Witham Colts battle hard but face fierce opposition!

13 Feb 2015

Colts A:

Witham Hall  1

St Hugh’s      2

The Colts A put in a terrific performance in a fiery encounter with St Hugh’s. The visitors started brightly but Witham weathered the early storm and grew increasingly confident. Shortly before half-time, a St Hugh’s defender raised an arm to handle a bouncing ball and Witham were awarded a penalty, which was calmly sidefooted home by the impressive Alex Spragg. St Hugh’s rallied in the second half and put Witham’s goal under heavy pressure, but our defence of Tom Davison and George Weaving, together with goalkeeper Robert Tombs, continually frustrated the attacks. However, it wasn’t to be, and two goals in the final ten minutes gave St Hugh’s the result their dominance had probably merited. Nevertheless, a superb battling display from Witham.

Grace Dieu Manor      8

Witham Hall                0

The Colts A endured a difficult afternoon on a small pitch in the freezing Leicestershire wind. Despite the humbling final scoreline, the first-half was a reasonably even contest, with Grace Dieu leading by only a single goal at the interval. Witham had two glorious chances to equalise but both shots from point-blank range were aimed straight at the hosts’ goalkeeper. However, the second half saw a massively disappointing capitulation from Witham as the conditions seemed to affect us far more than Grace Dieu, who were scoring goals almost at will near the end. 

Laxton Junior U11 A    5

Witham Hall Colts A     0

The Colts A suffered a heavy defeat against a very talented Laxton side. The hosts dominated from start to finish, with Witham unable to muster a single shot at goal. Nonetheless, we defended with great spirit and managed to keep the scoreline blank until shortly before half-time. The superb efforts of defenders Tom Davison and Max St John, along with goalkeeper Robert Tombs, prevented the result from being even more emphatic. On the bright side, we are unlikely to face such strong opposition again this term!

Witham Hall  2

Spratton Hall 3

The Colts A narrowly lost to Spratton Hall in an entertaining match in the winter sunshine. The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and took the lead from close range midway through the first half. Nevertheless, Witham fought back to equalise just before the break when Vyv Bewley scored from an acute angle after a fumble from the goalkeeper. 

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Witham defending admirably against frequent attacks. Again Spratton took the lead, but with seven minutes to go Vyv again levelled the score; this time after good work on the break from Ewan Rodell. However, with two minutes to go Spratton went ahead for the third and decisive time. Witham almost snatched a draw with the last kick of the game, but the Spratton 'keeper made an excellent save from Harry Jones. Well played both teams.

Colts B:

Witham Hall            0

Grace Dieu Manor  5

A cold afternoon! The boys had not only to contend with a strong opposition who passed the ball around well, but who were clearly used to the prevailing wind, the sloping pitch and were adept at capitalizing on these home advantages.

Nevertheless, the boys got into their stride and only trailed by two goals at half time and it was hoped the slope and wind might allow them to engineer a comeback in the second half. That was, unfortunately, not to be and although Witham created half chances in front of goal, the ball just would not fall to allow that clear scoring opportunity for which the boys strove. Ludo Elborne, Sam Smith and Ben Lee look to be improving in mid-field. Archie Bingham ran and tackled all afternoon, partnered by Harry Leverton who is growing with every game. Joe Atkinson worked hard to get that vital foothold for us up front and Will Robertson really stuck at it well and was in the action all afternoon in goal. Felix Starkey enjoyed a game of more involvement and substituted in goal for the last five minutes of the game.

All ran and worked really hard, and given the awful cold did really well. Grace Dieu were worthy winners and contributed fully to an entertaining game. Well done to Oli Allport who was a clear Man of the Match!

Witham Hall Colts B 1

Spratton Hall  3

Goals: Oliver Allport

A very competitive match that Spratton certainly deserved to win as they passed very well and made excellent use of the width of the pitch. However, Witham nearly sneaked home with Joe Atkinson and Ben Lee hitting the side netting and Joe hitting one over the bar to spare the Spratton boys.

In only their second game the boys showed better cohesion and looked a definite threat on the break; Ludo Elborne, in his first game for the B squad, caused some real consternation in the Spratton defence when he ran at them. The other debutants, Harry Leverton and Archie Bingham, worked well together for their first time in defence.

Well done to Felix Starkey for keeping in goal for the first half after regular keeper Will Robertson was laid low with a bug. In the second half Harry showed his adaptability by donning the gloves.

Sam Smith linked up well with the other midfield players and it was pleasing to see how the boys coped with the rolling substitutions and kept their shape on the field. Man of the Match was Oli Allport whose work-rate was phenomenal all afternoon, busying the length of the pitch and getting a well-deserved goal!

Witham Hall 2

St Hugh’s  0

Goals: Vyvyan Bewley (pen.), Harry Leverton

This was a very good match that was enjoyed by the players and supporters alike as both teams battled for supremacy. Witham enjoyed the opportunity to play on a good-sized pitch with a super surface and played more of a “passing game” than they had managed in previous fixtures. St. Hugh’s certainly played their part fully in the fixture and although Witham made it safe in the final five minutes with Man of Match Harry Leverton coolly slotting home, the visitors could have equally taken the honours as they pressed right up until the final whistle.

With a squad of nine, rolling subs meant positional changes but again the awareness of the boys in covering the field and keeping a good shape was pleasing. In goal Felix Starkey was very calm and composed and in front of him the defence of Max St John, Archie Bingham and Finn Wass limited the amount of chances to a handful.

In the midfield Harry Leverton, Ludo Elborne and Ben Lee performed well and countered the very adept passing of the Hugh’s boys. Up front Joe Atkinson showed real pace and shared the attacking duties with the equally speedy Vyvyan Bewley which meant Witham looked very dangerous on the break. Champagne moment was Ludo’s break from midfield and rising drive that skimmed the bar with the keeper well beaten

Well done boys, a win at last!

Colts C:

Witham Hall  2

Spratton Hall  6

The Colts C boys looked to bounce back from a disappointing opening encounter with Maidwell Hall. Playing on a boggy pitch, the opening exchanges of the match were far more fluent than the conditions suggested. Spratton took to the game to Witham from the off, but it was Witham who struck first blood with Ben Marshall marauding down the left wing and crossing for Oli Rymer to convert emphatically. Spratton hit back soon after, despite some positive attacking play from Witham. Spratton then started to take control of the game and scored another two goals in quick succession, however Ben Marshall again skipped clear of the Spratton defence and laid the ball across, this time for Sam Beattie to coolly slot home. At half time, the score was 3-2 to Spratton.

Witham took to the field in the second half looking to strike back immediately. Indeed they looked the most threatening in the early stages with Finn Wass putting in a good shift. However, it was Spratton who struck first, looping the ball over Freddie Sumner in goal from long range. Another Spratton goal – a snapshot after blocking a goal-kick put the home team 3 goals ahead. Witham were not finished, however, and the tenacious Finn Wass was involved again, forcing the ball forward for Sam Beattie and Oli Rymer to exchange passes before a shot at goal was taken. The ball was partially saved and looked like it had crossed the Spratton goal line, only for the keeper to pull it back again and the ref to wave ‘play-on’. This was a cruel blow as Spratton soon went back down the pitch and scored a sixth, all but ending Witham’s hopes of any late comeback.

The game finished 6-2 to Spratton, though the scoreline flattered the home team. Man of the Match was Sam Beattie, whose tireless efforts deserved more reward. Despite the scoreline, the boys put in a fantastic effort and I was incredibly proud of the spirit that they showed through to the final whistle.

Witham 4

St Hugh’s  0

The boys took to the field against St Hugh’s looking to turn the recent run of good football into good results. After a very bright start, Otter Burford found himself in space on the left wing, he cut inside the fullback before dispatching a delicate side foot in at the near post to give Witham the lead. This was followed soon after by another Burford goal, finishing smartly after great work by Sam Beattie. Despite plenty of pressure, the boys didn’t quite manage to find the net again in the first half and Will Robertson had to be on his toes towards the end of the half to thwart a St Hugh’s attack.

In the second half, the boys played with even more tempo and tenacity. Sam Smith caused the St Hugh’s backline no end of trouble and managed to bag a brace of goals to give the team a 4-0 lead. The play of the day followed soon after, with both Smith and Burford chasing their hat-trick goal. The ball was worked down the right wing superbly after a neat interchange along the defensive line of Chris Bingham and Oli Rymer. Rory Pepper then went off on a rampaging run down the wing before sending a delicious cross in – Smith was waiting to pounce at the edge of the area, but the cross raced across the face of goal with Burford hurtling in at the back post. Sadly, Otter couldn’t quite reach the ball in the end despite his best sliding efforts, but at least it gave the plentiful crowd some entertainment!

The boys continued to dominate and were victorious for the first time this season.

Men of the Match: Otter Burford and Rory Pepper