The Webber football team came from 2-1 down to defeat Stantonbury Campus 5-3 in their opening game of the season.
Webber started the match the brighter of the two teams, with Sam and Nigel a constant threat in behind Stantonbury's defence. With Ben and Sammy pulling the strings in midfield, it was only a matter of time before they picked the lock of the opposition. Precisely that happened in the 5th minute when Nigel was played through one on one with the goalkeeper, and executed a delightful chipped finish.
With Stantonbury scoring two goals in quick succession with two quick counter attacks, halftime was fast approaching. With the mood of the team slightly dejected after dominating large parts of the half, Mr. Joyce had to rally his troops to go again. This was also the time where the senior players had to rouse up the younger ones, especially with some of them making their professional debut. Anthony and Sammy motivated their younger teammates to keep persisting, and encouraged them not to let their heads drop as their was plenty to play for.
The players looked up for it, and they started the second half just as bright as the first half, if not brighter. With some tactical changes from Mr. Joyce, shifting Sammy to centre back, and unleashing Tyrone up front to terrorise Stantonbury's defence, Webber looked dangerous. 10 minutes into the second half, the change seemed to work. With a ball played over the top, and Tyrone's seemingly endless persistence, he created an opportunity in Stantonbury's penalty box. His shot was saved, but with Nigel on hand to collect the rebound for a tap in, the scores were level. Tyrone was unlucky with his shot which setup Nigel's second, but he got his just rewards, as his harassment of the Stantonbury defence payed dividends again with him curling a shot in the far post. 3-2. Webber look comfortable. They weren't finished yet! With another attack, Nigel shot from outside the box, deflected, falling to Tyrone, shot, deflected, then to Ben who shot, blocked, then it came back to Ben for a tap in. 4-2, and Webber were cruising. They might've taken their foot off the gas just a tad as the defence weren't closing the Stantonbury players with the same urgency they did for the majority of the game. They were made to pay as their striker chipped Anthony from just outside the box. With the score at 4-3, the Webber players upped the ante again with Ben being in the right place at the right time and curling home an effort just inside the box. Lampard-esque style. 5-3, and a very convincing performance.
Many positives will be taken out of the game for Mr Joyce. One of these positives will be how Anthony impressed in goal. He was assertive and commanding with his defence and he wasn't afraid to come out of his goal. Whilst making some good saves, and collecting crosses, he also guided his young defence through the game without a problem.
With many of the Year 8s, making their senior debuts, they showed they could handle the pressure of playing at such a high level. Nigel and Sam lead the line in great fashion, with Charlie and Harvey showing great industry running down every ball possible. Harvey in particular, started his first match at left back, and being a natural right footer he played excellent during the course of the match, making numerous crucial tackles. He was so good, he was crowned Webber's Man of The Match.
Having a word with Harvey after the match and asking him what he thought of the match he said, 'It was very pacy, I thought we played really well, and some of our guys were really, really quick. Nigel and Sammy were great, and Charlie. It was really tough but it was good. We deserved the win and our team showed great skills. Like awesome skills!'
Catching up with Mr Joyce after the match who had a big bright smile as usual, he gave his post-match thoughts, 'I thought it was a great team performance. A real squad performance. We had a really strong squad of 17 today, and it was hard getting them all on the pitch! It was really good, Harvey was solid, and so was Gary at centre-back. It was a complete performance, and it was a good first win of the season. Beating your local rivals is always nice.'
With the team full of confidence after yesterday's performance, the sky is the limit as they look to improve and get a winning streak going. On a final note, for any pessimists about the Webber team, we're undefeated, and Stantonbury are not, and how big is their school compared to ours?