Sussex's U16s found
themselves in unfamiliar territory at Hornchurch by
conceding 2 goals in the first 20 minutes, against a
very physical London side. Despite trying to get their
passing game going, all momentum was lost as we could
not keep possession. This resulted in us allowing London
time and space and, with two breakaways, London found
the back of the net on both occasions.
At half-time, Sussex
remained out on the pitch which seemed to have worked as
we started the second half with a bit more passion and
were rewarded with a goal on 47 minutes. A great
individual piece of skill from an in-form James Fegany
saw him go on a jinking run into the penalty area and
hitting a low shot into the corner of the goal.
Invigorated by this goal
things started to happen for Sussex all over the pitch,
the back four started hassling and closing down their
opponents, with some solid defending from the full-back
pairing of Jacob Waller and Ben Collier preventing
London from using their flanks while the midfield trio
of Connor Cushing, Benji Allen and Jarryd Gilbertson
continued to soak up the pressure from their opposite
numbers by winning important tackles and stopping London
from pressing forward.
Sussex were deservedly
back on terms when Liam Lancaster, with some good work
down the flanks, managed to get behind the full-back and
slid a ball in for Charlie Dennis to tap in from close
range, making it honours even on the 52 minute mark.
The remainder of the game
was a tense affair with each side looking for the
deciding goal and both sides having opportunities. It
was London that looked more nervous, as they had been
3-0 up in their last game before losing it 4-3. In
their last game, Sussex had been 2-0 up in Kent and,
but for a couple of lapses in concentration, would have
come away with all three points instead of a draw.
On this occasion, however,
it was Sussex who took the honours with a stunning goal
from Benji Allen, with only 4 minutes of the game
remaining. He picked up a clearance inside the London
area and, from close range, fired the ball into the roof
of the net.
This was definitely a
'game of two halves' and, with the second half
introduction of Johan van Driel and Charlie Dennis,
whose passing ability stretched our opponents, we were
able to bring this into our own passing and possession
game which tired out the London players.
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