Warriors fielded a full squad today at a new venue, Grace Academy Darlaston. We played two games which tested the team’s ability at a higher level.

Right from the kick off it was obvious this was golng to be a hard first game when Cresswell Panthers scored almost immediately after the kick off. Our boys had a go though, Isaac stormed down the wing, crossed the ball but missed the target. Then he hit the net from a corner. Sam had the opportunity to score a header but just missed.

Cresswell’s next attack struck the post and they made no mistakes with the rebound and scored their second. This was followed up with a third from a corner. Harry had the best chance in this half but was off target.

In the second half Hayden was able to break away from Cresswell’s defence showing that there were gaps there but when play switched ends another rebound gave the opposition a fourth goal. There seemed to be a chance for Warriors to make up some ground when Jack made a great pass to Hayden but he was off target.

Our defenders managed to slow the pressure down, Hayden cleared the ball away and Alfie stopped the next attack progressing. Two more Cresswell attempts on goal failed when a free kick produced nothing and Cole saved a corner kick. Alfie then made more good clearances. Unfortunately, when Jack was awarded a free kick the ball went over the bar.

Cresswell’s last goal reveals the weakness that led to ┬áthis defeat. Cresswell’s number eleven is a very able player and was given loads of space. Once Warriors were aware of him they needed to mark him closely and close him down. Without this player Cresswell would have been a different team.

A final effort by Warriors floundered when Lewis received a knock in the dying seconds of the game.

In our second game against Tipton Youth, we had a more even match but it was still hard going. At first Warriors put pressure on Tipton. Wyrley were awarded a corner and then Cole’s free kick nearly went into goal. However, many times in this match play switched rapidly from end to end and Warriors had some lucky escapes. Hayden stopped one break away and Isaac another and Sam had to make save after save.

Another attack by Warriors saw Hayden pass well to Isaac who was able to have a go at goal. Hayden broke away soon after but was stopped by the goalkeeper. Up to this point, the match was fairly even but then Tipton were awarded a free kick and made sure it counted with a powerful long ball into the back of the net.

The to-ing and fro-ing continued with a good break from Cole and Isaac and a good clearance by Isaac and another by Carter.

In the second half, Warriors had a lucky escape as the ball rolled past the goal mouth. Sadly however, Wyrley were now allowing Tipton too much space although Alfie did manage to kick the ball out of play to save Warriors on one occasion. Isaac meanwhile, was able to show that at times, Tipton’s defence wasn’t perfect by making a long run but he was unable to score today. However, inevitably, allowing Tipton too much room to manoeuvre led to a second goal. Fortunately, face was saved when Warrior pressure allowed them to pull one back when Harry scored.

Lee commented that today’s games had been tough and had been especially pleased with Sam’s goalkeeping and gave Harry man of the match for scoring Warriors ‘ consolation goal.

Rob Smith

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