles defence were physical and tough, which was a new experience for our novice team. Substitutes Tristan Betts and Josh Bill brought new energy to the team, with Tristan making a couple of lightning runs up the right wing and Cameron narrowly missing across the face of the goal.

Stretton kept the pressure on and managed to score another goal by half time, having tested keeper Adams on many occasions and Adam ‘chopper’ Longstaff having taken a ball full in the face (his good looks were undamaged 😉 ).

In the second half, Alex Fern created some good attacking moves and continued pressure from the Yellows led to the Stretton keeper handling the ball outside of the area and a free kick in a dangerous place…….up stepped ‘Free kick Fred’ and…GOOOOOOOAAALLLLLLL! Well done to the youngsters for getting on the scoresheet. Celebrations were short lived however as Stretton capitalised on the height difference by knocking another few aerial goals in. So keen were the substitutes to get on to the pitch, that goal scorer Fred forgot he was taking a break on the sideline and forayed in to a tackle or two before being reminded that only 7 were allowed on the pitch at any one time (perhaps he’d picked this up from watching his brother earlier…see post below!)

It was nailbiting stuff to watch and led to quote of the match from a nervous mum on the sideline..’It’s bum clenching stuff!’

Final score was something in the region of 5-1 to the opposition, but the Yellows could hold their heads up high and take more experience in to the next match. It would appear that the U8 are subject to the non-competitive nonsense (no prizes for guessing my views on this) so the league table isn’t terribly informative but we’ll worry about that when we’ve won a few more matches. It won’t be long 🙂

U9 v TS Sports Villa – 24 September 2011

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The first of two match reports today and this weeks fixture against top of the table TS Sports Villa gave plenty to write about.

From the start, it was destined to be a tough match with the Blacks seeing a Jake Hayward shot rebound off the crossbar within minutes of the kick off, followed by a save off the line at the other end by staunch defender Thomas Doran. Veteran goalkeeper (well, it was his second match!) Jack Hadley showed his mid week training had been taken on board by making a couple of choice saves to keep the scoresheet blank.

Marlborough began to build the play with Reuben Betts, Jake Hayward and George Jackson linking well to put the Villa defence under continued pressure. Midfield magic from Blaine Hughes ensured Scott Dunnicliffe’s solid clearances were carried up front, and within minutes, Reuben Betts chipped the keeper to score his first for Marlborough – an early birthday present for his brother, Tristan who is 7 on Tuesday. Happy birthday Tristan! (sorry it wasn’t gift wrapped). Betts was predicted last week to have some goals in him so it was great to see this come true, but please don’t ask about lottery numbers 😉

From the restart, Villa were determined to show why they were top of the league to date, and almost immediately struck to equalise whilst the Blacks were still high on their opening goal and there was little the keeper could do about it. Hughes came off and Ronnie Colver came on, keen for the opportunity to get his first league goal (another prediction perhaps?), but it wasn’t to be today. Sports Villa had a shot off the post just before the end of the second half but as the whistle went, it was even-stevens for the break.

You’ll notice the second half report is considerably shorter and may contain some poetic license, as the reporter had to hightail it across town to report on this week’s other big fixture. The second half followed much the same as the first half, with the Blacks showing that they are becoming a force to be reckoned with, refusing to buckle under pressure. This proved to be even truer than we first thought, when the opposition managed to slot home what appeared to be the winner of the match. But wait……what’s this? HOW MANY players on the pitch?? It transpired that in their excitement, Sports Villa had made some substitutions, but omitted to substitute players off and vocal remonstrations (led by Angela Colver – Go Angela!) from the Marlborough supporters caused the referee to use the fingers AND thumbs on both hands to check the number of players on each team.

Rovers…..7, TS Sports Villa……9!!! NO GOAL :-0

It was difficult to settle after that and with Marlborough having a shot tipped over the bar, the match finished a 1-1 draw with Reuben Betts today’s Man of the Match for his first class strike. Well done Reuben and the rest of the team who continue to grow together. Special thanks also to the Dunnicliffe family for their generous donation of Marlborough scarves for the Blacks, leading to today’s quote of the day* from opposition supporters…’They even have team scarves!’

*One can only imagine some of the other quotes when the extra players were discovered on the pitch (but these would most likely have been unpublishable!)

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Zoz burger, anyone?

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So it’s that time of year. The birthday stretch begins with LB’s (little Betts) birthday in just over a week and this year he has opted for a laser quest party. Easy on the stress levels (one day when I have recovered, I’ll post about the parties I have organised in the past…), less easy on the bank balance.

Anyway, the pre-printed reply slips have been returned (long gone are the days when I spent hours handcrafting invitations) and LB was studying them to see who was having which hideously unhealthy food option. I became slightly puzzled when I overheard him muttering about another guest having a zoz burger.

‘What’s a zoz burger?’, I asked.

‘It says it here on the menu, Mum……but what IS a zoz burger?’

See for yourself. LOL!

20110919-090140.jpg

U9 v Rocester FC Blue – 17 September 2011

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A less than eagerly awaited fixture this week, after a recently friendly between the two teams resulted in a comprehensive win for Rocester (and Marlborough’s first ever goal with a great effort by Ronnie Colver). But as all good small print states, past performance is no indication of future performance, and it was clear that today this was truer than ever.

From the kick off, Marlborough were in control of the match with Captain, George Jackson narrowly missing several times in quick succession. Today, George’s younger brother Fred was 7 and so George’s mission was a goal for his brother. Happy birthday Fred! with a cracking shot from George easily beating the Rocester keeper. 1-0 and for the first time ever, Marlborough were leading a match.

Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!

Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!


Coach Paul Hughes settled the players and called for continued concentration – he wasn’t to be disappointed. Jake Hayward, recovering from an injury earlier in the week, showed he was back to full fitness, linking up with George Jackson to power home a second goal. 2-0 to the Blacks!

Manager Ryan Woolger used his substitutions tactically today and Blaine Hughes came on for Ronnie Colver at the restart. Attacking from the off, Jackson picked up the ball and made a solo run up the pitch, finishing in style to see Marlborough 3-0 ahead. It began to feel like there might be a hattrick in this match….and unlike pre-season friendlies, at the right end!

Meanwhile back in the Black’s defence, the rock solid partnership of Scott Dunnicliffe and the versatile Tom Doran (one of last week’s scorers) was impenetrable and Jack Hadley, on his first time in the keepers shirt, didn’t touch the ball. On the rare occasion when the opposition broke into our half, Doran would be there to clear in a convincing fashion, with Dunnicliffe in support. Midfield tackles by Reuben Betts ensured that Rocester weren’t allowed to settle into their stride and quality passes upfield allowed Marlborough to continue to press.

Still in the first half, a shot into the side netting narrowly denied Jackson from every footballers dream, but not for long. Picking up a through ball from midfield, Jackson had the Rocester defence well beaten, to bring the score to 4-0, finishing in style to claim the team’s first hattrick. One gets the feeling it won’t be the last! Colver came back on to relieve Betts for the remainder of the half, but team flow was not interrupted as Colver continued where Betts left off.

With Hayward worrying the Rocester left wing, his service into the box was impeccable and Jackson capitalised to bring the half time score to 5-0. Unbelieveable! But matches aren’t won after 20 minutes.

Rocester weren’t going to go down without a fight. From the start of the second half, it was clear that they wanted to get on the scoresheet but staunch defender Doran remained cool, calm and capable, getting the ball away time and time again. This week’s rookie goalie, Jack Hadley was called upon in the second half and took command of his defence, organising them to ensure close man marking, but was powerless to stop a Rocester shot as it bobbled under his body and into the back of the net. No clean sheet for Marlborough today, but Hadley was undeterred.

It didn’t all go Rocester’s way, with Jackson and Hayward continuing to break through at every opportunity and further shots on target from them both with Hayward coming closest to scoring again. Another substitution and Betts came on to relieve Jackson and came close on several occasions, with one shot off the post and another narrowly missing. There’s a goal in this Betts boy yet, just not today, though not for want of trying with a couple of searching runs deep into the Rocester defence. Another substitution and Hayward took a well earned breather whilst Jackson came back on to see if he could notch up a couple more. Blaine Hughes made a couple of key clearances down the right under relentless pressure from Rocester before coming off to allow Hayward back on.

Jackson saw his stunning shot fly just over the bar within the final moments, and the match finished 5-1 to Marlborough. Watched in the second half by the man who started it all, soccer school boss Ade Whitehouse, the team did him proud today and it’s payback for all of the effort he put into getting things up and running for the team. Today’s Man of the Match goes to Tom Doran for defensive services, without whom the scoreline would undoubtedly have been very different. Well done Tom and also to Manager Ryan Woolger and Coach Paul Hughes, for working the individuals into a real team. Hughes also provides the quote of the day when a little too much kit adjustment was occurring – ‘It’s not a fashion show. Get on with it!’

League table snapshot at 17 September, with Marlborough on top.

League table snapshot at 17 September, with Marlborough on top.

U9 v Chellaston Boys FC Red Sox 10 September 2011

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So here it is. The first match of the season – in fact the first league match ever for the Blacks.

A nervous start for the Blacks saw an easy goal beating Tom Doran in his goalkeeping debut. 1-0 down within 5 minutes. This seemed to be all too familiar, but wait…..what’s that…..possession changed back to the Blacks and a run out for substitute Reuben Betts for Blaine Hughes saw some good chances for Marlborough in the first half with Ronnie Colver, Reuben Betts and George Jackson all coming close to being the first on the scoresheet. However, this position was soon taken deservedly by Jake Hayward with a well fought goal midway through the first half. Some staunch defending from the Scott Dunnicliffe and Jack Hadley partnership saw things pretty even for the remainder of the half, with a lapse of concentration allowing the Red Sox to pull ahead by the half time whistle.

The second half saw a few tactical changes in the line up, with Scott Dunnicliffe taking the no. 1 shirt for the first time, allowing Tom Doran to move up the field. With Reuben Betts and Ronnie Colver getting some rare defensive play, an early opportunity arose for Tom Doran to slip in the Blacks’ second goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal! Playing in to the wind proved to be a challenge for Marlborough and play concentrated around the middle of the pitch, with Blaine Hughes running the left wing and captain George Jackson running, well pretty much anywhere and everywhere!

Chellaston continued to press and Scott Dunnicliffe earned plenty of goal kick practice on his goal keeping debut, demonstrating that, despite the head wind, perhaps there’s a parallel career in rugby for him! Johnny Wilkinson should watch out….. however despite the good, penetrating kicks, Marlborough were unable to capitalise and a substitution made whilst defending a corner proved to be a costly one, with Jack Hadley’s return to the pitch unable to deny Chellaston the lead once more. At 3-2, the final whistle could not be far away. A long shot from the opposition saw Scott Dunnicliffe come out of the area to retrieve the ball. Unfortunately this time a rare error of judgement led to a free kick for Chellaston just outside the area. With the wind in their favour and a well struck shot, Dunnicliffe stood no chance (to be fair, most Premiership keepers would have been unable to save that!) and the final whistle settled the match at 4-2 to Chellaston. Congratulations to our inaugural Man of the Match, George Jackson. I’m not sure we can stretch to champagne, but a Fruit Shoot has your name on it George 🙂

Marlborough could hold their heads up high, having played well in their first league game and showing great promise for the rest of the season. Today’s quote of the day from the sideline – ‘Find yourself a man!’ – I’m not sure we’ll be encouraging them to do that anywhere other than on the pitch 😉

Marlborough Rovers Black U9 2011/12

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Marlborough Black U9 2011/12

Marlborough Black U9 2011/12

Black and yellow, black and yellow….

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No, not the lyrics to a top 40 hit. A new purpose for the site. The boys are growing up rapidly and have both recently ‘signed’ for a local club. Don’t be fooled by the ‘signed’ status – it just means I’ve had to fork out a few quid for the privilege of them training and playing league football every week!

So, the club plays in black and yellow and having watched the first match of the U9 season today, I figured this might be a good time to dust off the old blog and give anyone who is interested a chance to see how well the budding Messi’s of this world have done (or were they just plain old messy?).

I’ll still post the odd creative idea here and there but will do my best to post regular match reports for the black and yellows…perhaps I’ll sponsor them next year. “Fizzybee’s black and yellows”. Has a good ring to it, don’t you think?

Modelling the 2011/12 season kit

Modelling the 2011/12 season kit

Tulasi 1 pc

Back to school before they’ve even broken up

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Any parent of school age children knows that before they have even broken up, the shops are ramming ‘Back to School’ stuff down our throats – a bit like being able to buy Cadbury’s Creme Eggs once the Christmas cards have been removed from the shelves.

If you’ve done this before, you’ll know all the tips and tricks, but if you will be drying your eyes for the first time come September when your little one suddenly seems to have aged several years, then here are some things you will need to know:-

  • Don’t leave it till the end of the summer hols to buy uniform because you think they will have grown out of it!
  • Buy it now when the shops have all the offers on and you can get what you want
  • Don’t buy it too big with ‘room for growth’ – particularly if you have boys
  • Buy the size they need now and the next size (or two) up – they will have worn holes in it long before it actually fits them if it’s too big to start with
  • Make sure you have some bigger sized uniform as it’s very difficult to get hold of (and much more expensive) mid school year if you didn’t plan ahead at the start
  • Forget expensive name tapes – buy some Sharpies and write their name in EVERYTHING!
  • Make shoes the last thing you buy, but don’t leave it too late or there will be no choice (mind you, that’s not always a bad thing!)

Oh and if you’re that way inclined, don’t forget the tissues in September!

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