Ramsbury FC U15s lost to Calne FC U15s is a very competitive game that did not reflect the scoreline and was marred by some very poor refereeing decisions. The conditions were dreadful with relentless rain that deteriorated the pitch and made playing conditions very difficult. That said, the Ramsbury Coaches could have been more proud of the whole team as they never gave up, endured the conditions (and poor decisions against them) and showed real tenacity in adversity. Brilliant!

The first half was very even and ended up 0-0 with both sides going close and the best chance falling to Fred after some excellent play by Euan and Reece who who was only denied by a top class save. Ben P playing in goal, and not in his usual role as striker, was superb and put in a faultless display in both halves; he showed huge composure in goal and made some important saves. He could not have played better. This was not the only change Geoff and Andy made as Ben B was made Captain and played in a back three with Josh and Hayden; with Reece and Sam as wing backs and a midfield three of Noah, Byron and Max. Euan was the CAM and Fred up front with subs: Maya, Barney and Scott. It worked really well and just needed a little adjustment to get the balance right and especially when Maya and Scott came on towards the end of the half for Max and Fred who took well deserved rests.

The second half was very tough as the conditions and the pitch worsened and Ramsbury worked very hard with the wind against them. However, Ben B as the centre half was immense and won most headers and first balls and led by example; Maya as the left back of the three was equally impressive and from the outset made some important headers and tackles and alongside Josh in the right of the three committed to everything and made some crunching, but fair, tackles. Josh was very harshly penalised for obstruction that resulted in a free kick on the edge of the D and which Calne scored from. It was a really poor decision by the ref and changed the complexion of the game. Especially annoying was that Noah was constantly fouled on the left wing as he was his usual threat and as such there was little parity in the decisions made by the ref. This may sound like sour grapes, but I have reported this to the League and scored him poorly.

The midfield of Hayden, who was pushed forward in the CDM role, and Euan and Byron were also excellent and Byron’s contribution throughout was superb as he harried the opposition throughout the gaame. Barney and Scott carrying minor injuries came on for Sam who had run himself to a stand still and Fred who also worked exceptionally hard as Ramsbury pushed for an equaliser and with Noah and Scott combining really well to go close. At the other end Ben P made a finger tip save onto the bar to deny a Calne shot from distance and it was so good it earned him the moment of the match – well done!

Ramsbury kept going and Reece pushing more forward also had a shot blocked and Scott had a header go wide form another Noah cross….it was great stuff with Ramsbury on top. It was therefore disappointing that the ref missed (another) Calne foul on Ban B that led to a cross and Calne’s second goal and came totally against the run of play. Calne then managed to score again direct from a corner as the wind assisted a very good cross into the top corner giving Ben P no chance at all. It was a shame as the score line did not reflect the game. All players gave their all and played some excellent football and it was brilliant to see there positive attitude and togetherness after a very tough game. There were many contenders for Player of the Match, but it went to Ben B as his first outing as Captain and a very solid performance at centre half – well done!

Finally, a huge thank you to all parents and guardians who braved the weather and especially Reece’s mum Lisa who on her own ran the Clubhouse Cafe…..thank you so much Lisa.

We have training next Saturday 1000-1130 with another home game versus Croft  FC U15s on Sunday with a 1030 kick off. See you all there