U16s vs. Stanningley

The under 16’s faced a potential banana skin today as a squad, depleted by injuries, illness, and holidays meant the bare minimum 11 had to fill in in unfamiliar positions, and without the luxury of fresh legs on what was a very heavy home pitch.

Today’s visitors, Stanningley edged back in to the game in the away fixture before two late goals saw OWLS run out 6-2 winners, so we knew today could be a tough game.

Buoyed on by the fact Stanningley were in the same predicament in terms of squad numbers, OWLS had the better start, although the first 15 minutes was a cagey affair with some probing from OWLS answered with some promising Stanningley breaks.

The breakthrough came on the 15 minute mark as a moment of individual brilliance from MOM Ethan, saw him bag his first of the day. This was also the turning point of the game and despite one or two promising moves, the opposition never really looked threatening from then on. Stanningley’s best player was their number 22. However, his forays forward created a vacuum down the OWLS right which Corey exploited to devastating effect with some quality line balls to Max, who in turn produced his usual moments of inventive, intelligent, and downright cheeky football. Two players of particular note for their quality and caring passing today were Jamie W and Jack, who’s pinpoint accuracy and phenomenal work rate throughout the full 80 minutes, started a high percentage of OWLS attacks. Although Stanningley at times did find some joy in their 22 down the right, Will and Connor both positioned themselves perfectly to cut out any attacks, with some strong tackles every time the opposition broke loose.

With OWLS 3-0 up at the restart and Stanningley resolve swiftly crumbling, OWLS moved in for the kill with great pressing and passing from Tom H, and some super tackling and through balls from Aidan, who got stronger and stronger as the game progressed.

As Josh made a sublime and unchallenged run in to the opposition penalty area to slot home OWLS seventh goal, Stanningley collapsed in to disarray. In an embarrassing display, several of their players completed lost their heads and you have to feel sorry for the 4 or 5 guys who were still trying their best to play football. In the final five minutes they threw everyone forward in a desperate attempt to bag a conciliation goal. Equally desperate to hang on to their clean sheet, the OWLS did brilliantly not to rise to the incessant baiting and defended admirably, directed by keeper James who also made two awesome last minute saves.

The final goal came from a Stanningley corner! With every opposition player forward including their keeper, the result was inevitable as OWLS defence again stepped up to the mark, releasing Ethan to run the length of the field and slot home his 7th of the day in to the open goal.

Final score OWLS 8-0 Stanningley Blacks

That’s now 30 unanswered goals in the last 5 games for the U16’s and and with today’s win, top of the table at Christmas.

Well done to everyone today. Effort levels, maturity, determination, and quality was all there in abundance!

Wishing everyone a very happy festive season and all the best for 2022 from the u16’s


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