BBFA U16 v Wiltshire FA

The Berks and Bucks maintain winning streak with battling win

Played on Sunday 30 November, Calne Town’s Bremhill View ground was the venue for this South & West Counties U16’s Championship fixture between Wiltshire FA and Berks & Bucks FA Representative squads.

Having won their opening two fixtures against Devon FA and Dorset FA, Berks & Bucks FA were looking to extend their unbeaten run.  However victory in their last two games had come at a cost with the loss of two strikers (Tyrell Murray – Flackwell Heath FC and Alex Colverd – Penn & Tyler) to long term injuries and it was down to the remaining two strikers to provide the strike power for the team.

The game kicked-off in bright, sunny conditions on a rather “heavy” pitch that did not make for good “on the floor” football.  The visitors settled the quicker of the two sides keeping possession and using the width of the pitch to their full advantage.  The Berks & Bucks FA strike force of Hillier and Nesbeth were causing real concern in the heart of the Wiltshire FA defence and numerous chances were made and squandered in the first 20 minutes before Nesbeth looped in a header to give the away side a deserved lead.  Wiltshire FA at this point were, always looking to play the ball “over the top” and this tactic was easily dealt with by the defensive unit of Barnett, Mooney, Alexander and Collymore.  Berks & Bucks FA at this juncture were by far the better side and went in 1-0 to the good at half-time.

The away side’s dressing room at half-time was the most relaxed the management had encountered this season and they hoped that the team would now confidently go out for the second half and finish the job quickly.

Unfortunately, Wiltshire FA had other plans and they came out a far more determined outfit for the second half.  All the good things that the visitors had done in the first half in not allowing the home side space or time on the ball was no longer evident and Wiltshire FA were allowed to play in spaces between the back four and midfield that had been denied to them in the first half.

After continual pressure, Wiltshire FA nearly grabbed an equaliser when rounding the visitor’s keeper one of the home side’s strikers with an open goal in front of him managed to hit the upright and see the ball bounce away to safety.  Berks & Bucks FA clung on to their lead for the remainder of the game and there was a justifiable feeling of survival and relief rather than one of victory at the final whistle.

Sometimes teams have to win “ugly” if they have any title aspirations and I think this was one such occasion.  However, in the 3 league games the side has played in thus far, we have taken the lead in all of them and then sat back and allowed teams back into games which we should have gone on to win far more comfortably.  There has to be more self-belief and “savvy” in how the side plays its football and for a side who has now four wins under their belt they should be brimming with a lot more self-confidence than they are displaying at the moment!

I would like to thank the 3 officials for the way they controlled the game with common sense decisions and by letting the game flow freely throughout.

On behalf of all from the Berks & Bucks FA contingent who attended the fixture we would like to thank the Council Members, Management team, Players and Supporters of Wiltshire FA for their assistance and co-operation regarding all aspects of this fixture and wish you good luck for the rest of Season 2014/15.

Finally I would like to thank the Management and Staff of Calne Town FC for their hospitality and generous use of their facilities during our brief visit – Thank you!