Velasco's Football Focus
Congratulations to the U10 team who won the annual Alleyn’s School 7 a side football tournament held on Thursday 31st January.
Under a steel grey cloud and on heavy, boggy pitches it soon became apparent that success on this day was to be built on desire and grit as much as neat, precise football. This was confirmed in the first match where opponents, Finton House, a similar sized Prep school based in Wandsworth relied on their physical attributes and the conditions to steer a victory. An abundance of possession finally resulted in a long range thunderbolt from Reggie Watson which gave St. Christopher’s victory and a well-deserved 1-0 victory.
Game 2 matched the U10s against Honeywell School, a large state school in the heart of Clapham. The opposition had won the tournament in the previous year and were hungry for more success! A 0-0 draw seemed the likely outcome until 30 seconds from time, when Jo Picardo rifled home a ‘scorcher’ to secure victory and a guaranteed place in the semi final.
The third game versus Heath House from Blackheath proved to be an opportunity to re-arrange the team positionally resulting in goalkeeper come centre forward Hector Rose scoring the conclusive fourth goal in a one-sided 4-0 win.
Finishing top of the group had the advantage of the U10s playing the runners up in the parallel group and supposedly a weaker opponent. Blackheath Prep, however, had good pedigree having dispatched Eltham 3-0 and drawing with Alleyn’s, the group winners in previous matches. The boys braced themselves for the onslaught which, once quelled, resulted in total dominance and a well deserved 3-1 victory including a fantastic team effort volleyed home by Nathaniel Sawyer.
Next, the final, versus hosts Alleyn’s. Following a nervous start, St. Christopher’s lost their ‘shape’ for a split second allowing the opposition to score a ‘soft ‘goal. Good fortune was on our side when a near miss in similar fashion at last sparked the boys into life!
With the clock running down and defeat looming, it was time for risk taking! Reggie was relieved of his defensive duties and pushed up front to partner George Webb while Edward Thomas, outstanding all day in the centre of mid field, was given a free role and encouraged to press high up in the pitch. From an ensuing corner, Eddie propelled himself to header the equalizer. A minute later following a surging run, he smashed home the winner from 20 metres. 2-1 to St. Christopher’s and the cup comes home to Beckenham!!
Well done to all the boys: Hector Rose, Tom Gibbs (Ct), Reggie Watson, Nathaniel Sawyer, Edward Thomas, Joseph Picardo and George Webb. Thank you to Mrs Webb and Mrs Gibbs for their support and, of course, the “Yum Yums”.