Under 18s Eagles
Manager : Mike Murphy
Assistants : Jeff Goviea and Andy Costello
The Under 18s currently train on Thursday Evenings 6:30 - 8:00pm at Corrigan Ave.
Match Days :
All games are played on a Sunday.
Jeff Goviea & Mile Murphy
Season 2019/2020 Team Photo
Season 20/21 Match Reports
Sunday 27th September
Result Bromleians 4 - 1 Coulsdon Athletic Eagles
So its finally arrived. Return of the football season for the Eagles. Not only had we had retained every player from last season, we also had little Tommy return, so we have got stronger.
As Under 17s we have no choice but to go into a mixed division of Under 18s, and so we should expect a tough year. But these lads have great spirit, and we are looking forward and embracing the challenge. Unbelievably it was our first league match for over 6 months, so it will be interesting to see how we fared.
We started our season away to Bromleians, a well established club at this level that are known to give a hard game.
We have kept to starting a match with a 4-4-2 and seeing how a game develops. We started perfectly, on the front foot, putting them under pressure and playing the game in their half. Anas and Josh were moving the ball well through midfield, and when a pass came to Murf just inside their half, he took a touch and shifted the ball wide to Isa. Isa was absolutely flattened by the left back, it was such a heavy challenge that it should have seen a card. But maybe he was a ref that kept cards in his pocket.... well, we'll see about that.
From the free kick Ethan lofted a beautiful ball into the box and Anas met the cross, flicking ball into the bottom corner! 1-0 Eagles.
We then had a pretty much end to end game, but we never really felt uncomfortable with our superb keeper Xander was displaying a 10/10 performance, his starting position and handling was excellent.
Alfie and Ethan were marshalling the centre of defence well and although the home team were having a bit more of the ball, we were dealing with it. With a lack of cover at right back Prabs went on and at right back and along with Donny on the left, did a great job stopping the attacks from wide.
We had a couple of close shaves with Xander saving well, when the home team won a corner. We haven't defended set pieces well at times, but this was a wickedly swinging ball that their attacker met well in the air, at pace and with strength. It was such a good corner, that in this case it was hard to defend. Sometimes you just have to accept those goals. 1-1.
But the fact was that we continued to attack well with Jake, Ciaran and Tommy in wide positions, and our skipper Dan, proving to be the handful he is to defend against in the centre.
With about 10 minutes left in the half, our centre mid Adz gave away an unnecessary free kick, he knew what he had done and was frustrated. In his frustration he kicked the ball away and yelled out an expletive about multiplying and travel, if you get my drift. It was unacceptable and the ref ran straight over and took it as abuse at him and produced a red card!!!! Yes, the language was wrong, but he is a 17 year old lad that was completely frustrated with giving away a free kick, but I said to the ref, let me bring him off and calm him down, at which we had an exchange about how he felt it was direct abuse, and I disagreed. Rather like arguing with a copper, you ain't going to win. Not only had he immediately ruined our match, he had ruined poor Adam's day, as well as losing him for the next two matches!! Well done ref, you've shown us all that you've got a shiny red card, but this is grassroots football where you have to manage a situation and help these lads, but no, this fella wanted to be centre of attention. Well done. The lads held it together for the last 10 minutes in an enforced 4-4-1.
Although the lads had been focused, we got caught for the first time in the game within 5 mins of the second half. They felt hard done by, and rightly so. 2-1, but time to show some character.
We kept trying to build and the defence were still clearing the ball well, and trying our best to involve the lone striker.
The home team built an attack where the ball got played and the lino flagged for offside, the home side carried out an put the ball in the net, only for the ref to now over rule the lino and give the goal.
Our assistant coach who was on that side of the pitch very reasonably explained to the ref who was offside and why the flag went up. However due to showing the audacity to seemingly question his decision, he red carded him. Yes red carded him!
This crank was showing more cards than Dynamo.
The ref was just creating chaos, and we were now 3-1 down with understandably despondent boys. This was becoming a joke.
Credit to the lads, they did continue to build some attacks with Anas, Murf, Tommy, Dan and Isa threatening, and showing their character, they just weren't giving up. The deeper midfield unit and defence of Josh, Alfie, Prabs, Ethan, Ardz, Donny and Jake were rotating, and competing well.
We thought that we may all of a sudden we may be 10 v 10 when then midfielder aimed a punch in the back of our full back for winning a challenge, the ref gave nothing. Not even a Yellow? When I questioned the consistency from him, it seemed that Dynamo had now managed a vanishing trick with his cards. Ridiculous.
With 10 minutes to go, the man advantage did show and the home team scored a fourth. It was a completely flattering score line, and one that was all about the official in the middle rather than the performance on the pitch. And you know me, I've written many reports, and I don't think I've criticised a ref as much as this.
I can honestly say that after seeing the lads perform today, it has put me at ease for facing some of these older teams. Yes there'll be some hard days, but if we work together and stand strong, we'll have some very good days as well. If we had 11 v 11 today, I'm convinced we would have come away with something.
In the face of such provocation, we were quite rightly very, very proud of how they conducted themselves, and as a manager I can ask no more.
Nothing changes, the Eagles spirit is one to be proud of.