STANMORE were well beaten for the first time this calender year as KCA Forrest’s pace and power proved too much to handle.
The U9s have been on a great run of performances recently, with great team structure and individual skill leading to several close games in 2023.
But the team – perhaps coming back after half term – were a little off the pace on Saturday, and succumbed to an intense and aggressive performance from the visitors.
The hosts initially defended well but struggled to create much on the counter, leading to SJFC being pinned back for much of the first half.
KCA made their pressure count thrice, while tough tackles flew in at both ends as the fixture intensified.
The U9s improved in the second half, focusing on their passing game and building out from the back effectively.
They eventually got their reward, with Hussain Dhalla putting the rapid Ali Husayn Walji through to finish confidently.
But a further rally never arrived for SJFC, and the visitors took advantage of some defensive mix ups to extend their lead.
Still, there was positives – Hassan Alimohamed and Mohammed Haji are nailing down their case as commanding defenders, while Swiss Army Knife Muhammad Jawad Tejani played all over the pitch, once again, leading to a joint man of the match award with Danyaal Panju. Noah Hussein continues to look better each week in a central midfield position – learning different roles in crucial to a young player’s development.
Captain Mehdi Lakha continued to strengthen his partnership with Aliabbas Dharas, while Hassan Daya had a great stint in goal before playing an excellent final quarter on the right wing.
Manager Kumail Jaffer said: “The players had to face an imposing press from the opposition today which disrupted our game and made it hard to get out.
“It meant the squad could not play to their usual standards, but these things happen and this team has a lot of ability.
“Going forward, they will use this result as motivation to bounce back.”
Ali Husayn Walji
Muhammad Jawad Tejani