SJFA U16 v West Drayton

On Saturday 19th November SFA Tier 6 boys faced Belmont FC as their first ever match. This would be the first match the boys are playing together against external opposition, playing 11-a-side and on grass. It was a game of two contrasting halves which showed that the boys have the ability to play at this level but have to keep playing competitive football to improve in match situations. There are many positives to take from this performance as well as areas to improve in, which will be worked on in SJ training and hopefully put in to practice in future matches.

The players arrived early to go through their warms ups and short training exercises before the game. The match started a little late, but the first 20 minutes started with high intensity from Belmont FC. Their speed and strength upfront shocked our boys and within this first 20mins Belmont FC were 5-0 up. Belmont kept up the high pressure and intensity as they could see that our boys were surprised at the level of football and had not adapted to the pitch as quickly as we had hoped, after 30mins Belmont FC were 7-0 up. From this point onwards our boys decided to start playing football. The two Qasims (Merali and Suleman) who were playing Centre Backs, started communicating and using the strength and speed that they possess to keep Belmont from scoring for the last 10mins of the first half.

At half time the boys realised that they had the ability which was shown in the last 10mins of the first half and were keen to show they were better than the score line With Yasin Valjy now playing in Centre Midfield, they started to put pressure on Belmont FC’s defence. Quickly into this second half SJ scored though Mehdi Blue, a beautiful finish with the outside of his foot into the top corner. There was a goal from Belmont FC to put the score at 8-1 however this was against the run of play. SJ were now starting to dictate the game with Imran Dewji and Yasin Valjy controlling the midfield, they were getting the ball up the pitch much faster and started winning the 50:50s which they were not in the first half. Two goals from Yasin Valjy and one from Zain Bandali were scored without reply and SJ were playing with more confidence. The defence was now playing as a unit, limiting Belmont FC to very few chances until the last 10mins when they scored a few goals. The end results of the match was 11-4, however after a nervous and shaky first half, the second half score alone was 4-4. Special mention to our Goalkeeper, Hussein Mehgji who made numerous one on one saves especially in the first half.

The boys showed incredible character to get back into the match after such a confidence breaking first half and matched Belmont FC in the second half (a team who has been playing together for 4-5 years). This is the start of a process, with along with the SJ training sessions we hope to develop the players in external matches into good technical and well rounded footballers.

Sabir Datoo
Coach Tier 6 : U15/16