SJFA U12 v Berkhamsted Raiders

Ali Abbas Suleiman (GK)
Ali Hadi Govani (C)
Ali Khatau
Ali Merali
Bakir Lilani
Hassan Merali Dewji
Husayn Yahya Merali
Jameel Walji (GK)
Mohamed Mahdi Janmohammed
Mouneer Al-Khayat
Shahid AP
Yousuf Datoo

On a frosty morning in the beautiful grounds of Ashlyns School, SJFA (Tier 4) had a 9-a-side away match at Berkhamsted Raiders.

SJFA started with a 3-2-3 formation and quickly took an early lead from a good finish by Ali Khatau (1-0 SJFA). Berkhamsted then got into the game more and were unlucky when the hit the post.

SJFA picked up the pace and Hassan Merali Dewji hit a shot just over the bar. Then, the goal of the day. Hassan Merali Dewji picked up the ball outside the box and BOOM… top bin! Off the crossbar and in (2-0 SJFA).

Berkhamsted started pressing more but Ali Hadi Govani was controlling the defence alongside Shahid AP and Ali Merali to stop a wave of attacks. They hit the post and then soon after finally made the breakthrough to score (2-1 SJFA).

Ali Abbas Suleiman in goal made a string of fine saves to keep SJFA in the lead and at the other end, Hassan Merali Dewji made a brilliant solo run only to shoot agonisingly across the line and another run saved only by a last ditch tackle by Berkhamsted.

Mouneer Al-Khayat had some nice touches in midfield leading to a chance for Jameel Walji who shot just wide. Husayn Yahya Merali then played a great through ball to Ali Khatau who was tackled just as he was about to take a shot. Ali Abbas Suleiman then made a great save in a one-on-one situation to deny a certain goal.

Half time. The manager made a tactical switch from 3-2-3 to 3-3-2 moving Ali Hadi Govani to a holding midfielder as SJFA were being outrun. Kept three at the back with Bakir Lilani coming in.

The change almost paid immediate dividends with a good run from Hassan Merali Dewji and a good shot by Ali Hadi Govani from outside the box saved by the keeper.

Mohamed Mahdi Janmohamed was full of running in midfield, constantly hassling the opposition. He made a great run on the break that led to a corner. However, Berkhamsted broke straight from the corner and would have scored but for a miskick at a crucial moment.

A great through ball put Ali Khatau through but he was just offside.
Berkhamsted then scored to level the game (2-2).

SJFA’s heads did not drop and Ali Hadi Govani tried to get more involved and control the game but Berkhamsted kept pressing. They had a great chance from a corner but Husayn Yahya Merali thwarted the attack with a great block.

Hassan Merali Dewji capitalised from a weak kick from the opposition keeper with an instant control and shot that put SJFA back in the lead (3-2 SJFA).

Hassan Merali Dewji made a great run down the wing and crossed to Jameel Walji but the keeper intercepted. Hassan Merali Dewji then made a great run into the area and was fouled just as he was about to shoot. He stepped up to take the penalty but it was saved but he quickly got the rebound and scored (4-2 SJFA). Hat-Trick for Hassan Merali Dewji!

Ali Abbas Suleiman made save after save to keep Berkhamsted’s attackers at bay and retain the two goal lead.

Mohamed Mahdi Janmohamed with some great work down the wing laying it off to Ali Hadi Govani who curled his shot just wide.

Ali Abbas Suleiman then made another great save before SJFA had a goalmouth scramble with Yousuf Datoo shooting just wide.

Ali Abbas Suleiman then made a final great save from a volley and the final whistle blew.

Great win and all round performance from the team.

Afzal Merali
Parent U12
(Coach u7/8)