Academy Football Match
St. John’s vs. Tonypandy
Tonypandy travelled to Aberdare to play the boys from St. John’s Baptist school, travelling away is always nerve wracking but the squad looked willing to provide the opposition with a fierce battle.
On a freezing evening in Aberdare the match kicked off and St. John’s were piling on the pressure from the second the whistle blew, Tonypandy’s men at the back were trying their best to stay organised, as a ball is played in to the St. John’s striker, Curtis Davies tries to block the player thinking that goalkeeper Luke Nicholls would come out and collect the ball, this lack of communication leaves Luke Nicholls in no man’s land and the ball is lobbed over him and into the Tonypandy net to make it 1-0 to St. John’s. The pressure didn’t ease off and the defence of Sion Richards, Kailaum Lewis, Curtis Davies and Callum Thomas were being put to the test, with this amount of pressure it was only a matter of time before St. John’s put away their second and it came from a blistering run from a St. John’s forward with him beating 3 men, there was then a scramble in the box with the ball being knocked around like a pinball but it eventually managed to make itself into the back of the net and put Tonypandy into a 2 goal deficit. Still the St. John’s men didn’t take their foot off the pedal but Tonypandy’s centre back Kailaum Lewis was making acrobatic clearances to get the ball out of the danger zone. Tonypandy get a breakaway after a well-timed through ball from midfielder Lewis Thomas sees confident striker Liam Snowden blasting it past the St. John’s goalkeeper and into the back of the net, this got Tonypandy’s goal tally off to a start. With Josh Phillips playing textbook through balls into the paths of Liam Snowden and Harri Jones Tonypandy looked set to add to their first goal, but St. John’s push forward with the ball once more and with a shot from the edge of the Tonypandy box Luke Nicholls can’t get a firm enough hand to the low ball and it ends up in the goals and puts St. John’s 3-1 up. Tonypandy fight back and with a beautiful ball from Matthew Smith to Harri Jones, Harri takes it around the keeper but the angle is too acute to take a shot and the winger can’t deliver it back into the danger zone, St. John’s clear it away. Matthew Smith sends a stinging shot from the edge of the box that sends the St. John’s crossbar rattling but doesn’t result in a goal, the chances are there but Tonypandy are still yet to score their second goal as the whistle blows for half time.
HALF TIME: 3-1
“It’s been a slow start boys but we have to switch on” were the first words spoken by manager Ian Smith as he gave the boys a well-needed team talk at half time. Ian Smith then went on to point out the danger men in the St. John’s squad and gave the Tonypandy boys some tips on where he could see weaker elements within the opposition and how to take advantage of these weak elements, to finish his team talk Ian Smith gave all the boys some confidence and made them believe they could still pull this game back within the last 45 minutes.
The second half kicked off and after that morale boosting team talk from Ian Smith the Tonypandy squad looked eager to get stuck into their opposition, it didn’t take long for this confident squad to show their opponents what they could do as a superb ball from Harri Jones put Liam Snowden through on goal, Liam Snowden then coolly slots the ball under the St. John’s goalkeeper and into the goals. Tonypandy kept the pressure on their opponents and played with a high defensive line, but no one could see this next goal coming, Josh Phillips receives the ball in St. John’s half of the pitch and from at least 25 yards out he sends a blistering shot that really tests the net tension as it rockets into the top corner of the St. John’s goal, this put Tonypandy back on level pegging with the score at 3-3. St. John’s still remained to attack but Tonypandy’s back 4 were a lot more stronger than they were in the first half and when St. John’s boys did break down Tonypandy’s defence goalkeeper Luke Nicholls was there to keep the ball out of his team’s goals and refused to let St. John’s take the lead again. Harri Jones makes a breakaway deep into St. John’s half, he out paces his man and makes it 4-3 with a shot calmly placed passed the keeper and into the net. Now that Tonypandy had the lead they still didn’t hold back, Liam Snowden comes through on goal but instead of taking a shot he passes the ball across the box to his teammate John Leader who doesn’t pass up the opportunity to place the ball into the net and give Tonypandy a two goal advantage. As the game came to an end it looked certain to be a win for Tonypandy, midfielder Lewis Thomas had a header from inside the St. John’s 6 yard box, it had beaten the keeper but a St. John’s defender was on the line to block the shot with his body, with the dangerous ball cleared the referee blew his whistle for full time and the boys travelled back to Tonypandy with a win under their belts.
FULL TIME: 3-5
Jonathan Thomas Yr12