The Cubs Begin
Our newly formed Under 8 and Under 10 teams were in action at the weekend. Read on to find out how they got on with their friendly matches against Tyler Hill Youth.
On Saturday 19th June, our Under 8 and Under 10 teams had their first foray into competitive football, playing against Tyler Hill FC’s respective teams. Excitement had been building all week amongst players, parents and coaches.
When the Saturday morning arrived, and the sun rose on the Bear Trap's hallowed turf, the excitement had reached fever pitch.
As our players arrived at their carefully prepared football ground, they were greeted by a beautiful sight. Freshly cut grass and newly painted lines looked terrific. The tranquillity that surrounded the children did not last for long.
With social distancing in place, this meant there was standing room only; there was concern at some point that supporters would be turned away from the gates, such was the vast level of support that turned out to watch the games.
The first game saw Barham FC’s under 8s play a 5-aside match of four quarters of 10 minutes. With warm-ups done, team photos taken, the game began. It was fair to say we were stepping into the unknown but roared on by the crowd, and the players found their stride immediately.
Within two minutes, the team had put together a passing move that would have befitted a team many years older than this one, culminating in the game's first goal; one-nil to Barham!
Two more goals quickly followed, and we were in dreamland, being three-nil up before the first quarter was out. That is not to say we had it all our way, but our defending was heroic, and our keeper made some saves that defied any logic, including a penalty save good enough to grace any level of football.
Tyler Hill eventually found a way past our defence and goalkeeper to pull one goal back to make it 3-1. For a team playing their first game, it would be understandable for heads to drop. However, heads remained high, and a mixture of passion, adrenalin and skill kept Barham FC on the front foot and resulted in three more goals of our own. By the end of the game, we thoroughly deserved the 6-2 win.
The second game saw Barham FC’s under 10s play a 7-aside match of four quarters of 15 minutes. Tyler Hill has been playing league football together for two years, so we knew we would have to be at our very best to get something out of the game. The start of the match was almost the polar opposite of the first game.
We were bamboozled by Tyler Hill’s number 7, who showed skills that a certain Mr Messi himself would have been proud of; we quickly found ourselves 3-nil down.
Despite our goalkeeper saving a penalty for the second game in a row, he has clearly not read the script regarding English football teams and penalties. However, the courageous Barham FC players kept pressing, kept passing, and just before the end of the first quarter, we burst through into the box to grab a well-deserved goal, meaning we finished the first quarter 3-1 down.
A glimmer of hope shone brightly as it seemed there just might have been a way back. We started the second quarter as we finished the first, with some scintillating football and the never say die attitude shown by all the players resulting in us drawing level at 3-3. However, a breakaway goal just before half-time meant we were behind, 4-3 to Tyler Hill. Over the next two quarters, we found ourselves 5-4 down and 6-5 down, but energy levels never dropped; this was not a game we were going to give up without every last bit of drive and determination.
With supporters urging the players on, trying to summon that one last push, and the stopwatch approaching 60 minutes, there was time for one last Barham FC attack. A flowing move from the back eventually resulted in a cross from the Barham FC right-hand side, and after what felt like an eternity, up popped our central midfielder to pass the ball into the back of the net calmly. 6-6, and that was how it finished!
This report has consciously excluded individual names; It would simply be unfair to name any individual by name; doing so would detract from the heroic team performances of both teams. Whilst we had hattricks in both games, penalties saved in both games, last-ditch tackles and endless trickery shown by our players, these results are based on togetherness and the team's strength.
We place on record our thanks to all the supporters and everyone who made it possible for this game to happen; again, signalling any one individual out would be unfair but the effort shown by the children so richly rewarded the time given up by the many.
Both teams have started their footballing journey, which will undoubtedly have its ups and downs, but Saturday showed that both teams are ready for any challenge. They are now prepared to pit themselves against all that the county has to offer footballing wise. Both teams will undoubtedly make this village proud as they embark on campaigns in the Faversham League next season.
The Cubs will now continue with their pre-season preparations.