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Wyrley Meerkats U12’s 1 v Burntwood Phoenix U12’s 0

Friday night, the eve of the match and my stomach was doing somersaults! After a good clear out I managed to compose myself ! Morning of the match, no time for romance, it was on with the tracksuit and boots as I hot footed it to Long Lane.  The pitch looked amazing, not dissimilar to the carpet like surface of Villa Park, that promotes beautiful football.  A bit of a panic assembling the goals, barriers etc but thanks to the Meerkats Dads we got it sorted.  Our favourite ref (Jeff Sutton Lookalike) turned up and congratulated me on a beautiful pitch to which I replied, I do my best! In the distance we could see the enemy arriving, the majority of which we recognise from being previously associated with the Puma’s.  We readied the Meerkats and gave a rousing speech based around that their destiny is in their own hands, and don’t come away from the game wishing you gave more – I told them to leave everything on the pitch!  The girls were psyched, foaming at the mouth and ready for war! From the minute the whistle blew the Meerkats gave everything, they battled hard and worked for each other. The Rock Steady Crew of Parker, Clay and Sturch supported by Lee between the sticks were proving their worth as they quelled the attacks by the Phoenix.  Skye Lee was acting as a sweeper and was using her pace to get off her line to boot the ball clear whenever required.  The Phoenix were well versed on reading the offensive line to ensure they remained onside, and were using this to their advantage. Through balls were sent in the event of splitting the Meerkat defence and for their onrushing speedy attackers to try and form an assault.  The Meerkats were wining the battle in the middle of the park with Erin ‘The General’ enforcing the area and providing some fierce tackling.  Mya ‘The Magician’ and Eloise ‘The Engine’ were trying to conjure up the interplay to set Katie ‘Peggy’ Mitchell free, but she was closely marshalled by the Phoenix defence. 15 minutes in and the gaffer introduces Chloe ‘Sonic’ Venables to try and upset the Phoenix with her exhilarating pace and bullish workmanship. Sonic was interacting with Melissa ‘Mini’ Cooper on the right wing and creating countless assaults on the Burntwood defence. Sonic’s pace was causing havoc in the defence she’s so fast ‘She’s like the wind’, peppering them at every opportunity. Phoenix were delivering some quality corners into the Meerkat area which the Rock Steady Crew were dealing with as a collective. Mya’s footwork was like ‘a kind of magic’ that had the Phoenix defence mesmerised as she rounded them and squirted the ball through to Eloise to fire wide.  The midfield were working hard to break ‘through the barricades’ but the attempts on goal were wide of the mark. When 2 tribes go to war, a point is all that you can score and as the whistle blew for half time this was looking the likely result.  The gaffer congregated the girls and said ‘don’t stop believing’  and spoke to the flair players and said ‘express yourself’.  The girls were Boyed by the first half gutsy performance and took greater desire knowing Molly had turned up to cheer them on, along with her plaster cast!  The General gave her battle cry to whip the Meerkats and supporters up into a frenzy!

The game restarted and the pace was relentless with both teams having equal amounts of possession.  The General began to sink deeper into defence with an attitude of ‘take on me’ knowing her lieutenants behind had her back! As acting linesman I was having kittens, not being able to enjoy or coach the girls as I normally do.  With this my hair was fast nearing a ‘fade to grey’ and my anxiety only increasing through the duration.  The mood was lifted when Eloise picked up the ball and played a precision through ball that Chloe skinned the Phoenix defence and blasted the ball into the back of the net.  Pandemonium ensued with the players, parents and chairman celebrating with gusto accompanied with a cacophony of noise that visibly affected Burntwood.  The Meerkats were ‘Livin on a prayer’ 1-0 up and 15 minutes of play left, ‘wouldn’t it be good’ if we held out for a win!!  The pace was taking its toll on the girls as Erin was showing signs of fatigue, the girls were going to have to dig deeper.  Respite came from the distance gained by Abbie ‘Delap’ Clays throws, as her throws are as good if not sometimes better than a cross. Ellie ‘The Enforcer’ Parker was providing an outlet on the left wing after an injury to Mya caused for a reshuffle.  Ellie’s tenacity is something to be proud of as she is a girl that’s ‘never gonna give you up’.  The tackles were tough as the instructions to the Meerkats was ‘you gotta fight for your right’ and the Phoenix were left reeling from a few, causing for tactical substitutions.  As time went on the thought that ‘Nothing gonna stop us now’ knowing that the Rock Steady Crew now with a guest appearance from Sophie Marlow were working well.  However, the anxiety emitting from the parents was obvious on the other side of the pitch, either that or Mr Marlow had eaten a nasty curry.

 

The referee blew the final whistle to a barrage of applause for both teams.  A hard fought battle but ultimately won by the superior team.

We’ll dedicate this win to Wyrley Pumas for reasons that we are all aware of!!

 

Thanks to parents for the extra efforts this week! Especially Michelle Clay for picking Chloe up.

Many hands makes lighter work!!

 

For being a ball of energy and her dogged persistence, the Man of the Match was awarded to Melissa ‘Mini’ Cooper – well done Mel

For a Captains performance based on no guts = no glory Erin Waddilove took home the parent player plaudits.  Well done Erin, you always lead by example.

 

I’m doing my Futsal coaching badge this Tuesday so Dave will be training the girls.  Girls, please pay attention and behave as there a few things that we need to review in time for next weeks return fixture against Burntwood.

 

Performance made me proud and made my weekend!!

 

“simples”

2 comments for this article:
  1. avatar
    chrisnicholls

    Fantastic result for the black and white army! Same again next week girls, you can win the league!!

  2. avatar
    daveyoud

    Well done Meerkats a great performance from players, parents, coaches – a real team effort!
    Loads of games to play, keep up the good work

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