Tetbury v Malmesbury (Friendly)

 HT 0 v 3 / FT 3 v 3 (Corbett 2, Hulme 1)

Saturday 14th saw Malmesbury youth (MYFC) travel to their first local Derby with Tetbury Town U8’s.
With Malmesbury coming into the game on an excellent run of form and with both teams associated kit sponsors in attendance, the scene was set for a great game of football.
As anticipated the match was hard fought from the whistle, with MYFC winning the early exchanges in midfield where James Hulme and Conner Marsh were influential in the tackle and Louis Corbett played a fantastic passing game to link the play.
Ed Watling was a constant threat when running at the Tetbury defence and a decisive pass to Louis Corbett resulted in a superbly taken finish to put MYFC into an early lead. MYFC now in their stride continued to press for more goals and when Ed Watling once again broke through the Tetbury defence his shot looked to be heading goal bound when Louis Corbett showed some excellent support play to help the ball over the line, thumping the ball into the back of the net – increasing Malmesbury’s lead to two.
Tetbury now sensing a rout came on the offensive and MYFC defence of Cian Phoenix and Henry Watling were resolute in their duties, meaning that Daniel Tenerife was hardly called upon between the sticks. MYFC went into the break three nil up after another good passing move resulted in James Hulme smashing in a goal from close range.
Despite the clear lead Tetbury looked dangerous and at half time the boys were encouraged to hold their positions, press the ball in open play and to continue to support each other.
The second half played into so many football clichés but it really was a “game of two halves” where Tetbury’s changes in formation had a positive impact on the result. Despite some early MYFC pressure Tetbury were quickly back in the game, after a well struck free kick, took advantage of some defensive uncertainty to beat Dan Tenerife at the far post.
MYFC responded immediately and were unlucky not extend their lead when the Tetbury keeper pulled off a fine save from Zak Armitage. Dan Tenerife who had been untested in the first half was now forced into making a string of fine saves to keep Tetbury from extending their tally.
Tetbury were now on top and were winning the midfield battle with some ferocious tackling and strong running, so it was not a surprise to see them claw back another goal mid way through the second half as MYFC were caught out of position. MYFC continued to try to put the result out of reach of the home side and looked to be holding on for a win, when a long range looping shot from just within the half way line, cleared every outfield player to drop under the bar and into MYFC’s goal to level the score.
In summary this was a thoroughly enjoyable game and both teams should be applauded for the way they played. To concede a three nil lead was somewhat disappointing after such a good first half however Tetbury deserve credit for their tenacity and team spirit which helped them to level the game.

MYFC continue to play some excellent football where our passing game, disciplined defending and overall support play is our strength. All the boys can feel very proud of themselves and this was another great effort by the team which extends MYFC’s unbeaten run. As always, our thanks to all the parents for their positive support, to Mr Marsh (the referee) and to Tetbury for being such welcoming hosts.

I’m already looking forward to the rematch!