Date: 18th September 2007 at 11:02am
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The unbeaten run came to an end at the Soccer City U15’s Premier League after an extremely physical encounter against the Leeds United Youth.

As always, team manager and youth leader Rod Christopher gives us the low-down on this weeks Oakwood Owls events:

Oakwood Owls’ 3 game unbeaten run came to an end when beaten late on by Leeds United Youth in the U15s Premier League at Soccer City on Friday. Owls came into this game knowing that victory could offer hope of catching Leeds Utd Youth (Currently 2nd), while a United win should all but finish any Owls hopes of ending the campaign above them. The game turned out to be the most entertaining, but physical 6 pointer that our group and supporters have ever been involved in!

The stormy end to end match saw the Owls lead 3 – 1 on 8 minutes, after classy finishes by captain Rodley (2) and vice captain Coldwell, but our opponents seemed to change their usual line up for this particular game, adding much bigger and stronger boys in order to get a job done! At times they employed over physical tactics to eventually overpower our boys, leaving a few of them battered and bruised! At going 3 – 1 down the Leeds squad made a triple substitution of players we had never seen on previous visits here and they came back into the game with 2 quick fire goals.

The Owls again stunned them on 14, when the skilful Temple caused their defence problems and he hit a screamer from his own half to make it 4 – 3 Owls. Both teams battled tooth and nail from there, with particular good play from defender Owino, who’s darting forward runs added a great outlet for his side as the clock ticked away. This end to end game seemed to have a bit of everything, with the Owls boys heading the shots on target ratio by 18 to 15 by the end! A heavily disputed penalty gave the Leeds team hope, before they went ahead for the first time in the game on 19 minutes.

The Owls kept up the battle and it was their great team work ethic that eventually stunned United again, bringing Owls level. A four man move involving Temple, Rodley, Coldwell and debutant Worsley ended with the outstanding Coldwell firing home his second on 22 of this 25 minute match. A hard earned point seemed likely, but Uniteds tough tactics proved succesful,as Worsley and Rodley were eventually worn down by the constant battering! Tiredness also began to set in and the fresher, older and more experienced United squad hit 2 on the break near the end to grab victory at 7 – 5.

Rod has his say on the result:

‘After the game the ref told me that this game was the best 5-a-side match he’d seen here in 4 years, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about today. I’m very disappointed with many of the things he let go. A few of my boys have bruises all over after this encounter and I feel he could have been a bit more protective, as many tackles appeared a bit over zealous! We all know that football is physical, but a lot of what I witnessed today seemed harsh. I’ve informed the officials of exactly how I feel right now, but it obviously doesn’t change the outcome.

‘We can accept defeat anytime, but losing a game this way just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This is not a case of sour grapes by me either, because my group are coached to be gracious in both defeat and victory. The lads gave everything today and can feel proud for taking such lofty opponents right to the wire, but we simply were not allowed to play much fluent football. Despite this I felt we were the better side.

My squad are gutted by the manner of how we lost, but we will dust ourselves down, regroup and prepare well for next week. We’re getting better for this experience and next season expect to see us right up there from the off. I hold nothing but admiration for the way the Owls conducted themselves today, but unfortunately I cannot say the same of our opponents.’

The Oakwood Owls squad:

1. Rawson, 2. Owino, 3. Coldwell, 4. Rodley (Capt), 5. Worsley, 6. Temple

Man of the match; Coldwell and Rodley


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