A very disappointing display by Ramsbury FC U15s resulted in a 8-2 loss to a well disciplined and competitive North Swindon Lions and see the team suffer their heaviest defeat in the last three seasons!

Ramsbury FC U15s had a near full squad but were without Tom and Ben B who are the usual keepers. Hayden accepted the challenge to be keeper for the day even though he hasn’t put gloves on for some time and is now much more an outfield defensive player. But well done Hayden and despite the final score he did tremendously well and made a number of fine saves. The game was not helped by no allocated referee and some dubious decisions in the second half, but this did not contribute to the loss or manner of the defeat.

What let Ramsbury down was a lack of communication, lack of discipline in keeping our shape and playing in the positions allocated and ultimately just not competing to win the ball either on the ground or in the air. The opposition did this much more effectively and just competed better, tackled better and shot better!

The first half saw NSL lead 3-0 with relative ease as defensive frailty was compounded by the midfielders playing too far up the pitch and not getting back quickly enough to help the defence to clear the ball. Ramsbury did have chances as Noah and Sam were a constant threat and Scott’s long throws forward caused the opposition huge problems. But Ben P as the lone striker was often too isolated as we were slow to support him and commit players into the opposition box. Noah did eventually get a superb headed goal through some great play down the right by Reece and Fred that resulted in a superb cross to make it 3-1. Ramsbury had NSL on the back foot but some loose passing and poor tackling allowed the ball to fall to the opposition centre forward once more and he was given too much time to shoot to make it 4-1. It stayed 4-1 at half time.

Geoff made a number of changes at half time with Fred, Ben P, Seb and Euan given a rest and AJ, Byron, John and Alex coming on. The changes gave fresh impetus and pushed Sam from wide left to centre forward and he and Noah went close early on and were a constant threat. The pressure finally told and a fine corner by Byron was met by a great header by Sam to make it 4-2 and see Ramsbury back in the game. However, a dubious offside goal was given by the opposition coach as referee made it 5-2 and changed the emphasis of the game and handed the momentum back to NSL. Kieran came on for Scott who was obviously frustrated and needed a break. The opposition pressed well and failure to defend forward saw two long range shots and another shot from a ridiculously tight angle saw NSL take the game away from Ramsbury with an unassailable 8-2. The opposition made their subs and brought on fresh legs and continued to press. Credit to Ramsbury that they held them off and the game finally ended 8-2, including the contested offside goal.

In sum, a heavy defeat for Ramsbury as they failed to do the basics well and played no where near their ability or as they have in previous games. We play NSL again at home next Sunday and will have to be much better to stand any chance of a result. On a positive note Noah was player of the match and Sam was awarded the moment of the match for his great header. Other notable performances were Reece and Seb and Maya who made 2 or 3 vital blocks to stop the score going into double figures and Alex for her excellent headers.

Lets pick ourselves up after this, put the game behind us and focus on the match next Sunday. Thanks as always to Geoff and Andy and to all parents, guardians and extended family members who provide brilliant support.