Brockham Badgers (U12s) 0 - Moor Mead Athletic (U12s) 6
Moor Mead produced a performance as sparkling as the snow on the nearby Surrey Hills as they comprehensively thrashed a team that had beaten them heavily at home just weeks before.
At Marble Hill, Brockham took the Parakeets apart in a deeply disappointing second half. This was a mirror image: Moor Mead shaded a competitive first 30 minutes before running riot after the break with a display of dominant, flowing football.
Every member of a depleted squad made a telling contribution. At the back William W, Jeremias and Ben formed a solid barrier, Miles and Dilly were combative in midfield, Mani and Zach a handful up front, and Alec rock solid in goal. With the thermometer hovering around zero, and much of Surrey white, it was something of a surprise that the game went ahead against a backdrop that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Swiss Alps.
Both sides took time to find their feet in testing conditions. Chances were limited in the first period, but the contest intense, as two well-organised, evenly-balanced teams tested each other. Brockham had the first strike at goal, but the ball sailed harmlessly wide.
The Badgers were strong, and well-drilled in defence, and Moor Mead, for all their probing, found it tough to carve out any threat in the final third. But the Parakeets slowly began to control possession. Elliott fired a powerful shot narrowly wide from a Will S cross.
Possibly Moor Mead’s only defensive hesitation of the game saw the home side go close, but Jeremias was on hand to clear a clipped close range effort off the line. Moor Mead took the lead after a scramble in the Brockham box. The ball went free after Mani clashed with the keeper, and the besnooded Zach pounced to force it over the line.
Brockham responded well with a period of concerted pressure of their own, but William W limited their threat on the left, and Ben on the right, with Miles and Dilly putting in telling tackles in midfield. Moor Mead deserved their half-time lead, but nobody expected the magnificent display to come.
In fact, Brockham applied early pressure in the second period, firing a long range shot wide. William W lobbed over from a Mani corner, and moments later returned the favour, releasing Mani, whose shot fizzed across goal.
Zac then surged down the left. The Brockham keeper parried his shot, only for Miles to smash a trade mark rocket from the centre of the box into the top corner. Moments later Moor Mead added a third. This time the home keeper saved a shot from Mani, but the ball fell to Zac, who skilfully twisted to bury a shot into the far corner.
With the result no longer in doubt, the Parakeets began to turn on the style, breaking time and time again from deep midfield, with Mani - in one of his irrepressible moods - leading the charge. A Miles free-kick caused meltdown in the Brockham defence, two defenders conspiring to put the ball over their own line under no pressure from any Moor Mead player. Then Mani capped a superb individual second half display, chipping into the roof of the net after Zac
set him up down the right, and then applying the coup de grace to a lovely move down the left featuring William W and Elliott.
On a day cold enough for brass monkeys to check whether they had a full set, it was performance to warm the heart, and to make the badgers wish they had gone into hibernation.