Wow! What a win! 9-2 against Devizes Town FC U16s who are without doubt a hard physical and very technically capable team playing at least one division above us in Mid Wilts. It was a great game and Andy, Geoff (absent on birthday duty with his youngest) and I are very proud of the team and not because of the result, but, importantly, because of their attitude, belief and never give up mentality. It was their best game I have seen to date and fitting they did it on my last outing as team coach. Thanks one and all as it was a brilliant way to conclude my coaching time and with a really superb bunch of players and a great set of supporters.

Match Report

Ramsbury stuck with the team’s preferred formation of 3-2-4-1 with Noah in goal; Kieran at right back, Josh (Captain) in the middle and Seb on the left; Oli and Joe as the two CDMs and George and Euan as CAMs, Fred wide right, Reece left and Liam as centre forward. The subs were Seb, Byron, Ben B and AJ.

From the outset Ramsbury attacked with pace and within the second minute Fred had scored with a great ball from Liam to make it 1-0. The opposition countered but Ramsbury kept their shape and Kieran and Josh made some excellent clearances to Reece and Fred on the flanks and George and Liam in the middle were causing panic in the opposition defence. Ramsbury pressed well and the pressure worked with a great ball provided by George after superb work by Joe and Oli set up Liam to make it 2-0.

However, Ramsbury started to lose their concentration and shape and too many gaps appeared in midfield and Devizes capitalised on a rare mistake by Seb to pounce on a loose ball and score when we should have cleared to make it 2-1. This energised Devizes who were stronger and quicker to the ball and muscled us out of the game for about 10 minutes or so as we failed to clear out of defence. And it was a speculative shot or cross that was allowed to be fired in and went straight into the top right hand corner of the goal to give Noah no chance that made it 2-2. With the game at 2-2 Devizes start to boss the game and Ramsbury were chasing shadows as they lost composure and their shape and allowed the opposition to dictate the game and get under the Ramsbury players skin with some off the ball antics that the young referee did not deal with very well – the lesson here is keep your cool and focus on the game and what needs doing!

Ben came on for Seb and Byron for Euan and this settled things down a bit and for the remainder of the first half it was fairly even with Liam and George both going close to grabbing a third just before half time. It stayed 2-2 and both teams deserved a break in the searing heat.

The game did not feel like a friendly but more like a cup match with the pace frenetic and the tackles flying. But Ramsbury upped the tempo and focussed more in the second half and within 10 minutes Fred had assisted George for his second goal and then Reece passed a wonderful pass to George for him to assist Liam to score to make it 4-2. The opposition were reeling and started to lose control and resorted to some frantic late tackles and poor behaviour, which was a shame. What was great to see was Ramsbury not lose their cool and instead apply more pressure, compete more in midfield and play better football. It was this that saw Fred score his second goal after more great work by George and Byron combining in midfield to make it 5-2 and then a sublime pass by Ben B out of defence saw Liam latch onto the pass with great speed and strength to muscle past the Devizes defence and score a cracking low shot to give the Devizes keeper no chance and make it 6-2 and no way back for Devizes.

Although the goals were flowing and Ramsbury were running rampant, it was the no nonsense performances by Joe and Oli as CDMs and Kieran in defence with winning headers and making tackles that made the difference; and combined with the whirling dervish that was Reece, who was every where, were the factors that turned the game to see Ramsbury so dominant. Josh as Captain had a much better second half and was awesome in defence once he stuck to his task in managing the centre of defence; and so was Seb, when he came back on and indeed Euan who was refreshed after a spot on the bench and looked like a different player and was so unlucky not to score to make it 7-2. Instead it was George who scored with a well taken penalty to grab his hat trick as Devizes lost their cool in the penalty area and soon after Liam grabbed his hat trick with a superb Byron corner that he met to power his well timed header into the top right hand corner and make it a 8-2 and a complete rout.

Joe, Reece and Ben B came off for well-earned rests as the game was all but done. But Ramsbury were not done yet and Fred and George went close again until constant pressure saw the ball fall to AJ who untangled his feet to chip a delightful shot into the top left hand corner of the goal and make it 9-2. The ref finally put Devizes out of their misery and blew the whistle to see Ramsbury deserve a fully deserved 9-2 win over a top quality side. Brilliant to see and delighted for every player on the park who gave their all. Great hat tricks for George and Liam, an impressive brace for Fred, but moment of the match goes to AJ for his excellent goal… know you can do it AJ! Player(s) of the match went jointly to Reece and Kieran and Geoff and Andy and have without doubt got their first choice right back in Kieran – well played both!

Finally, great to see Barney come and support the team; great to see support from friends and family and great to see the unity of the team and battling for each other so well. Geoff missed a cracker but the boys will I m sure not let him and Andy down this season as the team start the season next weekend with an away game v Corsham FC U16s who are another tough team. Good luck and see you all at training next Saturday. Enjoy the week and the sun,

Jon, Andy and Geoff