Ramsbury FC U15s lost to a gritty Croft U15s team In a tough league match played in cold conditions and on a very heavy pitch. Although 5-1 was the eventual score line, it flattered the opposition somewhat as Ramsbury missed a hatful of clear chances and were on the wrong end of some dubious decision making by the Croft Coach who refereed the game in the absence of a league sanctioned referee. This was a shame as there were more positives to take away from this game and Geoff and Andy were delighted by the team not giving up when it would have been very easy to do so.

Ben Brown volunteered to go in goal today and was superb. He pulled off some top draw saves and demonstrated that he is without doubt a first class keeper. He may have been a bit rusty at times, but he gave the team confidence and for much of the game kept the score line down. Josh and Maya continued as the centre pairing in defence with Reece at right back and Seb at left back with Euan, Scott and Byron playing in the centre midfield positions and Fred and Noah out wide in support of Ben P up front as Captain. The shape and structure worked well and for 30 minutes it was very even with both teams going close, but Ramsbury the better team and really should have had a goal through Ben P. However, Croft rode their luck with their keeper making some fine saves and they finally got a lucky break with a deflected shot looped unkindly over Ben to make it 1-0. This was a shame as Byron and Euan in centre midfield and Noah on the left had been having a terrific game and were easily matching Croft and Seb and Josh had both put in some real crunching tackles with Reece and Maya making superb cover clearances. It was great stuff! It was really unfortunate that Croft sneaked another goal on the stroke of half time to make it 2-0 as it was against the run of play and not deserved. But that’s how it goes and it ended 2-0 to Croft at half time.

Ramsbury responded so well after the break with Scott scoring a fine calmly driven goal to make it 2-1 and also earning him moment of the match. Well done Scott! However, a lack of concentration soon after and some poor refereeing led to Croft scoring a quick goal in reponse and another through a penalty to make it 4-1 and take the game away from Ramsbury. The team struggled for a bit after that but some change over in players saw AJ, Barney and Alex come on to inject some energy and this worked with AJ going close and Scott going even closer with a header. Noah continued to be relentless down the left wing and his crosses were a constant threat and also earned him player of the match – and deservedly so. Well done Noah! A final goal right at the end by Croft made the score 5-1 at the end and as I said earlier it flattered the opposition. Well done to the team today for not giving up. A huge well done to Ben B for playing the whole game in goal and doing ever so well – there wasn’t much between him and Noah for player of the match.

Finally, there was only one negative to report in that the opposition Coach and referee complained of wholly inappropriate language and comment made by a couple of the Ramsbury players. This is so unlike Ramsbury and took us by surprise and after providing an apology from the Club, which was accepted, the matter has been dealt with internally and is now closed. I would encourage all players to learn from this and to esnure we maintain the excellent reputation that this Club deserves. Any future outbursts will be dealt with more seriously.

Thank you for your support and see you all at training next Saturday.

Geoff, Andy and Jon