17 January 2019

U14 A

It was a strong start to the season for the U14A team with a solid 1-0 win over St Edward's. We defended well, with Rory making some key tackles at the back, particularly in the first half. Abingdon started the second half with greater purpose, pressing the St Edward's defence much higher up the pitch, and Max soon threaded an excellent ball through to Krishen who scored the decisive goal to give Abingdon a well-deserved win. We look forward to the challenge of Wellington College next weekend.

U14 B

This was a very close game, both sides scoring one goal each. In the first 10 minutes both sides were even, though each having short corners. Then St Edward's scored a goal after a particularly long battle in the ‘D’ having had some short corners. Abingdon came right back in the next 15 minutes with Thomas Harding scoring a goal. Then it came up to half time. After half time Abingdon stayed in St Edward's half for a while, and then the game ended following St Edward's managing to get a short corner in Abingdon’s half.

U14 C

The Abingdon U14 C team reached the St Edward's grounds looking forward to our first game of the season and hoping for a win. We won the toss and elected to receive. We didn't have anyone in our team willing to play as a goalkeeper, but in the end it didn't affect the score. The game was underway. We gained possession almost immediately and managed to keep the ball in the opposition half for most of the first half. We created chance after chance, but failed to capitalise on these opportunities. Their goalkeeper made some important saves and our forwards (Oliver Ellard, Jake Morris, Bryan Tan and I) couldn’t get past him or their defenders. They conceded around five short corners in the half, none of them we scored from – definitely something to work on. This all changed when, late in the half, Thomas Perrot got the goal we needed. The score was 1-0. The opposition never recovered. They did have one or two chances throughout the game, but neither us or them could change the scoreline. Our defence, passing and use of space were good, but our shooting and short corners are definitely things we need to work on. Overall, a nice win and a good start to the season.

U15 A

Off the back of a great tour, we started the season with a great 2-1 victory over St Edward's. Nathaniel Jackson scored a class goal in the first half from a great cross slapped by Tom Jackson. At half time hopes were high, for the second half of the game. However, St Edward's came back early with a back post deflection off a short corner. We had several opportunities to score off short corners ourselves, but unfortunately we did not take them. Our second goal came from a deflection by Tom Jackson to put us 2-1 up. For the last 5-10 minutes of the game, we battled hard against a high St Edward's press, to finally come out on top.

U15 B

Abingdon's band of U15B players took to the field with a mixture of players. The rust was evident from the first touch. Yet at times they impressed with some good interplay. They retained most of the possession, but failed to cause problems where it counted in the opposition's D. They were hit on a counterattack and with a miss kick the goalkeeper played the opposition centre forward in to score. The second half had a similar feel with Abingdon retaining most of the ball but needing help to deal danger in the D, although it became more intense in the opposition's 25. Again another goal was scored by the opposition on a counterattack and again errors resulted in the goal. As the rust is removed the boys involved in this match will improve vastly as they get more hockey time.

U15 C

The first match of the season against St Edward's made evident the skill of the C Team. Even though some aspects are yet to be fully harnessed, skills certainly showed in attack, with a goal from Freddie Marshall in the first two minutes of the game. A goal by Aryann Gupta from a short corner in the middle of the second half showed good setup and recovery after the opposition’s two goals. A strong attacking presence was made, with Freddie as left forward, Aryann in center and Ethan Chen in right. We had trouble with defensive gaps in the first half leading to the conceded goals but they were addressed in the second half with some position changes. Despite four attacks from St Edward’s in the second half, none were conceded and strong form remained. Seb Skinner showed a very powerful 16 which could prove useful in future matches with correct communication with the forwards. Finlay Ball saved 6 shots on goal and used the defence to form a very strong barrier to the opposition in the second half.

We need to work on team communication and fluidity but positioning, spacing and marking were consistent throughout the match. 5th years were an addition we relied on at times, but overall it was a promising match with the rest of the season to look forward to.

U16 A

For the first match of the season, the previously almost unbeaten, Abingdon U16 As played the St Edward's 3rd XI in a one sided match. With a finishing score of 8-1 to Abingdon. There were some new introductions to the side including Fergus Sweeting, Oli Paton, Will Taylor, Izaak Morley Jessup and Mike MacLennan. Not forgetting the new coach of the team, Mr Latham. The game started with a lapse in concentration from the Abingdon boys leading them to concede their first and only goal. They then came back with passion and aggression to work many goal opportunities with 8 of them leading to goals. Goal scorers were: Siri x4, Roche x3 & Sweeting x1. However the match was cut a few minutes short after striker Josh Roche twisted his ankle making a dangerous run into the D. With that game drawn to a close, I think there is great potential for the rest of the season.

3rd XI

The 3rd XI’s season got off to a strong start with a convincing 4-0 win over St Edward's at Tilsley Park on Saturday. Although Abingdon appeared to be the better side in the first half, the team went into the half-time break with only a slim 1-0 advantage, having missed a few good opportunities to secure a comfortable lead. The second half proved more successful, with another 3 goals coming from clinical counter-attacking hockey, as well as a clean sheet to show for the strong defensive effort by the centre back partnership of Strainge and Ginks. A good all-round display from the team, showing encouraging signs for a successful 2019 season.

2nd XI

Abingdon 2nds played a spirited St Edward's 2nds at Tilsley Park, Abingdon started to dominate possession early in the first half and squandered some decent chances, St Edward's scored completely against the run of play just before half-time. Abingdon began the second half positively and Freddie Honeyman went on a virtuoso run, past several players, before finishing his solo move with an emphatic hit to make it 1-1. Both sides had opportunities to score thereafter in what was a more even second half. Lots of positives were seen for the upcoming fixtures and the team are looking forward to greater challenges that lie ahead.

1st XI

The season got underway with a Friday Night lights game versus St Edward’s. For the first game since the success of the tour, the boys pulled out a great 3-1 victory against a hard to play against side. With some close misses on corners, quick reactions from Lawson and Smith bagged us some quickfire goals to put 2-0 on the scoresheet. With Zamler picking up the third not long after. The second half was more of a grind, with teddies holding a strong half-court press, that delivered them a counter-attack goal, and forced us to work around their defence, creating lots of chances. Going forward, we look to build on the performance of Friday and capitalise on some of the missed chances so that we can secure those goals in games when we get fewer chances.

Overall though, a great performance and a strong season to look forward to.

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