Ramsbury FC U15s lost 5-0 in a very disappointing game against league opponents Wootton Bassett FC U15s (Yellow) that was a stark contrast to the superb win against the Wooton Bassett FC (Blue) Div 2 side in the cup. It wasn’t the 5-0 score line that was so disappointing, but more the poor performance of many of the players and the lack of desire and commitment and it has certainly made me think that it is now time for Geoff and Andy to take the team forward from now on and leave me to assist only when needed and concentrate more on running the Football Club as a whole. I said last season that the team needed a new voice and that I would step down and as such I will hand over to Geoff as lead coach and Team Manager post our Christmas party on the 20th Dec. I have loved every minute of being a Ramsbury Coach and the current crop of players are a fantastic bunch and I know they will continue to flourish under Geoff and Andy. However, 3 is a magic number and an additional assistant coach would be ideal and it would be great if we could have another willing volunteer to help out. Please come and chat to the coaches as the team needs you.

A short precise on the game today: firstly, we missed a couple of players today and disappointingly I went out of my way to collect one player to be let down as they couldn’t be bothered getting out of their bed – unacceptable in my view and meant last minute adjustments to the shape and structure of the team. Even with the last minute adjustments, the team, Captained by Fred, and with clear instructions as to our formation and how we would play, just did their own thing. They did not listen to me, there was no communication, no football intelligence and no desire to win the ball or put pressure on the opposition! At best it was chaotic, panic-football and at half time we were 4-0 down. Ben B did ever so well in goal (thank you Ben) in the absence of Tom and to be fair the opposition did hit two wind-assisted thunderbolts into the top corner, but frustratingly they were allowed to do this by cheap fouls and not closing the opposition down. Apart from Noah marauding down the left flank, we posed little threat and were easily second best throughout the midfield. I subbed a few players to try and get some balance and organisation, but it was fairly futile as the team resorted to sniping at each other and at Ben B as keeper, which was unforgiveable. Ben B had to be cajoled back into goal and was visibly upset and I was genuinely angry at the whole situation. It was a very poor half and without Ben B making some outstanding saves and Josh and Maya’s clearances it could have been much worse!

The second half was so much better as Maya and Josh worked better as a team at the back and Hayden on the left of defence was much more physical and played so much quicker out of defence; Reece covered brilliantly at right back and pushed into midfield to support John, Max, Sam and Byron and there was more desire and commitment to win the ball. Noah was relentless on the left and when Fred came off injured AJ made some telling runs up front and with the Captain’s arm band combined well with Barney, on the right for Sam, as they pushed the opposition defence back for the first time in the match. The play was still too erratic and error strewn, but at least there was some commitment and a desire to compete and this made the match much more even. Wootton were still dangerous on the break and two or three times they broke through and were only denied with brave defending by Reece, Seb, Josh and Maya and with more super saves made by Ben B. However, we were finally caught on the break as we pushed to many players forward and the opposition for once got behind Maya and Josh and slotted in to make it 5-0. That said, I wasn’t too disappointed as the second half was 1-0 and against the run of play and if we had played like that in the first half it would have been a very different game.

It ended 5-0 and was a game of two very different halves: a dreadful and lack lustre first half followed by a more committed Ramsbury performance in the second half that had much more desire and showed teamwork and some quality football. The team needs to be more like the Ramsbury team in the second half and understand that to do this requires all players to listen, focus and understand their role in the team, commit and compete as one team and to communicate with each other. I know that the team can do this as I have seen them do it, we just need to do it consistently.

Thanks for all the support.