Under 16 v Devon FA

Under 16's Start League Campaign with Win

Devon FA U16 Representative Squad 2 – 3 Berks & Bucks FA U16 Representative Squad

The B&BFA U16 Squad’s first opponents of the new South & West Counties Championship season were Devon who had already played one fixture against neighbouring Dorset winning that one 3-0.

After the long trek and a pleasant overnight stopover in nearby Kingsteignton, the squad arrived at Coach Road, on Sunday morning, relaxed and full of confidence especially having comprehensively beaten Middlesex four weeks earlier in a Memorial Trophy game.

However, the opening period of the game saw Devon in the ascendancy, with a strong physical presence and a far stronger will to win the ball. They closed down quickly all over the pitch and did not allow Berks & Bucks to settle into any kind of playing rhythm. The visitors at this stage were really struggling to get to grips with the pace of the game and the heavy condition of the pitch.

After such a positive start by the home side, they suffered a major setback when Berks & Bucks mounted their first real attack. After great build up play, Aaron Nesbeth (Basingstoke Town) was on hand to meet a well delivered cross from the right to score with a beautifully directed header to give the visitors an early lead (albeit, against the general run of play). This should have signalled a fresh start for the Berks & Bucks side and allow them to play the impressive football that they played against their last opponents.

Devon though had other ideas, and kept “knocking at the door” and it took some really great saves from Berks & Bucks Goalkeeper and Man of the Match Nathan Dow (Which tells its own story!) to keep the visitors precarious lead intact. But the home side were not to be denied and from a central free kick from about 20 yards out they deservedly equalized to make it 1-1 and the sides went in level at the half-time interval.

The Berks & Bucks half-time dressing room was a sombre place with all the team accepting that the performance thus far was not good enough and that there was a definite need to put things right if they were going to go on a claim the 3 points and compete for this season’s championship title.

The beginning of the second half saw the drying out of the pitch enabling Berks & Bucks to play their style of football and begin to create chances of their own with the busy Alex Colverd (Penn & Tyler) being the main scoring threat for the visitors. His industry was rewarded when he neatly slotted home one of several chances to give Berks & Bucks the lead for the second time. Berks & Bucks now looked to be the stronger of the 2 squads but a major defensive mix-up and failure to clear the ball properly, saw the home side gratefully tap in to equalise and again put the final result in the balance. 2-2

Both sides were not content to play out for a draw and both keepers were called into action on numerous occasions. The visitor’s right winger Aaron Hillier in the later stages of the game was causing the home defence several problems on the flank and it was from one of these runs into the box that he found Aaron Nesbeth who coolly powered the ball into the roof of the net for his second, the visitor’s third and as it eventually turned out, the match winner! In the final few minutes Devon created a couple of great chances where, with a bit more composure might have grabbed a late equaliser but the game finished with the victory going to the Berks & Bucks. Final score 2-3

Although Berks & Bucks were never behind in this game, they were made to fight for the whole of the 80 minutes. This was a true test of their credentials as a squad as Devon were a tough, organised and physical unit who showed great passion and desire and no doubt on reflection, they will look back on this game and feel a little aggrieved that they didn’t get anything from it.

For the Berks & Bucks Management having had the 2014/15 squad for only 2 games, this trip has been a great opportunity to see how the squad interacts both on and off the pitch and how it copes with both success and adversity with possibly a need to “shuffle the pack” in regards to playing positions within the squad in future fixtures.

Could we thank the match officials especially the Referee for the way they conducted the proceedings and letting the game flow smoothly without too much controversy and in a style that was both informative and entertaining!

I would also like to thank the Parents who attended the match for their support and hope that all your sons who were in the squad enjoyed the overall experience with us.

Finally can I thank the Chairman, Officers and Staff of the Devon Football Association for their warm and friendly hospitality. The positive co-operation and assistance that we always receive at Coach Road is truly remarkable. On behalf of all the Berks & Bucks contingent involved in this year’s U16 Fixture we are extremely grateful and full of appreciation for all you have done to make our short visit so pleasurable – Many thanks!

Until we have your approval, we must limit some functionality - More details