Eastside U9s returned to home soil for the first time this phase as they entertained North Ferriby Utd at the Stadion Eastside.
The weather played its part as it was yet another perfect morning for football and on a good playing surface the team looked to maintain their unbeaten start to phase 2.
For the first time this phase the team were able to field a full-strength squad as they welcomed the return of Joseph following his knee injury.
They lined up for the first game with Jacob in goal fresh from his heroics last week, protected by Freddie and Louie, a strong-looking midfield of Finley, Max and James providing the ammo for Alfie leading the line.
Straight away the blue and reds tore into the opposition, not letting them settle into their game while carrying on from last week and playing some really good football in possession.
It was from such pressure that Rangers took the lead as a mistake in the Ferriby defence was punished as Alfie lashed the ball into the corner leaving the keeper rooted to the spot.
Then Finley picked the ball up in midfield, drove forward and despite being pushed wide, unleashed a thunderbolt across the keeper and into the top corner to extend Hedons lead.
North Ferriby grabbed a lifeline as from a defensive mixup their forward broke clear and finished well past a helpless Jacob.
Half-time came and Coach Pete rotated his squad bringing on Layton, Kaelan, Georgia and Joseph and they slotted straight in as Hedon continued to boss proceedings. The game settled into an even contest with both sides having chances but the scoreboard remained unchanged.
Coach Pete threw Alfie and Finley on as he looked to make the game safe and this paid immediate dividends as Alfie struck to put the result beyond doubt and secure the first game to Rangers.
Game 2 kicked off with Hedon in determined mood focused on continuing their good work from the first game, and soon did so as they took the lead as Alfie continued his prolific form with an emphatic finish.
Soon it was two, as from a corner some great battling from Kaelan into the box resulted in the ball breaking free and Finley was first to react, instinctively prodding the ball home.
Then in a carbon copy of the first game. Ferriby reduced the deficit with a terrific effort from outside the box which despite Jacob’s full-length dive rocketed into the bottom corner.
Almost immediately, though, the red and blues restored their two-goal advantage as from a long ball by Max and under pressure from Alfie, a Ferriby defender could only divert the ball into his own net.
Half-time came and Coach Pete once again rotated his troops putting Freddie and Layton back together in defence, Max with Kaelan and James in midfield and Georgia up top.
It was from these changes that Hedon made the game safe as Max hit a speculative long-range effort, only for the keeper to be deceived by the bounce and the ball sailed into the net!
Finley and Alfie came on for Georgia and Kaelan and Rangers topped a perfect performance with a great team goal. Finley played Alfie in, he skipped past a couple of challenges and with only the keeper to beat he unselfishly played a perfect ball into the path of James’s intelligent run and he made no mistake burying the ball into the net to cue great celebrations and the loudest cheer of the day from the home supporters!
The referee blew his whistle on a brilliant performance from the guys, from Jacob in goal who had a quieter day but was always ready when called upon, to Louie, Freddie and Layton in defence who all stood strong and looked to use the ball intelligently out from the back.
Finley was excellent again as were Kaelan and Georgia who were full of running alongside Max who was back to his best.
James was rewarded with a goal his performances have merited and the returning Joseph will have benefited from some minutes under his belt. Alfie once more led the line impeccably, proving a constant thorn in the side of the opposition defence.
It was a really good team performance where everyone performed to their maximum and continued their development into a really good team. Well played all!
Yet again Coach Pete was left with the increasingly difficult decision for the players of the match but he went with Layton who continued his excellent recent form, and Max whose confidence came flooding back and reminded us what he’s capable of.
Next week sees the team once more on their travels as the play South Cave Sporting Blacks in a 11.30am kick-off. #UTR!