Colts Football News
16 Mar 2015
Witham Hall 1
The Colts A nearly snatched a dramatic draw against a talented Copthill side. A penalty in the last minute gave our boys the chance to equalise (against the run of play it must be said), but the visitors’ goalkeeper made a terrific diving save to preserve their lead.
Copthill’s all-Year 6 team had started the game strongly and took a deserved two-goal lead into the break. Witham improved in the second half; with ten minutes remaining they halved the deficit when Harry Gillett burst into the box and smashed the ball home. The game was now an end-to-end affair with both teams pushing hard, and in the dying seconds a Copthill player blocked a shot with a raised arm, gifting the penalty to Witham. Sadly it wasn't to be, but our boys can hold their heads high after a spirited performance. Man-of-the match: Alex Spragg.
Witham Hall 3
The Peterborough School 1
The Colts A produced their most assured display of the season against a skilled Peterborough team. Straight from the kick-off the visitors passed the ball well, but Witham’s more direct approach gave them the upper hand. We deservedly took the lead when Alex Spragg blasted the ball into the roof of the net after some good work from Harry Gillett. Confidence was high at half-time – the boys were determined to earn the victory. Two second-half goals from man-of-the-match Gillett secured the win; only the post denied him a superb hat-trick. A late consolidation for Peterborough could not dent Witham’s satisfaction – well played boys!
Colts A at the ISFA Midlands U11 tournament, Repton School
The Colts A boys enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of football at the annual Independent Schools' Football Association tournament (hosted by Repton School). It was always going to be tough going against some of the Midlands' best teams, but our boys never gave up and battled hard in every match. We had five group matches and had hoped to progress to the quarter finals by finishing in the top two places.
Witham had a positive opening contest against Edenhurst (Staffordshire), with Harry Gillett lashing home the equaliser midway through the second half. Sadly we lost our remaining four games, although the only emphatic defeat was by eventual semi-finalists King's Hawford (Worcester). Witham competed admirably in the other three games and were unlucky not to achieve draws. Our moment of the day was Ewan Rodell's superb solo goal in the match against Highclare (Birmingham).
With half of our squad consisting of Year 5 boys, the signs bode well for next year!
Squad: Oliver Allport, Ewan Rodell, George Weaving, Harry Gillett, Robert Tombs, Ludo Elborne, Tom Davison, Alex Spragg.
Group B results
Witham Hall 1-1 Edenhurst
Witham Hall 0-3 King’s Hawford
Witham Hall 0-1 Hereford Cathedral
Witham Hall 0-2 Grace Dieu Manor
Witham Hall 1-2 Highclare
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 side-footed 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.
Triangular Tournament at Witham 11th March 2015
Witham draws 1 – 1 vs Copthill
Goal: J. Atkinson
Witham held the lead for most of this game but Copthill salvaged a draw in the last five minutes after Joe Atkinson had curled in a fierce corner that the Copthill keeper had only managed to parry into his own net. Both teams made this an entertaining game to watch, with the slick passing game of Copthill nullified by the strong tackling of Max St. John, Archie Bingham and Finn Wass. In response Witham showed that they have got a passing game as well; Harry Leverton was assured and passed accurately in midfield, Ben Lee linked neatly with Joe Atkinson always a threat on the break. In goal, Will Robertson continued his outstanding form.
Copthill 1- 4 Stoneygate
Stoneygate showed strongly against Copthill and their smooth and seamless passing looked rather ominous for Witham in the last game of the triangular fixture.
Witham draws 1-1 vs Stoneygate
Goal: A. Bingham
Witham did rather well in this game and as they have showed all season, play above themselves when faced with a challenge. Stoneygate took the lead after five minutes but Witham had already pressed and looked like scoring on the break with Max coming into midfield and supporting Joe in attack. Felix dropped into more of a holding role and Finn and Archie kept it tight at the back. Witham were industrious and completely dominated the midfield and unexpectedly, Stonygate’s assurance paled and Will had a relatively quiet two halves in goal.
Witham pressed and Joe came close on several occasions as did an irrepressible Max. Witham equalised through a cool side-footed drive by Archie, who had come up for a corner and as the game reached the final minutes, Witham were very much in control.
Witham’s Man of Afternoon- Max St. John
Champagne moment – Archie’s goal.
Witham Hall Colts B 2-3 Wellow House
Goals: Joe Atkinson, Ben Lee
Witham Hall draws 2-2 vs Wellow House U11A
This away match at hosts Wellow was a really exciting match to equal the previous game that the Colts had played at home. Again the boys pressed hard in the dying moments to secure a draw but were denied by some effective defence and some wayward shooting.
Wellow quickly went two goals up after the Wellow number 9 showed that just a yard of leeway was all he needed; two thumping finishes into the top corners of the net emphatically put Wellow in the driving seat. Thereafter, the boys tightened their marking, started to mount their own attacks and really press home their increasing territorial advantage, finishing the first half very strongly with Harry Leverton and Joe Atkinson coming very close to scoring.
At the start of the second half Wellow got a goal very much against the run of play. After this setback, Witham exerted relentless pressure and a superb long range snap shot by Joe caught the Wellow keeper napping. Attack after attack followed and the second goal came when a driven corner by Ben Lee found its way into the net via the tiniest deflection. With Felix Starkey coming desperately close in the dying seconds this was a very entertaining game to watch. Vyvyan Bewley, Archie Bingham, Finn Wass and Max St. John all had solid games but the Man of the Match was undoubtedly Will Robertson for some really agile keeping and one exceptional and stunning piece of acrobatics.
Witham Hall draws 2-2 vs Kirkstone House U11A
Goals: Joe Atkinson (2)
The wide expanses of the Colts A pitch afforded the boys a chance to play the ball about and they certainly grew in confidence as the game progressed and realised that this space gave them a little more time on the ball.
However having said that, there were some fairly desperate goal mouth scrambles and last ditch defence that made this one of the most exciting games of the season to date. Kirkstone passed the ball well and the Witham defensive line had to be on their guard. Max St. John, Archie Bingham, Finn Wass and Ben Lee all performed well at the back as the team was shuffled throughout the game. In midfield, Harry Leverton had another solid game and was ably supported by Ben Lee, covering lots of ground and Felix Starkey, showing excellent adaptability. In goal, Will Robertson showed more confidence this week and then made some important tackles when he came out as Felix went between the sticks for the second half.
Kirkstone opened the scoring with a sharply driven shot direct from a corner but Witham were soon back on terms after Joe Atkinson drilled in a parried shot. Just before half time Kirkstone were in front again with another sharp finish from the edge of the box.
In the second half Witham attacked went close with Vyvyan Bewley’s pace causing problems for the Kirkstone defence. The final ten minutes were end-to-end and it really could have gone either way as Witham went close and then Kirkstone were denied by the woodwork.
Witham wins 2- 0 vs St Hugh’s
Goals: Vyvyan Bewley (pen.), Harry Leverton
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 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 sharing the attacking duties with the equally speedy Vyvyan Bewley 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!
Witham loses to Stoneygate U10A
The Witham boys got their first taste of playing on the Colts A pitch this season and looked the part for the opening exchanges of the match. However, confidence and creativity soon capitulated as Stoneygate took control of the game. Despite their best efforts, the boys were trailing 2 – 0 in the last minute of the first half only for a calamitous error to allow Stoneygate a third on the stroke of half time. The second half saw Stoneygate exert even further dominance and the goals seemed to keep rolling in. The final score of 9 – 0 to the opposition marked the first game of the season where the boys’ desire and passion dried up long before the final whistle.
A disappointing match, but one to bounce back from in the next fixture.
Witham Hall lose 0-5 to Grace Dieu
The Colts C took to the field against Grace Dieu in bitter winter conditions. Despite the driving snow, the boys looked ‘up for the game’ and were soon trying to get a handle on proceedings. Grace Dieu began brightly and looked by far and away the best team that we have come up against to date, so it was little surprise that the breakthrough went to the home soon, despite us having the ‘hill’ advantage. Grace Dieu rattled in two further goals before half time to lead 3 – 0 at the interval.
The boys resumed in the second half with great spirit and determination, as has typified them so far this season. Max Moore, making his Cs debut played very well in goal and kept the team in the game at times. He was helped time and time again by the excellent defensive work of Finn Wass (supported by Ben Armitage and Sacha Howells). James Alford, another C team debutant worked tirelessly all over the pitch. Sam Beattie continued his excellent run of form with some terrific mazy runs and little skills in the middle of the pitch, whilst Oli Rymer, Chris Bingham and captain for the day Ben Marshall showed great and the ‘never say die’ attitude that has been evident in all previous matches. A further two goals from Grace Dieu before full time left the boys only slightly deflated; Beattie, Bingham, Rymer and Alford all had chances for glory towards the end but were stopped by a mixture of poor fortune and excellent goalkeeping.
Man of the match went to Finn Wass for his superb defending.
Final Score: Grace Dieu 5 – 0 Witham Hall
Witham Hall wins 4-0 vs St Hugh’s
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
Colts D wins 4-3 vs Stoneygate
From start to finish, this game was end to end action and a real spectacle for the parents who came to watch. In the first half Witham looked sharp and created quite a few chances through excellent link up play by Sammie Stokes & Finn Cordial, but the half ended 0-0. In the second half the scoring commenced and the first goal went to Witham, thanks to some super play by James Alford, who took his chance well. However, credit to Stoneygate, they didn’t sit back and were soon attacking the Witham goal. Within minutes, they had equalised 1-1. The Witham heads dropped a little and Stoneygate took their chance, taking the lead with another fine goal. With Witham now 2-1 down, it would have been easy for them to simply give up. However, the defence stood strong with Leon Steinbach and Will Fairfax putting in some fine tackles. James Weldon and Hamish Gordon-Stewart kept the pressure on in midfield, making some good passes to the forwards. Soon, the chance came and Sammie Stokes calmly slotted the ball pasted the keeper - 2–2! Witham then kept going, with James Alford getting forward into more attacking positions. When the chance came, James was ready and struck the ball sweetly into the goal, Witham had taken the lead 3-2. With only minutes left on the clock, Stoneygate came close to equalising and thanks to some superb goalkeeping from Ben Armitage, they were unable to capitalise on their chances. Then the Witham boys hit Stoneygate on the counter attack and up stepped Finn Cordial to score a great goal, a just reward for all his effort in the match. Credit to Stoneygate they still kept coming at Witham and with the final few seconds of the game remaining, they scored their 3rd goal. The final whistle blew, a super game. Final score 4-3.
Witham Hall wins 5 – 1 vs Wellow House
The Colts D were terrific from start to finish. They put pressure on the opposition from the start and the player who did this most effectively and consistently was Ben Armitage; he was awarded man of the match for it. The passing down both wings and the skill on the ball was very effective leading to Finn Cordial scoring three well worked goals. The other two goals were unfortunate deflections off the opposition. Wellow House had to work hard for their single goal which was great credit to the proactive defence of Will Fairfax, Leon Steinbach and James Weldon.
Sammie Stokes was relentless at gathering the ball, showing his skill but was unlucky to score.
It was a convincing win and well deserved.
Witham Hall wins vs Stoney Gate U10B
After a good half term break, the Witham Colts D squad were ready to get back into action against Stoneygate. The visitors got off to a flying start nearly scoring the opening goal in the first 15 seconds! Unfortunately not long after that, Stoneygate managed to score making it 1-0. Suddenly Witham were now chasing the score, and kept persisting with putting pressure on the opposition with lots of shots on goal. Compliments to Freddie Sumner (captain) who made some amazing saves to keep Stoneygate at bay and to keep Witham in the game. This then led to an intercept goal scored from Finn Cordial who had no trouble with putting it in the back of the net. The score at half time was 2-1 to Stoneygate.
Witham Hall got off to a much better start in the second half. Sammie Stokes, Ben Armitage and Hamish Gordon-Stewart all rose to the challenge and tried to assist their teammates to score the equaliser! Well done also to Leon Steinbach, Will Fairfax and James Weldon who were very reliable when defending, as they made most of the tackles for the Colts D squad. And when the ball was loose in the oppositions goal box, Finn Cordial again left nothing to chance and scored the equaliser making it 2-2. But it was too little too late, as Stoneygate managed to score a goal in the last minute of the match. Although Witham had been defeated, the score does not account for how the boys played. Top effort Witham!