Bristol Academy Sport U18s 2 Team BTC U18s 0
Team BTC’s U18 Football team gave an encouraging performance on Saturday during their away game against Bristol Academy Sport at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
An expected fast start gave the home side a number of early opportunities. Fortunately the Team BTC players stood firm, with Corey Hucker, Ryan Sandford, Luke Manley and Finlay Biggs helping goalkeeper Tom Creed by reducing the strikes he had to field.
The turnaround started with Sonny Burbidge linking with skipper Olly Hucker to release Manley down the right flank. Manley lost his marker to deliver a well weighted cross which Niall Carr headed towards goal amongst some close attention. The keeper was forced to push the ball wide and BAS had to be more cautious.
BAS still set about attacking, but with less players committed forward due to the threat of the counter.
Jacob Mead showed a better balance to his game and combined well with Hucker, Burbidge and Carr. Before half time this almost paid dividends when some good inter passing play released Harry Butler. Butler worked across his marker to shut of the recovering tackle, but his sights were slightly off this time pulling the ball a little wide.
In all, the half was fairly even with both sides enjoying good moments. Team BTC's school links enabled debuts for Biggs, Sandford, Burbidge and Manley. All of them showed the ability and strength to compete within this age group.
After the interval both teams continued to wrestle for supremacy, some tidy play from each side making for a good spectacle. However, part way through the second period a couple of injuries brought about changes and a touch of imbalance gave BAS the initiative. Although still carrying a threat from Archie Sturdy, Butler, Charlie Dodds and Carr, we didn’t enjoy as many sustained periods as the home side.
BAS managed to score two goals during this time until a little Team BTC reshuffle. This recovered the balance as we finished the game in the fashion we had shown for the majority of the contest.
There is a little ironing out required in areas of our game, however there were some good debuts and displays of experience from the players wearing the Team BTC shirt.
Man of the Match is Luke Manley, after an impressive attacking display, married with stout defending.