U10 Vipers League Match

The U10 Protec FC Vipers braved a frosty morning to play Lea Valley Blue Socks for their 5th league fixture at home at the Elm Park pitches in Potters Bar.

Training this past week focused on learning to play in a 1-4-1 flat formation which the boys found needed a lot of communication, teamwork and awareness to ensure they weren’t exposed at the back when under pressure. The formation excels when attacking but is vulnerable to a fast break from the opposition and demands high levels of concentration and discipline from the players to make sure our centre back is supported at all times.

Keeping possession, quick passing, switching play and winning 50/50 tackles is key to sucess with this formation which seems to constantly change depending on the other teams formation and attacking style so you have to be flexible and react quickly.

The team was prepared to work hard to find their rythmn in the new formation and from the first minute it was clear this was going to be a special game and great experience for the future…



The pressure the boys put on their opposition today from the first whistle was key to the outcome and winning the 50/50 balls resulted in a goal from a wonderful pass from Joe S from the right across the box to Sam Gower who was clinical with his finish to put us 1 – 0 up after 2 minutes played. Sam’s composure on the ball when shooting is really proving dividends as he hits the target with almost every shot opportunity and is finding the corners. He places the ball rather than trying to overpower his shots which is a point we can all learn from.

Elliot Keil was the next to thread the ball through to Joe Sadler after some terrific individual skill and dribbling which was evident all match. Today very little got past him and his tackling ensured the centre back was rarely troubled with a 1 V 1. Elliot showed great decision making today, knowing when to release the ball and when to drive at his opponent, a very accurate and perfectly weighted pass to Joe Sadler who finished his chance very well. Joe Sadler showed today that his positional awareness, forward diagonal runs and strength was going to cause the Blue Socks problems and had a terrific game with his confidence and footwork improving week on week.

Five minutes later just before the end of the first 1/4 saw Sam Gower pounce on a rebound from the GK to finish his 2nd goal. Sam has such a high work rate, always gives maximum effort and was again following in from the left to make sure he was ready to take us into the first break 3 – 0 up.

Joe Bishop and Cristiano Figueira were rested in the 2nd 1/4 which saw Tyler Williams take the CF position and Zac Myles play on the right side of the 4 midfield players.

A high tempo start saw Joe Sadler grab his 2nd goal from another Elliot Keil assist, a great partnership forming between the two players who caused devastation with their passing and movement today. Quick pressing from Tyler Williams gave Sam Gower a shooting opportunity a minute later who slotted home his third goal! Five minutes of great possession and slick passing was tiring the Blue Socks who kept their heads and battled hard but Zac Myles was found by a great ball from Sam Gower and notched his first goal making the score 6 – 0 at half time.


Joe Sadler and Sam Gower were rested in the 3rd 1/4

The third quarter started with the same commitment and hard work from all the boys who were into their rhythm by now and all hungry to score! The boys remained disciplined, kept their heads and formation, worked extremely hard for each other with some very unselfish play from the midfield which was very impressive and noted by Pete Edwards our head coach who had come down to watch the team play. Four minutes in, Joe Bishop unselfishly passed to Cristiano Figueira who put his name on the score sheet. Cristiano played some lovely football today, moved the ball very well and showed some terrific footwork and individual skill when one on one. He worked tremendously hard for the team in midfield and tracked back when required without being reminded! A huge personal improvement and great to watch. Charlie Bradshaw who had been solid and reliable in the centre back position at the start of the match was now in the midfield quartet and alive to everything. Charlie works tremendously hard for the team, has a great personality and has become a terrific team player. His dedication was rewarded in the 38th minute after a Tyler W assist to make the score 8 – 0. Cristiano shortly took us into the final break with a well finished goal in a bit of a goal mouth scramble. He has a natural ability to sort his feet out quickly and remains calm under pressure.


Elliot Keil and Charlie Bradshaw were rested in the final 1/4


High pressing was the feature of the final 1/4 from the team. The blue socks defended some ferocious attacks very well and their GK made some fantastic saves from shots that were hard and on target. Tyler Willaims finally finished a chance to take the boys 10 – 0 up and proved that perseverence is important when the ball isn’t falling for you. Tyler had a tough match today but his determintion and hard work was evident in breaking down possession and applying pressure which was a great assett to the team. Sometimes we all don’t get the “rub of the green” so to speak but Tyler kept going and finally it paid off for him, well done Tyler, keep your chin up!

Denis Prozhani our new GK was playing his debut match and all credit goes to him for maintaining his concentration throughout the match. A fast break from Lea Valley saw him pull off a fantastic save to keep a clean sheet. I can not underestimate how impressive this was from my view. To have very little to do and then switch on with a seconds notice is impressive at any age and and I know the entire team will be delighted that a clean sheet was kept today. Denis also made saves during the match at the feet of the Blue Socks showing incredible bravery and commitment to keep the ball out of his net! His distribution was great today something I know he is working hard with his GK coach to improve. A great debut from the young lad who is working extremely hard, has a great attitude and will be vital to the team in the future.

Tyler Williams worked hard pressing from the front to win the ball and found Joe Bishop with a lovely pass who finished with a weak foot shot into the bottom right corner. Joe Bishop worked hard throughout the match today with some lovely footwork, passing and crossing. His tackling is improving and he tracked back quickly using his pace to intercept several attacking moves from the Blue Socks. His first touch, control and composure on the ball is developing well and has been the result of hard work in training. Zac Myles completed the scoring with some great composure in front of goal taking his tally to 2 for the match with another assist from Sam G. Zac is technically very skilled and strikes the ball very cleanly. He played very well when in the centre back role today and doesn’t panic under pressure.He made some terrific runs from midfield and in the last minute was caught by a late tackle in the area showing great pace to earn a penalty which he calmly placed into the bottom corner to complete his hat trick and taking the final score to 13 – 0.

Pete Edwards our Head Coach, debriefed the team post match and had some great points on set pieces which we will take into training and work on.He complemented the boys for being disciplined and working extremely hard for one another and was impressed with the overall performance. I know the boys were delighted to have his feedback and left the game happy with smiles and a huge sense of achievement.

From me I am delighted with our progression, we are using these early league matches to gel together as a team which is evident week on week and will make all the difference in the future.

Well done to you all!

Nigel Bishop

Coach U10 Protec Vipers



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