U18S SCHOLARS MATCH REPORT VS PETERBOROUGH
Cambridge United came out on top 8-4 in a high scoring local derby with Peterborough United in the Youth Alliance league on Saturday at the Mick George Academy.
The Under 18s put in a fantastic first half performance to lead 4-1 at the beak. Peterborough lost their goal keeper to a head injury in the 20th minute but the Young U's opening half performance deserved the comprehensive lead at the interval.
A fast start and dominant period was rewarded on a water laden surface, on which the scholars passed the ball with impressive confidence and combinations. Justin Leavers opened the scoring after a fine through ball from Fernando Bell -Toxtle set him free of the back four. Leavers first touch eliminated the defender and he calmly stroked the ball under the goal keeper.
The Posh equalised with a breakaway goal midway through the half against the run of play, a good finish from the striker who was allowed to turn inside from a wide area inside the box, made possible by Frankie Jones' decision to go to ground when he may have been better served staying on his feet and forcing the man away from goal.
United's response was excellent, a Dylan Williams free kick curled into the top corner from 20 yards, followed by a Matt Foy tap-in from a Leavers cross. Frankie Jones added a fourth from his header off of a William’s corner before the break.
The second half started in similar fashion and an early goal looked to have sealed the game, Matt Foy cutting in from the left past three defenders to curl home his finish. The fifth goal though seemed to spark the home side at a time when the U's had taken their foot off the pedal. Two goals in quick succession gave the Posh hope and United were wobbling.
After a period of momentum for the home side, the scholars held firm and scored the all-important next goal, Foy completing his hat-trick having robbed the goalkeeper on a poor back pass. Foy had time to grab his fourth and United's seventh before making way for Jordan Brown.
Both sides had chances in the closing stages, and both scored, with Posh netting their fourth before substitute Brown got in on the action.
Professional Phase Lead Coach Mark Bonner gave his thoughts on an entertaining game: “We are delighted with the first half. It is what we need to become. High tempo, high energy, possession based football with attacking intent. We knew it was a day for attitude and desire and we were full of it.
“In the second half we needed to be relentless and we began well but encouraged them and the game became a contest again. We need to learn how to stay in the game and focussed in these moments as that maturity and emotional intelligence isn't there right now.
“Some of our football was excellent on a challenging day and surface. There was a real confidence in our passing and energy in our movement. Defensively we are trying to discover some robustness and a ‘fight for your life’ attitude to keeping the opposition at bay.”
He continued: “Consistent high quality performances is what we are searching for, if the players approach each day with enthusiasm and hunger, and are willing to commit to the process physically and mentally to every facet of their scholarship, then we will continue improving, gaining results as a team but ultimately, allowing each individual to realise their potential.
“The journey continues in trying to enthuse and liberate these young men. Making them believe that the limits of possibility lie in their own minds is a challenge that they are unsure of and currently mistrusting. We will succeed in achieving the attitude of ‘no excuses’ that has served us so well. That Cambridge United can beat anyone and compete with everyone. That is why we are here. Reminding this group and introducing that idea to some is a track we have fallen off of and are determined on getting back on. I look forward to the next challenge and continuing to see the developing maturity and confidence in our players.”
Team: Macree, Davies, Emmins, Darling, Jones, Lea (Knowles 65), Chambers-Shaw, Bell-Toxtle (Squire 75), Williams, Foy (Brown 75), Leavers