U15 Boys London Cup
Herts Schools FA v Cambridge United U15’s (Away) Saturday 1st February
Our U15’s travelled to Cambridge United on Saturday - in their last Game of their first Block of Fixtures in 2020 - & on the back of an outstanding performance at Ware FC on Wednesday.
The County trip to Luton Town in early January was a performance where our Young Herts had to be organised defensively - however Saturday’s trip to Cambridge was a Game that our U15’s controlled from start to finish - in a comfortable 3-1 victory.
Both Cambridge & Hertfordshire shared the opening exchanges - however as per Saturday’s Game at Ware - our Young Lions offered control & width in possession - & may have added to the scoreline, particularly in the first 40 minutes.
A Game of 4 20 minute periods - the various intervals may have even halted our County U15’s fluency - however Saturday’s performance was another that will have pleased Head Coach Matt Reveley.
Once more in a 4-3-3 formation - County U16 player Scott Leslie came into the team in place of the absent Zack Miller - & Alex Greaves & Lavel Davis-Thomas returned to the starting eleven.
Whilst our County U15’s enjoyed large periods of possession - Goalkeeper Max Wallace offered excellent leadership & played out from the back to great effect - starting various County attacks.
And the first 20 minutes were perhaps the most impressive for Hertfordshire - with Leslie & the continuously impressive Kyrese Williams spraying the ball from left to right & out of the County backline. As per Wednesday’s Game at Ware - Daniel Baugh offered the width at left-back - & it was from the left that our Young Herts opened the scoring.
Whilst our County U15’s had opportunities to score beforehand - Stanley Young’s effort on the 15 minute mark was well worth wait. Following some fine build-up play, Young chested & hammered the ball into the roof of the net - a wonderful finish & a lead that Hertfordshire fully deserved.
When Leslie was adjudged to have felled a Cambridge striker, the hosts levelled the score from the spot shortly after the first break - however Max Machen restored the lead with yet another fine finish - looping the ball past the onrushing Cambridge goalkeeper to see County take a 2-1 lead.
Whilst Hertfordshire perhaps produced their best football in the opening & latter stages of the Game - the Young Herts’ last goal came in that 2nd period - when Captain Reuben Skingley made it 3-1 on the 30 minute mark - after a clever lay off from Davis-Thomas.
The last 40 minutes produced some excellent & intricate attacking football - with Jimmy Doherty producing an outstanding performance in the middle of the park, & Greaves’ first 40 minutes another particular highlight.
Machen & Skingley both came close to adding to the Hertfordshire tally - as Harrison Shaw led the line to great effect in the last 20 minutes.
A comfortable win for our County U15’s - who now take a break from County before preparing for their U16 campaign in March & April.
On the back of 2 impressive performances - Head Coach Matt Reveley was full of praise for our County U15’s.
‘We’re obviously delighted with how we’ve played both today & Wednesday. The Group actually wanted more from their performance today - however to travel to Cambridge & win so comfortably shows how well we controlled the Game.
We’ve had a great week & we’ve now got one more Block of Games before we head to our U16 campaign. Thankfully we’ve got a few weeks off before that!’
Herts Schools FA v Ware FC U15’s (Away) Wednesday 29th January
Our U15’s travelled to Ware FC on Wednesday - in a Friendly ahead of the trip to Cambridge on Saturday. A unique experience for 3 County players - as Alex Greaves, Tom Moring & Harrison Shaw all represented their Club on the day - allowing for Head Coach Matt Reveley to hand an opportunity to players recently introduced to the County Squad.
On the back of an excellent performance at Luton Town in early January - the Young Herts produced their best performance of the year against a strong Club side in Ware.
With the obvious benefits of County level - our U15’s will have expected to claim a victory at an excellent Venue at Ware FC - however the way in which our U15’s claimed such a victory was obvious to see for the watching spectators.
If the trip to Luton was understandably an opportunity to show defensive organisation - Wednesday’s Game was an excellent showcase of our County DNA - whilst ‘In Possession’. A bright start from both Ware & the Young Herts preceded an outstanding display of brave, attacking football - that culminated in 4 wonderfully taken goals for the visitors.
Stanley Young opened the scoring on the 20 minute mark with a cooly taken finish - after creative work from Josh Nathan - & the 2nd County goal will be one for the Coaching Staff to watch back - as the Young Herts went from front to back with outstanding precision.
Goalkeeper Lawson Clarke showed the willingness to play out from the back, and Charlie Taylor’s pass up to Stanley Young was laid off brilliantly to see the U15’s in the opposing half. An excellent through ball to the thankful Perez Waterberg was finished with the class that the move deserved.
Whilst there were no further goals in the opening period, the Young Herts continued to control possession - with Captain Zack Miller boldly driving out of the back 4 to seek space in the Ware midfield. Daniel Baugh - playing at left-back but operating at left-wing - offered excellent width that allowed the impressive Max Machen to play centrally - causing a numerical advantage up the pitch.
Changes at the break saw Sahil Miah, Liam Hummel & Lavel Davis-Thomas enter the fray - whilst Harry Forde made his County debut.
And it only took our County U15’s 3 minutes to open the scoring in the 2nd half - thanks to a bursting run from left-back Forde - who crossed perfectly for Hummel to finish with his first touch of the Game. A welcome introduction!
Ware continued to offer challenges to our Young Herts - however a 2nd half display of controlled, combined possession was a delight to watch for the observing scouts. Jimmy Doherty & Reuben Skingley impressed in the middle of the park - & Miah & Hummel offered excellent link up play as rotating no.10’s.
The strong centre-back partnership of Miller & Kyrese Williams put pay to all Ware counter-attacks - as the U15’s attacked in a 2-3-5 shape that allowed for controlled & progressive football. Our Young Herts last goal showcased such a style, as the marauding Charlie Taylor saw his cross deflect of a Ware defender to make it 4-0.
An outstanding performance from our County U15’s - & whilst a Friendly - Head Coach Matt Reveley was delighted the style of the Wednesday’s win.
‘Obviously the Game was only a Friendly - however on the back of a League campaign where we’ve had one or 2 unexpected results - Wednesday was an excellent way to showcase ‘How we Play’. The whole group were brilliant & we were absolutely delighted with how our debutants handled the Game. Our target now will be to take that performance into our U16 campaign’.
Herts Schools FA v Luton Town U15’s (Away) Saturday 4th January
Our U15’s kicked off 2020 with a Friendly at Luton Town on the first Saturday of the year - & whilst having opportunities to win the Game - one 2nd half goal claimed a victory for the hosts in an otherwise outstanding Hertfordshire performance.
A Squad of 17 travelled to Luton & our Young Herts showed both a tactical understanding & a willingness to press high in an excellent opening 20 minutes. Whilst Luton controlled the possession, Hertfordshire’s organised shape & work rate limited the hosts to very few opportunities - whilst counter-attacking at will to Luton’s frustration.
Opportunities actually came the better of our Young Herts in the first half, who showed a defensive understanding that they will want to be built on over the year. However - playing for 45 minutes - the latter stages of the first half saw our U15’s camped in their own half & unable to keep the ball - whilst still restricting Luton to only one first half opportunity.
Changes to both teams at half-time led to an open 2nd half, with Hertfordshire deploying 3 strikers in a front 3 - as they looked to play higher up the pitch & ultimately win the Game. Whilst such organisation led to Luton having more opportunities in the 2nd half - it was our Young Herts that perhaps had the best opportunities in in a Game where they competed for 90 minutes.
Captained on the day by Lawson Clarke, the County Goalkeeper produced another excellent performance - and Kyrese Williams marshalled & controlled the Hertfordshire backline in an outstanding display.
An open & entertaining 2nd half nearly led to a Hertfordshire goal on the 60 minute mark – when Harrison Shaw produced a wonderful run - only to go solo when the opportunity to lay-off Josh Nathan may have produced another outcome.
One set-piece goal for the hosts ultimately won the Game, however Hertfordshire continued to ask questions in a very encouraging first game of 2020. Our Young Herts will host Bedfordshire in the last League Game of the year in January - & Head Coach Matt Reveley will be looking for the same level of performance throughout 2020.
‘Obviously today was our first game of a new year & we were absolutely delighted with the 90 minutes as a whole. Our first half showed how organised defensively we can be & we thought it was a very tactically intelligent performance.
Our opportunities in an open 2nd half showed the group the level that they can compete it & on another day we may have won the Game. Both from a group point of view, & some outstanding individual performances - it was a great start to the year.’
Herts Schools FA v Norfolk Schools FA (Home) Saturday 30th November
Our U15’s welcomed Norfolk to Hertfordshire on Saturday - however a frustrating Young Herts’ performance saw the visitors claim a 3-1 victory at Woollams Sports Ground.
One week on from Saturday’s defeat at Essex - our U15’s started the Game with the same first eleven that produced an outstanding performance at Suffolk on the opening day. Unfortunately however our Young Herts were unable to produce such a performance in their first home game of the year - with 3 second half Norfolk goals claiming all 3 points for the visitors.
Undoubtedly a day that our U15’s will want to forget - a below par performance was only improved in the latter stages as Hertfordshire looked to rescue a point. A goal from Harrison Shaw with ten minutes remaining offered hope - & when Shaw’s effort rebounded off the cross bar & onto the line - the hosts thought that they may be one goal away from an unlikely comeback. However - the ball was deemed to have not crossed the white line - & as other opportunities went begging - the 3 points travelled back to Norfolk.
A frustrating day for our Young Herts saw both Captain Zak Miller & Kyrese Williams hobble off injured - however replacement Franky Gray’s outstanding performance will have been one positive to emerge from Saturday’s loss. A 20 minute cameo from Max Machen offered energy to Hertfordshire’s frontline - however in a Game that may prove vital come the end of the League campaign - Norfolk were the ones left celebrating at the whistle.
A learning opportunity for our U15’s - who welcome Bedfordshire to the County in our last League Game of the year.
Head Coach Matt Reveley gave a very honest assessment of Saturday’s Game.
‘Unfortunately for us it was a very below-par performance & one that we’re all very frustrated with.
Our whole group have been outstanding this year so to play so flat in our first home League of the year was obviously unexpected. Congratulations to Norfolk who deserved the win - we’ll be looking to bounce back in our last League Game v Bedfordshire.’
Herts Schools FA v Essex Schools FA (Away)
Saturday 23rd November
Our U15’s travelled to Essex for Game 2 of their 2019-20 League campaign & on the back of a 1st half where both teams created opportunities - 2 second half goals for Essex saw the hosts claim a victory at London Marathon Sports Ground.
Our Young Herts made 2 changes to the opening day victory over Suffolk - with goalkeeper Max Wallace & forward Perez Waterberg replacing the unavailable Lawson Clarke & Cathal Fee.
A cagey opening on a challenging pitch - Hertfordshire took the opening 20 minutes to find their way - with Essex creating the early opportunities. An outstanding save from Wallace kept the hosts at bay - before an excellent spell from our U15’s that may well have resulted in a 1-0 lead at HT.
A tactical switch saw Harrison Shaw swap his left-wing role to play centrally - & it was Shaw that created various opportunities in the opening 40 minutes. However - despite opportunities for both sides - the scores remained level at the break.
Ultimately it was to be the first goal that proved decisive - & an Essex goal on the 50 minute mark proved crucial in what was always going to be a competitive game in our U15’s League. Whilst the first half was a competitive affair - our Young Herts were unable to offer the level of performance that won convincingly at Suffolk a week prior - in a frustrating last 40 minutes.
A second Essex goal completed proceedings & whilst Hertfordshire will have been happy with their first half performance - a challenging pitch may have played it’s part in what was a less complete second half.
One or 2 opportunities came & went for Hertfordshire & it was Essex that claimed the victory in our U15’s first League defeat.
Head Coach Matt Reveley offered perspective on Saturday’s defeat.
‘Obviously today wasn’t our day - our first half performance was competitive & at 0-0 we had every opportunity to go on & win the Game. Unfortunately the first goal proved vital & we weren’t able to play ‘our way’ in the last 40 minutes. We’ve got 2 League games left so we look forward to welcoming Norfolk to Hertfordshire on Saturday’.
Saturday 16th November
v Suffolk Schools FA (Away)
Our U15’s commenced their 2019-20 League campaign with a trip to Suffolk on Saturday 16th November, & it was a commanding performance from our U15’s who secured a 5-2 victory Ipswich Town Football Club Academy.
One of 4 Games in November & December for our U15’s, Head Coaches Matt Reveley & Andrew Burnell welcomed a Squad of 17 for the trip to Suffolk, with a whole host of players making their competitive County debut.
Under the Suffolk sunshine, the Young Herts started brightly with Harrison Shaw - deployed on the left of a front 3 - testing the Suffolk goalkeeper in the early stages. However it was Suffolk that claimed the first goal, as a ball over the top beat the Herts back four, & a cooly slotted finish past Lawson Clarke gave a Suffolk the lead. That lead only lasted a short while however, as a brilliant strike from Alex Greaves from 20 years levelled proceedings - and from that leveller the U15’s put in one of their best performances as a group thus far.
Cathal Fee claimed his first of a opening day hat-trick, & Kyrese Williams added to the tally from a corner to see Hertfordshire 3-1 up at the break.
Whilst the last 20 minutes of the first half were impressive, the Young Herts were outstanding in the 2nd half & with a whole host of chances, will feel that the scoreline may have even been higher than a 5-2 victory. Cathal Fee grabbed his 2nd & 3rd of the Game, before a well taken consolation for Suffolk completed proceedings.
A commanding performance from our U15’s who controlled both the game & possession - our U15’s will be looking to repeat such a performance over the year in the quest for League success.
Head Coach Matt Reveley was full of praise on the opening day.
‘We had a conversation at full-time because we were absolutely delighted with that performance. Obviously we may have wanted more than our 5 goals - however the way we played, particularly in the last 40 minutes is exactly what we are working on with this group. We’ve got an outstanding group at U15 this year & we’re looking forward to our last 3 Games of 2019’.
Saturday 5th October v Kent (A) friendly
Our U15’s commenced their 2019-20 campaign with a trip to Sporting Thamesmead for a pre- season Friendly with last year’s ESFA U14 National finalists, Kent.
One of 3 Games in a Block 1 period that will see our U15’s prepare for the year ahead - Head Coaches Matt Reveley & Andrew Burnell welcomed a combination of U14’s from last year - as well as a number of players who will represent County for the first time at U15.
On a sunny Saturday & with a number of U15’s unavailable due to Club commitments - County debuts were handed to Jimmy Doherty, Tom Moring, Harrison Shaw & Perez Waterberg.
However it was Kent U15’s that opened brightly, and the hosts had the better of the play in the opening 20 minutes of a 90 minute game, worked into 3 period. On the 20 minute mark, our U15’s found themselves a goal down to a deserved Kent lead, however an excellent 20 yard strike from Shaw levelled proceedings at the first break.
On the 45 minute mark, a host of changes were made following a tweak in shape at the first break. One goal before & one goal after such changes led to Kent taking a 3-1 lead - however both goals were conceded in unfortunate circumstances. A trip on Kyrese Williams went unnoticed in the lead up to Kent’s 2nd goal, before a headed 3rd which may well have been ruled offside.
Over the final 30 minutes, Herts orchestrated their best spell of the Game, winning & keeping possession in a way that they will want to emulate over the year. A well-taken goal from Waterberg reduced the arrears to 3-2 - & a looped effort from Harrison Smith looked to have crossed the line to level the Game - only for it to not be awarded by all Officials.
A late goal from Kent ensured that the home side claimed a deserved victory - however a learning opportunity for our U15’s was welcomed by Reveley as the Squad look ahead to 2 more Games in October:
‘Overall we were very pleased with the day. Obviously we will want to be playing at a far higher level than that over the year - however - & in a good way - we had a lot of takeaways to go away & work on, in what was our first Game of the year. Our 2 other Games in October will hopefully provide us with an opportunity to progress on Saturday’s work.’