Under 14 Tawnys

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Manager: Martin Horsley

Mobile: 07773 870183

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Assistant Manager: Andy Crookes


Email: @oadbyowls.com 

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The team play in the Leicester & District Sunday Juniors League – Division D

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Westfield Wanderers 5 Oadby Owls Tawnys 2 - 6th January 2013 (League)

After a long layoff with far too many mince pies and hours in front of the Playstation, it was back to the real game away at high-flying Westfield.  As with their last away game before Christmas, the boys were in their bright red kit and sadly, like the Loughborough game, they were three-nil down before the fight back began.  But despite the difference in their league positions, it was an even contest, the Tawnys in fact having the first few chances on goal before Westfield scored.  Defence, midfield and attack all looked strong and Westfield would have quickly realised that the Tawnys weren’t going to be a pushover.  Gabriel was having a good game in goal, pulling off some superb saves and generally being solid at the back as balls were played through for their attack to chase.  The back three played Westfield offside on several occasions and goals from Ody and Kian meant the boys could feel proud of an all-round solid performance against one of the division’s best sides. 

As with Loughborough, without the three goal head start, things might have been very different as although Westfield undoubtedly have a few good players, there were also opportunities that could have been exploited more.  A bare team sheet of only eleven players meant that those who were there had no choice but to play well and put in a shift, their performance earning praise from Westfield themselves.  All told, it was a game played in the right spirit and a credit to all concerned to see such enthusiasm and commitment from both sides.  There were several contenders for Player of the Day with manager Horse complimenting just about everyone in the after match team talk but for yet another fine display between the sticks, Gabriel took home the trophy.

Player of the Day: Gabriel Furr

Goals Scorers: Ody, Kian

Loughborough Dynamo 7 Oadby Owls Tawnys 5 - 16th December 2012 (League)

The red BJB Hire Centre kit had its second airing of the season away at Loughborough Dynamo on a bright Sunday morning with the boys still upbeat and positive despite a run of poor results.  The arrival of Ody has given the rest of the team a lift and encouraged the other forward players to raise their game and everyone; players, coaches and parents were looking forward to a keenly-contested match.  Nobody had told Loughborough however who rather spoiled things by going three-up inside the first ten minutes, all the goals coming from scrambles and tap-ins that on another day, the defence would have cleared.  On the positive side, several players were taking the game to the opposition, Ody had already had one shot just over and he combined well with Jorvan and Priyen for a period of possession.  Dev continued to work his magic with his trademark long throws pushing the ball into the Loughborough half, Louie, Jorvan and Kian were passing and tackling in midfield and Dev put a shot just wide before Ody got his debut goal for the Tawnys connecting onto a pass from Kian.

The Tawnys continued to pressure Loughborough, Luca looking good on the left, and Kian, Dev and Fraser working hard before the referee awarded the Tawnys a penalty which Marko converted it to make it 3-2.  The half ended positively with Luca and Louie both having shots at the Loughborough goal.

In the second half, the boys continued to seek a way back into the game, Jorvan, Priyen and Ody all displaying some good skills.  The Tawnys kept possession, Dev moving the ball down the field with three throws in succession and Louie having two quick chances before another lapse in defence saw Loughborough through for their fourth.  After an even spell of play, Loughborough won a penalty of their own and five minutes later, another defensive mix-up saw them 6-2 up.  A mad last eight minutes saw four more goals as Jorvan and Ody brought the Tawnys back into the game to 6-4, Loughborough got another and Jorvan got his second to leave the final score 7-5. 

For those ‘glass half empty’, it was another defeat but for the optimists, it was a fine display of attacking football which might easily have led to a win.  Individually, Ody and Jorvan both got a brace which after a run of goalless games gave the watching parents something to cheer.  Luca played well on the left, Fraser on the right, Marko, Kian, Priyen and Louie looked good in midfield and the defence of Michael, Dev, Jeevan and Junaid are continuing to gel with Gabriel still looking solid in goal.  For his all round performance and a well-taken penalty, Marko was Player of the Day. 

Player of the Day: Marko Lillepas

Goals Scorers: Ody (2), Marko (pen), Jorvan (2)

Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 Whetstone Juniors 2 - 9th December 2012 (League)

After two weeks off due to waterlogged and frozen pitches, it was back to league action against Whetstone Juniors.  In the first game of the season, Whetstone took the points with a close one-nil win and the Tawnys were looking for revenge.  But these things seldom run to plan and sadly, it was Whetstone who did the double and left the boys still seeking that first win.  In the middle, Ody was making his debut for the team and hopefully in the coming games, his presence will make a difference but in this game, it was Louie and George up front who were making the chances.  Sadly, a minute after one such effort, Whetstone brought the ball into the Tawnys half and scored. Ody went off for a break and was replaced by Marko but less than five minutes later, was on again as an injury forced off Priyen.  Two of Oadby’s best chances came from successive corners and a Dev long throw presented Louie with a shot but Whetstone were able to hold on to their lead.

The second half saw more resilience from the boys with Ody, George, Fraser and Kian all working hard to carve an opening before Whetstone added their second.  A good tackle from Ody gave Kian a chance before he got a shot at goal himself and Priyen too had one chance to get the Tawnys back in the game.  But despite much hard work and effort and a final ball through for Ody to chase, Whetstone hung on to the win and the points.  Despite results not going their way, there is still a team spirit which is heartening to see as the boys play hard and do as much as they can for their teammates and even if the score sheet tells one story, the effort, commitment and desire tell another.  Well done all. 

Player of the Day: Josh Grewal

Goals Scorers: 

Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 Glenfield Utd 2005 5 - 18th November 2012 (DEFG Shield)

Two games in two weeks saw the Tawnys once again facing Glenfield, this time in the DEFG Shield.  In the two previous rounds, the Tawnys had made heavy going of getting past lower-placed opposition and against a well-drilled team from the same division (and with only twelve players), it was always going to be something of an uphill struggle.

Junaid was first in the limelight, putting in a good tackle and them heading clear from a Glenfield corner, Gabe then punching away the following shot.  A few minutes later, the ball was loose from a Gabe clearance and Glenfield were able to shoot home for the first goal.  Within two minutes they had added a second as Gabe rushed out for a through ball but the Glenfield player was able to get there first.  In midfield and attack, George put a ball into the box for Fraser to chase, Priyen and Jorvan both had efforts and Rahil again looked good.  George continued to pressure the opposition and Louie shot just wide.  As with most games at this level, both sides saw plenty of the ball, Jorvan, Junaid, Priyen and Jeevan all taking turns to block, defend and dispossess the opposition before they were able to score a third.  But heads didn’t drop and the boys continued doggedly to seek out those half chances, Kian, Priyen and George all looking good before the break.

In the second half, it was more of the same with plenty of commitment and spirit to press for an opening.  Luca came on for Kian and immediately showed good ball control out wide.  Gabriel was called into action from a Glenfield corner and Fraser and Jorvan tried to keep the ball in the Glenfield half with Marko also doing well in the middle.  Just as it looked like things might be going the Tawnys way, Glenfield scored a fourth and five minutes later, with the fifth goal, the game was over as a contest.  But nobody told the Tawnys and they continued to press for an opening, Rahil put one shot from distance just under the bar and Jorvan too had a shot from distance to trouble their keeper.  Jeevan and Junaid continued to tackle well in defence and even Fraser put in a stint at left back after Jeevan was forced off with an injury.  Once again, it was a case of the spirit and desire not being enough to provide that little piece of luck that the boys efforts deserve.

Player of the Day: Priyen Patel

Goals Scorers: 

Glenfield Utd 2005 4 Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 - 11th November 2012 (League)

Remembrance Sunday saw the Tawnys observing their minute’s silence away at Glenfield against a team who always provide good opposition.  From the kick off, both teams tried to take the advantage with attacking play and although the first shot was Oadby’s, the first goal was Glenfield’s.  Once again, the Tawnys were playing to their strengths with Dev’s long throws moving the ball up the pitch and the midfield working hard to create chances for the strikers with Louie taking a turn up front while at the back, a makeshift back four were working hard trying to keep Glenfield’s forwards offside.  Gabriel was being kept busy in goal with Michael and Junaid both making timely clearances but it was a goalmouth scramble which led to Glenfield’s second.  At the other end, Fraser had some good possession and combined with Jorvan for one chance.  Manager Horse rotated the team with Rahil coming on for Fraser and he and Louie combined well in midfield.  Kian replaced Priyen for the rest of the half and an Oadby attack ended with Rahil just adjudged offside.

In the second half, George, Louie, and Rahil looked good in midfield and Rahil cleared one Glenfield shot off the line before Dev made a timely tackle to deny another Glenfield chance but sadly, the home side’s pressure eventually gave them a third goal.  Oadby continued to look for an opening, Marko making some good tackles, Michael had an opportunity from a free kick, and Gabriel was keeping the Glenfield forwards at bay.  Jorvan provided one through ball for George to chase before Glenfield added a fourth.  Gabe had more to do after that, coming out twice to clear balls, and Jorvan, Kian and George continued to battle hard for that elusive chance but it never arrived and four-nil it stayed to the final whistle.  

Player of the Day: Dev Mhesuria

Goals Scorers: 

Asfordby Amateurs 3 Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 4th November 2012 (League)

Parents and players alike were all hoping that the new away kit might bring with it a little luck and a change in fortunes but luck is sadly lacking these days as the Tawnys succumbed once again to defeat.  It was all the more disheartening as the Tawnys were one up inside two minutes with Jorvan taking the chance offered.  In midfield Luca and Priyen were producing some good play and Louie and George were also showing some promising signs but the game turned twenty minutes in when Asfordby were awarded a penalty.  Gabriel guessed right and got to the ball but in the slippery conditions it went under him and rolled across the line.

Heads didn’t drop and the boys continued to play well, Michael winning an important tackle at right back, Josh playing well in front of him while on the other wing, Luca and Kian combined well.  The Tawnys kept up the pressure and had several free kicks and shots at goal, the half ending with an Oadby corner but the referee chose to blow for half time immediately the ball was in the air and the opportunity to take the initiative was gone.

The second half was more of the same as the boys sought a way back into the game but it was Asfordby who took the lead after twenty minutes.  Around the field, the two teams were evenly matched with both sets of players having chances.  For the Tawnys, Josh, George, Priyen and Kian all displayed commitment and effort but with five minutes to go, it was Asfordby who took the chance offered with a header from a free kick to make it 3-1 to the home side.

Player of the Day: Louie Ng

Goals Scorers: Jorvan

Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 Saffron Dynamo 5 - 28th October 2012

The boys were at home once again for the visit of a strong Saffron Dynamo team and manager Horse started with four in the defence with Scott drafted in alongside Michael, Dev and Josh.  The midfield too looked sturdy with Louie at defensive mid, Fraser and Luca on the wings and Marko and Jorvan tucked in to support George.  But although the team know what to do and display it every week in training, they still lack that final ruthless streak to take hold of a game and assert themselves.

To give Saffron their credit, they looked one of the better teams in the league as they started the game stronger than the Tawnys and were one up inside five minutes after a deflected shot crept into the corner of the net.  After a second Saffron goal, George, Fraser, Luca and Marko all displayed signs of their commitment with winning tackles, firm pressure and promising through balls but the chances to get back into the game were lacking.  Dev continued to offer hope with his long throws and Scott, Michael and Josh all put successive balls through for the midfield and forward players to chase.  Kian and George combined for one chance and at the other end, Gabe pulled off one great save to tip a shot onto the bar and over for a corner.  But from the initial clearance, Saffron were played onside and although Gabe got in a challenge, it was a Saffron player who followed up to make it three-nil.  Before the break, Scott had an opportunity with a free kick but it went through to their keeper without an Oadby foot connecting with it.

For the second half, manager Horse decided to revert to three at the back and put Scott upfront alongside George and together they applied some early pressure but the action was still being played out equally at the back where a Gabe block saw Josh on-hand to clear.  Louie and Kian combined for a through ball for Scott and a second chance came from an Oadby corner but the boys were still finding it difficult to break through Saffron’s lines.  Millan and Fraser replaced Luca and Michael and Jorvan was able to get one shot away from a deep position before they conceded for Saffron’s fourth.  Gabe was the busiest of the two keepers with several saves keeping the eventual scoreline down to five conceded.  In the dying minutes, Millan and George combined for another chance but it remained five-nil and another home defeat.

Although the boys displayed plenty of the skills that they demonstrate in training, the problem remains of converting that training into wins and for the watching parents and coaches, it was frustrating to see all that effort go unrewarded.  Sometimes in football, all that’s needed is that little extra dose of good fortune to seal a win.  Let’s hope it’s coming.  For an all-round performance with tireless energy, Player of the Day deservedly went to George.


Player of the Day: George Crookes 

Goals Scorers: 

Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 FC Khalsa 2 - 14th October 2012

After a break for the cup competitions, it was back to league action for a home game against FC Khalsa.  The Tawnys started the game well and had more control of the ball in midfield with Louie, Josh and George all working hard but it was Khalsa who scored with their first real attack after ten minutes.  Priyen replaced Luca and then Josh, George and Fraser combined for a chance which missed.  Khalsa then had a period of pressure with three corners after Gabe had saved one shot with his feet.  The game continued at a fast pace as George was played onside only for his shot to stray too close to their keeper.  After Gabe had come out for another Khalsa rush at goal, Josh put through a good pass that was just a little too hard for George to get onto the end of it.  A minute later and Khalsa were two up as a ball was played over the top and Gabe was stranded as the ball was chipped over him. 

In the second half, Millan and Kian were brought on as the midfield were losing their shape a little and from the restart, the Tawnys took the game to the opposition, Louie shooting wide after a Oadby corner, George laying a ball off for Millan which stuck under his feet, and a fumble from the Khalsa keeper leading to another corner from which Dev headed just wide.  As the game wore on, Oadby continued to pressure the Khalsa goal but with a two goal advantage, the opposition hung on, at times pushing the Oadby midfield back on top of the defence.  Jorvan had a couple of chances, and Millan, Luca and Priyen all showed the passing, chasing and firm tackling that they display in training but the boys paid the price for missed opportunities and conceding the lead too easily.  For an overall performance and for consistency throughout the season so far, Dev was picked as Player of the Day. 

Player of the Day: Dev Mhesuria

Goals Scorers: 

Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 Harborough Town JFC 9 - 7th October 2012 (County Cup)

Nobody said it was easy 

Well, that’s the County Cup out of the way.  It was always going to be a big ask to take on a side that finished fourth in Division A last season but the Tawnys acquitted themselves well against better opposition and the final score is a little ungenerous for a side who did their best in difficult circumstances.

Although the Tawnys had to play defensively from the off, the teams were evenly matched with chances at either end.  In the first few minutes, Harborough put a cross into the side netting, then Louie threaded a pass through to give George an opportunity. But it was Harborough who had the bulk of the possession and they were two up after twenty minutes.  In midfield, George, Kian, and Marko were putting in timely tackles and some balls were finding their way through towards the Harborough goal.  A clearance from a Harborough corner gave the Tawnys their best chance of the half with Kian getting the ball to Scott who shot wide.  Two more Harborough goals before half time and any hopes of matching them or causing an upset were gone.

Playing on a smaller pitch, goal kicks were going straight through to the opposition’s defence and the midfield were finding it hard to get a hold on the game.   The defence didn’t have their best day with several of the Harborough goals down to defensive slip ups and in attack, it was still the final ball that was proving elusive.  By the second half, heads had understandably dropped and the boys were trying to see the match out without letting Harborough think they were getting things all their own way.  Football is still eleven against eleven and although the boys could match their opposite number, Harborough were the more effective team with better passing and control and more pace going forward.

Around the pitch, individually, players were still doing their best.  Kian and Priyen combined for one chance, Michael put in a telling cross that Scott should have converted and despite what the final score line may indicate, Gabe made some useful saves (as well as one howler).  But that’s the deal with goalkeepers, strikers miss and they get another chance, keepers miss and you’re a goal down. 

Now the challenge for the team is to move on and not let this defeat undermine their efforts in the league.  In the second half, bad habits from last season crept back into the performance but even from defeats, positives have to be sought and players and coaches have to look forward and not back.  It’s a long season and it’s not won or lost on the back of one game.

For his all round performance and to acknowledge his efforts in other games, Louie was this week’s Player of the Day.

Player of the Day: Louie Ng

Goals Scorers: 

Whitwick Juniors 2 Oadby Owls Tawnys 3 - 30th September 2012 (DEFG Shield)

On the right track

The Tawnys run in the DEFG Shield continued with a trek to Whitwick’s Hermitage Ground where after a few recent disappointments, the boys were hoping to get back to winning ways.  The knockout competitions can throw up some mismatched pairings with cricket score results but Whitwick from the division below gave a good account of themselves and it was a close-run thing whether the Tawnys would advance.  It should have been a little easier as the Tawnys had most of the play and a hatful of chances but they never seem to take the easy option when it’s offered to them and so it proved.

The Tawnys started well with a corner inside the first minute from which George had the first of many chances for the forwards and midfielders to get their names on the score sheet.  George was involved in most of the early play down the right which really troubled the Whitwick defence with Kian, Louie, Josh and Priyen all getting in on the act as well before a neat one-two from Josh and Kian put last week’s Player of the Day, Josh, through for the first goal.

After the restart, the pressure was maintained with the midfield again linking well to develop opportunities.  Whitwick were just a pace behind as Jorvan, Josh and Kian combined for another chance.  Five minutes after the first goal, three Oadby corners in succession led to a melee in the Whitwick box before the ball fell to Louie to stab home for a deserved two-nil lead.

But why do things easy when you can worry your manager half to death and have the watching parents wondering why they got up at eight o’clock on a Sunday?  Whitwick came back at Oadby with two good goals in a matter of minutes, the first a low shot from the right which inched past Gabe’s outstretched hand and sneaked inside the left post and the second, another powerful shot which Gabe tipped onto the bar only for a Whitwick runner to pounce on the loose ball and put them level.   

At the half, the players still felt the game was winnable and manager Horse didn’t need to do much to motivate the boys.  They’d created lots of opportunities, dominated the middle and apart from two good Whitwick goals on the break, the defence had had little to contend with.

In the second half, George came on again to take over from Fraser and Marko was put up front in place of Josh and from the kick-off, the ball was put firmly into the Whitwick half and that’s where it mostly stayed.  Marko had an early chance and from a Junaid free kick, Jorvan, Kian and Luca combined for another.  In the first eight minutes, the Tawnys had five corners, demonstrating again that extra edge that they held over the opposition.  From one, Marko put a glancing header wide and from two more, George showed good control for two more chances.

Whitwick broke out of their half a few times and Gabe had to come out to clear or take a safe catch but for long periods of the half, Oadby had a spare right back as Michael had nobody to mark with Whitwick opting to double team George further up the field.  George was certainly causing them problems but it was Louie who was taking pot-shots at goal and drawing the best out of their keeper.  

As neither side had a powerful strong player to push others off the ball, the boys had a chance to express themselves with some firm tackling, neat passing and combinations, and encouraging set plays.  The defence stayed solid with Jeevan growing into the left back position and linking well with Dev and Michael and in the middle, Priyen, Luca, Jorvan and Louie were all ably demonstrating the improvements they’ve made to their games.  In fact, across the whole team, it’s clear that players are developing and growing in confidence and not allowing themselves to be intimidated by opposition teams. 

As the minutes ticked down, it looked like it might be heading to extra time again but Kian produced a powerful shot out of nowhere to restore the advantage.  More chances fell to Jorvan and Josh but Whitwick provided the finale as they roamed forward for a final charge on Gabe’s goal and Jeevan blocked an on-target effort.

The contrast from the previous week couldn’t have been stronger with players all round the field putting in a shift but as goals win games, Kian was everybody’s Player of the Day. 

Player of the Day: Kian Gill

Goals Scorers: Josh, Louie, Kian

Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 Loughborough Dynamo 4 - 23 September 2012 (League)

Too many late nights? 

As with most of their games so far this season, the Tawnys started this one well with a goal within the first ten minutes, but unfortunately, an all too often repeated formula was played out as the boys let the opposition back into the game.  One positive is that unlike last season when they would have switched off, now, with a little motivation, they continue to battle and give a good account of themselves.  And so it was today against a tall, fast, Loughborough Dynamo team.

Scott put the home side one up with a well-judged header and a minute later, a combination of Junaid and Kian put Scott through again but he was put off by the defender.  A minute later, a Jorvan corner was delivered a little too hard and Kian could only shoot over.

Throughout the game, the defence were able to play the Loughborough forward line offside several times but their first goal came when the offside trap failed and Gabe was chipped for the equaliser.

Marko and Luca were replaced by George and Fraser and the game continued to move from end to end as Loughborough applied the pressure only for the Tawnys to win throws and corners of their own.  Scott had a couple of shots blocked before, from a Loughborough free kick, two of their players were missed by the defence and were put through for their second goal to take the lead.

Manager Horse continued to rotate the team as Michael and Marko replaced Jeevan and Louie but it was the opposition who were still sharper and took the opportunity to increase their lead.  A fourth Loughborough goal before half time and the boys had given themselves a mountain to climb.

In the second half, the boys put on a spirited display to get something back but despite plenty of commitment and desire, it was a nil-nil half.  Scott again had the lion’s share of the shots and good work was being done behind him by Kian, George, Jorvan and Josh, with Louie and Marko again anchoring the midfield.  Luca and Fraser were rotated into the midfield and Jeevan, Junaid and Michael supported Dev in defence.

As with several games this season, the Tawnys saw plenty of the ball with myriad chances on goal and numerous throw-ins and corners so clearly the pressure is there but the work still needs to be done on converting those chances into goals.

For his work in several positions and overall effort, Josh was awarded a well-deserved Player of the Day.

Player of the Day: Josh Grewal

Goals Scorers: Scott

Oadby Owls Tawnys 4 Asfordby Amateurs 4 - 9th Sept 2012 (League)

First point on the board 

The kids are back at school, so it must be summer.  Another blistering hot day saw the sun cream slapped on and knobbly knees on show as the Tawnys hosted their first league game of the season.  After the disappointment of a close defeat last week, the team were keen to make amends but it didn’t start well as Asfordby scored within the first five minutes.  But the play was evenly shared between the two teams and Kian and Jorvan both had chances down the other end.  An Asfordby throw in the Tawnys half was taken out by Scott and quick passing between Kian, Scott and Jorvan had the Tawnys level with a well-taken goal by Jorvan.

As in previous games, the Tawnys were seeing plenty of the play but adding the finishing touch was proving difficult with shots coming close from Scott and Louie until a cross from Fraser from the right saw Jorvan connect again for a 2-1 lead.  But Asfordby weren’t to be outdone and almost immediately equalised with a chip from the edge of the area which Gabriel couldn’t reach to send the teams in level at half-time.

The second half saw disputed decisions at either end; an Asfordby goal ruled offside and an Oadby strike that looked in but struck the side netting.  Despite good work in the midfield, particularly from Priyen and Jorvan, Asfordby took the lead again, but after that, the Tawnys renewed their pressure with several promising moves coming from open play and also from free kicks and throws.  Michael, Junaid, Josh and Kian all had opportunities before Scott followed in his own chip to make it 3-3.

Five minutes later and the Tawnys were back in front, with George connecting with one of Dev’s missile-like throws to give the home team the advantage.  But the drama wasn’t yet over, a lapse in concentration at the back was pounced on by Asfordby and the Tawnys had to settle for a point.

For the neutral, if there were any, it would have been an entertaining match with skill being displayed around the pitch.  Both keepers were busy, defences worked hard, the midfield battle was spread across the width of the pitch, and both sets of strikers looked menacing.  In particular, it was good to see the Tawnys wide play developing with Fraser putting in some good crosses from the right and Jorvan controlling the left.  Marko and Louie are starting to gel as a midfield combo and Rahil is fitting into defence when called upon.  Dev’s long throws deserve special mention as they bought the team several opportunities as Asfordby resorted to knocking the ball out under pressure.

It’s going to be a long season with points to be fought over in the mud and the rain but for now, the memory is of a bright Sunday morning and two teams giving their all.  With two top-rate goals, Jorvan was the deserved Player of the Day.

Player of the Day: Jorvan Virk 

Goals Scorers: Jorvan (2), Scott, George

Earl Shilton Juniors 2 Oadby Owls Tawnys 1 - 16th September 2012 (League)

Effort goes unrewarded 

The Tawnys travelling bandwagon arrived in Earl Shilton for another tricky away fixture against a team also seeking their first win of the season and the game started with a bang inside the first minute.  Scott found himself through on goal and put a well-placed effort past their keeper for a 1-0 lead.  It was exactly the kind of start that manager Horse and assistant Phil were looking for and if the game had ended there, we could all have gone home happy.  As it was, Earl Shilton responded with two of their own in the next quarter of an hour and the Tawnys were chasing the game thereafter.  By this time, Scott had already made way for Kian who, along with Priyen, had efforts saved but continued to battle for the ball.  Marko had replaced George and he too was keen to get in on the action with a shot over, followed in quick succession by more efforts from Jorvan and Josh, both boys looking strong in their respective roles. 

The rest of the first half was all Tawnys as neat passing saw players put through for goal-scoring opportunities; Priyen and Marko combined with Kian who put a chip just over the bar and a few minutes later, Marko again, this time working with Jorvan, fed Luca whose shot was too close to the Earl Shilton keeper.  The half ended with Kian providing a cross which Marko put just wide.  Although their keeper had had more to do than Gabriel in the Tawnys goal, it was Earl Shilton who went into the break defending a lead.

The second half saw Scott and George back on with Rahil taking over from Michael in defence and within a minute of the restart, Scott again had a chance to get the Tawnys level from a Dev throw but sadly he chipped over.  Seconds later, Marko did the same and he and Scott continued to pepper the Earl Shilton goal for the equaliser.  The whole midfield were doing their bit with Luca back in the side to link up on the left and provide some penetrating crosses, Jorvan, Marko and Louie anchoring the midfield, and Priyen putting in a Player of the Day performance on the right.

After a dozen chances at goal in the first half, the Tawnys put in another fifteen or so in the second but either they were too high or wide or too close to their keeper to find that desperate equaliser and Earl Shilton held on gamely to secure the win.  Corners, crosses, throws, all led to chips, dinks and piledrivers, but sadly all in vain.

At the other end, Gabe had little to do in the Tawnys goal, rushing out for the ball a few times and gathering a couple of easy saves and apart from the lapses in the first half, he and Jeevan, Dev, Rahil and Michael performed solidly in defence.

Ten minutes from time, spectators and players alike thought the equaliser had arrived with a well-taken shot from Scott.  Sadly, the assistant referee disagreed and it was adjudged offside.  C’est la vie, so they say.

And so the search for that elusive first win continues as the bandwagon rolls on, sadly without assistant manager Phil Ng who, after years of dedication to the Oadby Owls, has decided to take a break.  He’ll be greatly missed by players and parents alike and we wish him well.

Player of the Day: Priyen Patel

Goals Scorers: Scott

Oadby Owls Tawnys 2 Stoneygate Royals 2 (4-3 on pens) - 5th Sept 2012 (DEFG Shield)

Penalty Pressure Pays Off 

A beautiful summer’s evening was the backdrop to another instalment of the beautiful game as the Tawnys sought to put their opening day defeat behind them with an outing in the U14 DEFG Shield against Stoneygate Royals from the division below.  Manager Horse had a full squad to pick from bar one absentee and started with a strong line-up to put the pressure on early.  Winning the toss, the boys started down the hill with the sun behind them, hoping to capitalise on the advantage.  Chances came and went before strong running from Scott forced a corner.  Taking the corner himself, it drifted into the area where Dev was on hand with a stunning header to put the boys one-nil up.

In the second half, Stoneygate were given a way back into the game with a penalty for a careless challenge.  But heads didn’t drop and the Tawnys responded, taking the lead again when Scott stayed in the middle looking for the through ball rather than drifting out wide as he likes to do and got a header of his own to make it 2-1. 

That’s how the game should have ended but to give Stoneygate their due, they continued to press and the Tawnys conceded a scrappy goal as Gabe lost the ball in a melee on the edge of his area and it trickled towards goal followed in by one of their players who blind-sided Dev and squeezed it home.  To be fair, Stoneygate deserved a bit of luck and 2-2 seemed a fair result on the run of play.

With the light fading, the referee decided on two shortened halves of extra time to try and break the deadlock and despite the Tawnys having most of the play, pressurising their opponents and running for every ball, and Kian putting a chance narrowly wide in the last few minutes, 2-2 it remained.  All around the field, players had had a good game, notably Dev with his amazing long throws, Priyen putting in some strong tackles, and Jeevan who gave 100% despite playing with an injury.

With the light fading fast, making it almost impossible for either keeper to even see the ball, it was the dreaded penalty shootout.  Would the boys be hotshot heroes or Ashley somebodies just like England?  Stoneygate scored their first and Scott, ever reliable and wanting to up the intensity... promptly missed.  Firm strikes from Priyen, Marko and Jorvan, coupled with two Stoneygate misses, gave the Tawnys back the advantage and George stepped up, a little man with broad shoulders, bearing the responsibility of scoring the winner (on his Dad’s birthday no less).  Like the others before, it was a powerful strike and George was away, chased by an excited team celebrating their win.  Thankfully, by this time, it was so dark that George escaped a booking for taking his shirt off as the ref probably couldn’t see it!

A few jokers suggested Rahul for Player of the Day, mostly because Horse had forgotten he was there and he didn’t get on but really, there was no other candidate than Mr Ice Cool, the shootout hotshot.  Well done George and well done Tawnys!

Player of the Day:  George Crookes

Goals Scorers: Dev, Scott, pens: Priyen, Marko, Jorvan, George 

Whetstone Juniors 1 Oadby Owls Tawnys 0 - 2nd September 2012 (League)

Promising Start to the Season

Another September, another Sunday morning and the extra cup of coffee and the relaxed browse of the papers are replaced once again with the passion and the drama of yet another season.  After a disappointing 2011-12, the Tawnys have worked hard in pre-season to improve their game and show some desire and today was their chance to show parents and coaches what they can do.

From the kick-off, the Tawnys set about Whetstone and Scott had a shot on goal in the first minute.  But the teams were evenly matched and Whetstone had chances too, with Gabriel getting a few early touches of the ball.  New for this season is the three player defence with a holding midfielder in front and the formation has proved to be quite successful in the pre-season friendlies.  The defenders have become more tactically aware, focussing on their positioning, and not letting the opposition forwards slip in behind them, while it also provides the team with an extra player in midfield.  In the game, it meant that Dev, Junaid, and Jeevan (and later Michael) had to always be alert and provide cover for each other, all three putting in pressure tackles early when it mattered, with Priyen dropping back to help out where needed. 

In the middle, Louie and Marko were getting the ball on the floor and connecting their passes and the whole team played with much more fluency than last season, giving themselves time on the ball and not just getting rid of it quickly or losing possession through a sloppy pass or a panicky header.  On the wings, manager Martin (Horse) Horsley tried various combinations and rotated several players in the wide roles, with Josh, George, Fraser, and Jorvan all putting in a shift out wide and contributing to some promising moves.  A little more talking between players, a few arms pointed forward, and the passing should be even more successful in later games. 

Up front, Kian, Scott, and George all had chances on the Whetstone goal but the shots were just lacking that extra pace or placement to rattle their goalkeeper.  Goal-scoring opportunities came from all over the field with balls sent through the middle, corners, free-kicks, and penalty box scrambles all leading to chances.  Playing a high line and keeping the ball in the Whetstone half led to some of the best chances as strong play from several players, notably Marko, Jorvan and Kian, forced corners or free-kick opportunities to strike home an advantage and convert possession into goals.

At the other end, Gabriel put in an outstanding all over performance to win Player of the Day, sprinting out for 50/50 balls, punching balls away from corners, taking catches into the body, working on his kicking, and more importantly, pulling off some great saves, one low down to his left in the first half, and after the restart, tipping one powerful shot onto the crossbar for what would have been a certain goal.  Working on corners in training has helped the team at both ends of the field and both Oadby and Whetstone provided plenty of drama for the watching parents; Fraser in particular producing one heart-stopping clearance off the line.

But as the game wore on, home advantage told, and although Oadby matched Whetstone in possession and work rate, a loose ball in the box was struck home for the only goal of the game.  With barely five minutes to go, Oadby heads didn’t drop as they might have done last season.  Instead, they renewed their pressure to grab an equaliser.  In the dying seconds of the game, it looked like it might arrive as Scott was through on goal only for his shot to go too close to their keeper and the game was gone.

In the last few seasons, the team have had to endure a few batterings but this was an evenly-fought contest, the boys showing total commitment and sticking true to their manager’s buzz word; desire.  The first win of the season is just around the corner: Bring it on!

Player of the Day: Gabriel Furr

Goals Scorers: N/A

Team Notices

Leicester & District Sunday Juniors League