Another excellent team performance by our Oakfield, Year 6 footballers!
On February 12th 2019 we travelled to Strode college for a third set of fixtures this term – this time for the annual county futsal competition, which proved to be an enthralling afternoon of indoor football.
Our first match saw us to a well-earned draw against a strong Elmhurst side who took the lead not once, not twice, but 3 times during the game! This was despite some superb goalkeeping by James , who thwarted several great efforts from the Elmhurst strikers, alongside some outstanding defending by Leon and Ryan – both of whom made important interceptions and blocks throughout the first half.
We took the lead through Harry within 5 minutes of kick-off after three or four swift passes through the centre, finishing casually into the bottom corner. 1 – 0. Hugo looked to double our lead, but was denied only by the post and then the outstretched leg of an Elmhurst defender. Hugo had two or three more chances to make the score 2 – 0, as did Harry, yet the Elmhurst goalie was equal to them on all occasions. Elmhurst, after absorbing heaps of early Oakfield attacking pressure, soon settled into the game and struck back to make the score 1-a-piece. Then, perhaps through shock more than anything, we conceded a quick, second goal to put us 2 -1 behind.
Trailing at half-time, substitutes Gabe and Lucy came on to strengthen the team at the start of the second half. Gabe offered us some seriously disciplined defending, which allowed Harry and Lucy to work well together to get us back in the game. Soon after the substitutions a second Harry goal (from an impossibly tight angle) brought us level to 2 – 2, one which Elmhurst rapidly responded to to make it 2 – 3 in their favour. Then, a fantastic spell of possession and passing by the entire Oakfield team created a chance for Lucy who fired a wonder goal past the Elmhurst keeper and into the top corner to draw us level yet again, now making the score 3 – 3. Thea overcame some pre-match nerves to prove why she was selected to represent her school by running onto the pitch and making three game-changing blocks in defence; without these Oakfield would surely have lost the game. More attacking pressure was soaked up by Elmhurst throughout the second half and with 5 minutes to go they took the lead for a final time. With the score now at 4 – 3 our team showed tremendous spirit, and most importantly, a level of resilience and determination that they should all be enormously proud of, to then persevere and fight for one last effort on the opposing goal. Harry received a pinpoint pass from Lucy, splitting two defenders in the process, he faked a shot, got round his marker and tucked the equalising goal into the net with only seconds remaining on the clock. The final whistle sounded with a jubilant cheer from our bench, which might otherwise have suggested a victory for our school.
The final result; Oakfield 4 – Elmhurst 4.
Match 2. Oakfield vs Catcott.
A change to the starting line up saw Ryan take possession of the goalie gloves – and boy did he need them! Four or five exceptional saves within the first 5 minutes kept Oakfield in the competition. But Ryan was not the only goalkeeper having to show their agility and skill – the Catcott keeper denied Hugo three times in quick succession early on, much to Hugo’s own frustration. But again, that very same level of perseverance (the one mustered from the first game) fell favourably over our striker who worked extremely hard to fashion a fourth opportunity with a confident solo run from the half-way line, skipping past one, two, three Catcott players, into the area and sweeping the ball under their goalie for a deserved lead. 1 – 0. Max and Jack pulled up their socks during the celebrations and joined the game midway through the first half with just as much intensity as if they’d started the match. Max offered some intuitive defending, sweeping up anything that Jack missed – and Jack repaid him the favour numerous times, both working hard for each other. Unfortunately, for all their heroic efforts, we conceded as Catcott took advantage of an error and equalized ruthlessly close to the half-time interval. 1 – 1. Both teams were passing the ball with confidence and it was Oakfield’s Lucy who led by example throughout much of the first half, linking well with Hugo and Jack to create chance after chance. Neither team, despite their best efforts, could break through the defences of the other to take a lead before the half-time whistle.
A change at half-time saw Harry swap back in for Lucy and he was almost immediately rewarded with a goal after he and Hugo pressed high to win back the ball in the opponents half; a great save denied him and a terrific block stopped his rebounded effort. Catcott tested our defence with a particularly impressive set of passes and a shot from range was parried superbly by Ryan only to fall into the path of Catcott’s second striker who tapped in easily. 1 – 2. Backs against the wall, Oakfield’s players summoned one final ounce of strength to fend off a sense of defeat and Harry, once again, showed a moment of individual brilliance to break through their line of defence and stylishly lift the ball over a rushing goalie, lobbing him with pinpoint accuracy, the ball landing on the goal-line and bouncing into an empty net. 2 – 2! Cheers from the Oakfield bench gave the team the push they needed to press on and Ryan made a desperate goal-line save straight from the kick-off, which was quickly released to Jack in the centre who played in Hugo on the right, who played in Harry on the left, allowing him to curl the ball past Catcott’s goalkeeper to score his fifth goal of the tournament and the match-winning goal!! 3 – 2. A tense final minute of solid defending from all players and a long-range effort from Jack that skimmed the Catcott far post and whistled out of play sealed Oakfield the victory giving us a 4-point total.
Oakfield 4 points and 7 goals
Elmhurst 2 points and 7 goals
Catcott 2 points 6 goals
Oakfield through to regional championships!
Everyone who represented Oakfield today did so with maturity, respect and a great sense of fair play that we should all be proud of. Well done to everyone who played their part, no matter how big or small! And many thanks to Mr Uren for supporting the team and his encouragement.