NWL U13 Division 1: CCCFC Whites 5 Ferndale Rodbourne 0
Five goals in the final half an hour ensured that the Whites rounded off the calendar year in style with victory over Ferndale Rodbourne.
The home side were keen to build on an improved performance in the cup quarter-finals a fortnight earlier and, although they were made to wait for a breakthrough through a combination of lacklustre play and good goalkeeping, they ended the encounter with a flourish and three valuable points in the bag.
George had the best chance of the first half when he raced onto Matthew’s throughball but saw his effort brilliantly pushed around the post by the Ferndale number one. The Colts also had an effort blocked on the line and Tom was unfortunate to see his header from a corner hit one of his team-mates as it flew towards goal.
The Colts showed much more bite and determination across the pitch after the break and started to take the game by the scruff of the neck. The first goal is usually crucial in such tight matches and it proved to be the case again as George seized upon a mistake by the Ferndale centre-back and ran clear before finishing well.
Matthew gave the hosts the breathing space they needed when he was brought down as he prepared to shoot and picked himself up to dispatch the resulting penalty into the bottom corner of the net.
The third goal was the pick of the bunch and saw George complete an excellent move following a sublime pass from Liam F, who later went close to opening his own Colts’ account with a curling effort from distance.
Toby grew in stature on the left flank as the match wore on and supplied a piercing through ball for Callum to gallop through and make it 4-0. The Colts were, by now, queuing up to take their chances in the Ferndale area and the visitors somehow managed to block a low drive from Luke S at the end of another passing exchange. Brandon H also went close in goalmouth scrambles before another clinical finish from Callum rounded off the scoring.
Ferndale were starved of clear-cut chances by a defensive unit of Bradley, Josh and Tom as Max kept a second successive clean sheet. All four produced solid performances, with the three defenders increasingly keen to exploit the space in front of them through some determined runs.
After learning many lessons during a year that has not always been easy in terms of results, the Colts can at least enter 2017 with renewed confidence – and with the dual aim of climbing the Division 1 table and attempting to reach the final of the League Cup.