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Busy round of fixtures as Maidenhead United Juniors get back to it following Christmas break

Neil Maskell

The U8s Juniors

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There was another busy round of fixtures for Maidenhead United Juniors last weekend.

In their first game back after the Christmas break, the u7s Blacks came up against the Pinewood Polecats. 5 different players got on the scoresheet including manager Georgina's son on his birthday!

The u7s Colts were also in action in their first game of 2020at home vs Explorers Purples.

Manager Philippa was delighted with the team: "Fantastic work by the boys. Each and every one of them played some great football with some lovely passes. It was great to see the boys playing as a team and making some important decisions on the pitch. Player of the match (POTM) goes to Yoan who was quick on the ball, skillful in his footwork and provided some good goals as part of his hat trick. Well done Colts."

The u8s Whites had a challenging game away against Bracknell Town in tough conditions. Trailling in the game, Whites luck began to change  after a cross from Finley went in off a Bracknell player. A fine left foot finish from Joe and a brave finish from Henry brought the Whites back into the game.

The manager’s POTM went to Henry for a brave performance and Players Player of the Match was shared between Finley and Dougie who again both excelled in defence.

U8s Galaxy were out of luck against Woodley, conceding four goals from unlucky deflections and rebounds.

Manager Dhjraj wasn't discouraged however: "Super proud of all the boys, they put in a real shift and played some of the best football we have ever seen from them. Lots of chances, just couldn't put them away. A special call out to Cameron and Freddie who put in a real shift in defence and are forming a great partnership in covering for one another. If we keep playing the way we are the results will come."

The u8s Braves were at home versus Burnham Youth Yellows. After a slow first quarter, Braves pressed well in the second with Thomas scoring twice. Braves conceded early in the third quarter but the team showed great spirit and determination to score twice more with Arian making the difference.

Joseph made a vital save after Captain Ben scored the fifth, showing great composure. POTM went to Thomas who caused Burnham defenders headaches every time he touched the ball and scored a timely brace.

U8s Blacks had an early kick off away to Binfield Heat. Blacks controlled possession in the first quarter with out making the break through.

The first goal came early in the second quarter when Alistair burst forward and angled a strong shot into the net. 2 quick goals from Lachlan - his second brave in 2 weeks, including a genuine poachers goal -saw Blacks in the ascendancy at half time and the team continued to dominate the ball with excellent pressing and tackling.

Further goals from Hayden - side stepping the defender before firing home - and a long range free kick from Jude completed the scoring. POTM went to Lachlan for his running with and without the ball and 2 good finishes.

The U8s Juniors (pictured) had a tough against Delaford Colts Whites. Colts started very well by scoring the first goal but could not keep up the intensity and energy of their pre-Christmas matches.

Eduardo and Thomas defended very well and the team learned a good lesson thay you cannot relax when playing football against good teams like Delaford. POTM went to Eduardo who never gave up and defended very well as well as making good transitions to his team mates in front.

U9s Blacks had a good return to football with a well deserved 5-2 victory. After a bit of a shake-up over the break throughout the team and a now permanent goalkeeper, all the boys really enjoyed their football and it showed in abundance.

Eddie managed to slot home a tidy hat trick with some slick finishing. Jacob netted a well taken cross and Tyler made himself busy in the box and it paid off as he kept his composure and slotted home a loose ball. Having lost a strong outfield player in Albert, he proved to be a decent goalkeeper. Lloyd, Jake and Charlie were solid throughout the whole game and Joe and Oli were constantly on the attack.

The u9s Diamonds put in their best performance of the season to win against a strong Twyford Comets. Manager Tom takes up the story: "Focus in training last week and on the pitch today was for every player to give 100% and not give up and they delivered to make the parents and coaches very proud. The smiles on the kids faces was a pleasure to see and they defended well as a team while under pressure throughout the second half to hold on. Players of the Match were Isa for 2 assists and a strong midfield performance in the first half and Leo W for a calm and collected defensive display in the second half".

The u11s Stripes were back in league action last weekend, welcoming Tring FC. Impressive movement, quick interchanges of play and decisive counter attacking was too much for Tring as Maidenhead created countless attacking opportunities and converted a number of them brilliantly.

Maidenhead were persistent and dominated for most of the game, mixing up patterns of play with short sharp passing and long direct switching of play to break the lines. Every player, looked so confident and assured with their responsibilities. POTM Lucas showed tenacity and tempo throughout. Took his goals well and led by example throughout with a fully committed display.

Manager Mark added "a big thank you to the players that put in a double shift and did 2 hours of extra training this afternoon with FA tutor Mitchell as part of the MUFC Juniors coaches CPD session."

Manager Karen stated that the u11s Cobras "Battled from start to finish against a well drilled Townmead. As a manager I couldnt help but watch and admire alot of talent and tactics used by the opposition.Our time will come. Captain Niall as well as the many supporters agreed that William F was definately the POTM with some outstanding saves and not a patch of yellow left on his shirt at the end of the match!"

U11s Magpies had a home game against Berkshire County Scorpions. The team pressed hard from the first whistle and displayed their determination to win the ball. There were outstanding performances from Theo and Toby, Sam and Leon in defence playing an absolutely fantastic game dealing with what Berks County threw at them, putting in tackle after tackle, giving Magpies midfield of Max, Oli D and Adam the chance to put the opposition back 3 under a lot of pressure. Max in particular played some very nice football with some great passing out to the wide players Sam and Brandon, who both had brilliant games, getting Magpies on the attack and switching the play, something they had practised on the training ground. Aden kept a clean sheet after a great game in goal. POTM overall however was Max.

The U12s Jets continued their great form into 2020 against Haddenham Lions. Goals from Stan (two) and Brodie were just reward for patient play through the thirds. Manager Matt gave "Credit to all players for responding to our half time tactics talk, using the opposition’s formation against them to create space in central areas and control the second half. A late goal for Haddenham came once players were rotated and legs started to tire, but we remained on top throughout the match.

POTM Alfie was the perfect modern keeper, receiving from defenders to hit long passes, off his line quickly to stop attacks, and a vocal leader from start to finish."

The u12s Blacks were away at Binfield and were level at Half Time with goals from Ben and Adam. The Blacks coaches had a discussion prior to Half Time about changing formation to help the team cope with the 2 centre-forwards deployed by Binfield. It was a formation Blacks have not encountered at 9 aside until the past 2 weeks. A quick switch to 4 at the back and a higher forward press led to Maidenhead goals from Ben (a hat trick), Adam and another direct from a corner by George.

There was another hard fought victory for the u13s Diamonds. Manager Simon gave his thoughts: "Starting the game the sharpest team, we played some creative football to go into half time 2-0 up. Goals coming from solid defending then swift movement through midfield, killer-balls and clinical finishing. Harrison has been amazing this year and worked so hard adding end-product to his powerful wing play. Freddie added more goals with his left foot, right foot brace. Rotation in the second half maintained focus and energy levels, concluding in coming out 2-1 victors. A great team performance which Martyn and I were very proud of. 2 games, 2 wins. Winning mentality manintained. POTM goes to Jo; creative and solid at LB in the first half, pushing into midfield in the second, Jo was exemplary in his leadership throughout. Now time for him to push on a notch."

The U13s Blades played at home against Seer Green, giving one of their best performances to date in winning 4-1 with some great goals by Reuben, Charlie (2) and Archie. However, what impressed the most was the play and interaction between the team, keeping possession nicely and pushing forwards with strength when play allowed. Hitting the woodwork three times, the score-line could have easily been more, but the positive team performance is what Blades willl take from the game. POTM went to Stan, who gave a sterling performance in defence, tackling effectively and giving 100%.

U13s Whites meanwhile were excellent in the 2nd half against Eversley and California. A hat trick from Lennon and 2 from Daniel gave Whites a 5-0 win. Ollie was POTM after a big improvement in decision making on the Right.

Great start to the New Year for the u14s Vipers with a well deserved 7-3 victory over a very physical Stoke Mandeville side. The Vipers played some brilliant football despite the challenging condition of the pitch. Joint POTM's this week were Bobby and Dan, netting a hat-trick each and also both working tirelessly all match. The oher goal came from Aidan with his first of the season.

U14s Juniors took a point in a battling display against Ascot United Raiders. Ascot took an early lead but the Juniors were soon on level terms when Patrick sent up Morgan who finished well. Ascot then took the lead again but on the stroke of half time, Patrick crossed the ball which was headed into his own goal by an Ascot defender. Maidenhead went behind for a third time with twenty minutes to go and looked to be heading for defeat but Ben F sent a cross into the penalty area and Samuel scored. The team showed a great resilience to come back 3 times against a very good Ascot team to earn a deserved point. POTM went to Patrick.

The u15s Colts had a comfortable 3-0 win away to third place AFC Caversham on a wet and muddy pitch. Manager Gaz summarised the Colts latest success: "For a long period of the first half the game remained nil nil with the Caversham defence holding up under the attacking pressure of this wonderful footballing team. A neat cross field pass into the final third by left back Nick split the home teams defence and found Captain Patrick who ran on to slide the ball under the advancing goalkeeper, 1-0 to the Colts. Half time came and a reshuffling of the team to a more solid 4-4-2 the Colts started strong. The Caversham defence was now struggling to keep out the Colts advancing forwards. A corner to the Colts was swung toward the penalty spot where captain Patrick rose the highest to head the ball over the keeper to make the score 2-0 to the Colts. It seemed that the second goal settled the Colts who now began to play with more confidence.

The Caversham manager was heard to say that he would throw three strikers up front to get something out of the game so we made a quick change in formation to a defensive 5-4-1 with Josh slotting in to the rock solid Colts defence. The change of formation by Caversham opened up spaces on the pitch which suited the Colts who were quick to transition the play over and over again, attacking with the ever menacing Henry who now began to terrorise the Caversham defence with his electric pace. His pace took him away from the defence to a one on one with the keeper, the ball spun into the air only for Henry to hook the ball back over the keepers head. All credit to the lads who were missing the midfield engine of Callum, they battled hard against a physical Caversham team. A clean sheet, 53 goals scored and 10 wins from 10 games, the Mighty Colts sit proud at the top of Division Three. Man of the match was the ever outstanding Sam O who with Charlie kept out the Caversham strike -force."

There was a fantastic start to the new year also for the U16s with a fantastic 2-0 win against Binfield. A game where Maidenhead had so many chances to score but settled for great goals from George & Ben G.

A challenging afternoon for the U16’s Girls against a a very good Sandhurst side, who punished the Girls for every misplaced pass and took every opportunity they had. Maidenhead did have spells of very good passing and combinations to play through Sandhurst and progress the ball but manager Ben felt that the performance lacked energy to close down the first or second Ball and to recover to defend. The team have Futsal next week so they are hoping to use training sessions to get this blip behind them and look to a better run of results going forward when they go back to league fixtures.

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