Reigate Priory Eagles 2 - Moor Mead Athletic 3
This was a tough away game in deepest Surrey against a well established and well organised team, Reigate Priory Eagles.
The game started briskly, the first 10 minutes of the game was at a fast and furious tempo end to end football and perhaps the toughest the boys have seen. The opposition moved the ball quickly and their number 10, an excellent player, was at the heart of it. They were passing and moving with great skill and precision and were pulling Moor Mead apart creating space at the back. The first goal came within 5 minutes of the start, a well taken effort by their number 10; it was 1-0.
They were not just a one boy show and the number 3 and 13 were making their mark and following an incisive clever pass from their number 3 to their number 10 who scored again it was 2-0.
Moor Mead were attacking, but they were not going in. The two coaches made a tactical change and pushed Miles forward into a more attacking midfield positon, Daniel, behind him Dilly came on up front was making clever runs and with Miles picking him out with guided missiles the change was immediate, the game began to swing back to Moor Mead.
Despite being 2-0 down the boys were positive, their heads were up, Jake was zipping down the right and Ryan down the left. Daniel was marshalling the back, reading the opposition and breaking up runs. Teig and Orla, unflappable, kept the opposition under control. Sam was bamboozling them with his fast runs, step overs and Cruyff turns. He made a number of runs at the opposition, but they were brilliant in their defending, mobilising 5 boys behind the ball.
Half time came and it was still 2-0. Moor Mead began swiftly and attacked again with a corner from Miles, which Sam expertly headed straight in. A deserved goal for Moor Mead who had been knocking on the door for a while. The fight-back was on, Moor Mead growing in confidence were defending well and were solid with Alec, Taig and Orla controlling the back masterfully, Mani with some fancy footwork was having a little battle with the number 13, Jake on the right was running at them and Dilly upfront causing them problems, Moor Mead had wrestled control of the wheel. It was a high tempo game managed excellently by the young referee who was diligent and fair in all his decision making.
A short corner with Miles and Mani worked well, the ball shot at goal, their excellent keeper saved and the ball came out, Jake was quicker than all and got a foot to it, it was 2-2 level pegging.
Moor Mead were now dominating the game, there was a touch of the late 90's Manchester United about them, you can score but we will score more. Daniel was winning the ball back and Sam running at them, Miles pinging passes to Dilly and Mani and their number 13 pushing each other about.
Then came maybe the goal of the month, destined to be replayed in the playground over and over; Mani had the ball in the middle, Sam running in called for it, Mani rolled it into his path and Sam had a quick look up and shot a bullet into the top corner – not even Joe Hart would have saved that, 3-2 what a fight back.
Moor Mead in control, were now coasting, but for a little scare at the end, as the ball came off Mile's foot awkwardly and was own goal bound, Alec sprang and tipped it away, 3-2 it stayed.
A great and gutsy performance by Moor Mead, who never gave up, and had a little bit more of that swagger.