First round cup matches don’t really come much harder than this. Rochdale are one of the best U14 teams in the country, and a physically intimidating bunch into the bargain.
Looking at the scoreline (0-13), this was quite a one sided game but, for a team containing nine U12 players and 5 of the newer U14, this was a great effort.
The defence had a real workout today, and the almost constant pressure highlighted some areas for us to work on in training. Matthew Stewart was solid (only conceding 5 goals in the 2 quarters he played) and Pat Sugden played his best game of the season today.
We struggled for possession (no free clears in the cup) so the midfield and attack never really had too many opportunities to pressurise Rochdale. We did handle the ball nicely when given the chance but struggled to break down the big Rochdale defence – it was always going to be a tough ask but they never gave up.
We now drop into the U14 plate competition (all first round losing teams go into this). This will be on 5th Feb, and I would like to think that after our baptism of fire today we can give another club a bit of a fright, or even manage to win a game, which would be a tremendous achievement.