Thetford/Watton youth notes

WATTON U10 wrapped up another tremendous season as they claimed the League Trophy for the third successive year. After being crowned league champions the previous week, Watton faced an excellent Weeting side looking to claim the double and despite facing a very stern challenge, came out on top after an enthralling and entertaining game.

WATTON U10 wrapped up another tremendous season as they claimed the League Trophy for the third successive year. After being crowned league champions the previous week, Watton faced an excellent Weeting side looking to claim the double and despite facing a very stern challenge, came out on top after an enthralling and entertaining game. Starting the brighter, Watton started to knock the ball around superbly, with Ollie Kerrison and Ben Walker playing particularly well. Their pace and trickery caused the Weeting defence all sorts of problems, but it was Weeting who had the first real scoring opportunity. A mix-up in the Watton defence saw the ball break to a Weeting forward, but his shot was expertly turned away at full stretch by Asher Duncan. Then the deadlock was finally broken as Watton took an important lead. A long ball out of defence was picked up by Joshua Walker, and he superbly lobbed the advancing keeper. The second quarter was much more even, as Weeting started to put Watton under pressure and went close. Cameron Hudson was then introduced to give a different option upfront, and he too went close as the game flowed from end to end. The second half saw the introduction of both Sam Bray and Matty Hendrie, and they quickly got involved with some great touches going forward, and some excellent tackling back as the game became even more stretched. With both sides desperately looking for a goal a couple of half chances came and went for both sides. In the final quarter, with the huge crowd cheering on both sides, the atmosphere was fantastic. James Beaumont almost scored but it went just wide then moments later a great through-ball from Ollie put Joshua in on goal and another excellent finish made it 2-0. James then grabbed a well-taken third as Watton finally looked to have the game won but full credit to Weeting, as they rallied again to have a final effort. The dynamic duo of Liam Owen and Kade Bond, who have been fantastic all season, almost held firm, but with just five minutes remaining a long-range strike finally brought Weeting a consolation their effort deserved. Both teams continued to attack but the whistle finally blew to see Watton take the cup with a final score of Watton 3, Weeting 1. A magnificent effort from everyone.

LAKENHEATH LEOPARDS beat local rivals Brandon in the semi-final the South Norfolk Youth League Plate 1-0. Honours were even from the league and both teams knew that victory would see them into the final next weekend. Lakenheath started to attack from the off. They passed the ball around and went close in the first few minutes with both Sam Buckley and Jaime Allsop just missing the net. The midfield were outstanding denying Brandon opportunities. Max Granger and Daniel Johansen playing in new positions worked well in defence as well as attack. Most of the game was playing in the Brandon's half but their defence held firm constantly thwarting attacks. The breakthrough came in the middle of the half when Connor Knight got the ball at the edge of the box and hit a looping ball which went over the keeper and into the net. Now Lakenheath had to dig deep as Brandon pushed forward determined to get a goal back. The game was even with both teams battling hard as they both wanted to get into the final. In the second half Lakenheath continued to push both Jamie Allsop and Ben Nolan going close and causing problems for the Brandon defence. The Lakenheath defence held firm and the midfield closed Brandon down. The second goal which would have given Lakenheath the breathing space never came, and then when the final whistle went the smiles on the boys was inspiring. Lakenheath dug deep and were rewarded with their first final.

MUNDFORD U11 completed their league and cup double-winning season at home to Wymondham. After a scrappy start, Mundford roared into action when Ryan Harvey finished a John Pearce pass in style. Captain Sam Long made it two with a screamer from 20 yards before Harvey slotted home after good work from Michael Corbyn and Luke DeMeyer. But then the match descended into misplaced passes. Lack of workrate and a general selfishness on the ball, all this allowed the away side to deservedly pull a goal back. The second half saw Wymondham score a goal on the break. Finally the home side seemed to wake up and Long crashed home another beauty to settle them down, Harvey got another hat-trick with a good finish after a poor goal kick and he completed the scoring from Corbyn's sliderule pass. Final score: Mundford 6, Wymondham 2. MoM: Ryan Harvey.

MUNDFORD U11 travelled the short distance to play Indies on a hard, bumpy pitch which made good play difficult. After several early misses, Mundford took the lead when Michael Corbyn was quickest to react to a rebound to score but Indies soon hit an equaliser. Ryan Harvey raced clear to net and Corbyn grabbed another after good work by John Pearce. The second half saw more urgency from the away side and Corbyn scored a fine individual goal before Jack Pinner volleyed home number five. Harry Walker got in on the act as he fired home at the near post and then George Hammond's free-kick sailed straight in. The last act was left to Todd Hutcherson who showed his commanding presence in the air, to score with two quality headers. Final score: Indies 1, Mundford 9. MoM: Sam Long.

MUNDFORD U14 played Swaffham at home in the league, and were unlucky to lose 2-1. Mundford dominated in the first half, with good passing football from the whole team, but were unable to hit the back of the net. Swaffham had one break through Mundford's defence, and made it 1-0 at half time. In the second half, the teams were more evenly matched, and eventually Sam Bunten managed to equalise. They held this result until the closing minute of the game, when a defensive error enabled Swaffham to score the winner.

BRANDON LASSES U12 beat Cornard Dynamos 5-1 with an own goal, one from Ellesse Masters, a brace by Brianna Jamgoshian and one from Chloe Slater. After losing out to Cornard the previous week for the league title the Lasses were determined to make amends in the league final. Cornard capitalised when Brandon failed to close the ball down and a fierce shot across goal finished in the back on the net despite Katie M getting her fingertips to it. This spurred the Lasses on starting to create chances of their own with Lucy P seeing her long- range effort tipped over and Ellesse M firing just wide. Brandon then found the equaliser from a long goal-kick that deflected in off the Cornard defender, the Lasses now started to dominate and move the ball around well with Georgia O'M controlling midfield playing in Chloe S and Brianna J down the wings. Chloe S was next to test the Cornard keeper forcing another save. Ellesse M picked up the ball from a good goal kick, turning, beating her player and firing home. In the second half Chloe S picked the ball up wide straight from the kick-off, drove into the box fired home in to the near post, a great strike and just what was needed! Cornard pushed forward but were repeatedly frustrated by the superb defence of Lucy P, Bethany F and Katie M in goal. Brianna J put the icing on the cake with two late strikes, well deserved for another terrific display. Amy S, Gianna B and Chloe K came on late on to help see the game out, all who have played a major part this season.

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BRANDON LADS beat Wymondham 3-0 with Jake Vincent scored twice and Cameron Francis once. MoM: Will Bales, keeper. Ben Long was unlucky not to open the scoring for Brandon when he struck a beautiful ball from 35 yards for it to go just wide. Wymondham were also looking sharp on the break but Will Bales in the Brandon goal cleared the ball long. After the first 15 minutes things were even but Wymondham probably exerted the most pressure on the Brandon defence. Alex Matthews, Jake Vincent and Stephen Clarke looked a little frustrated up front. Slight re-shuffle and Brandon strengthened up their midfield with Stephen Clarke and moved Jake Vincent back up front. This had an immediate impact and Jake looked dangerous pushing forward. Jake managed to wriggle free from his marker and take an excellent shot that was parried to the keeper, only for Cameron Francis (on for Alex Matthews) to pick it up and rifle it into the back of the net from an acute angle, brilliant goal. Callam Horn and Ben Long were exceptional in defence for Brandon and Stephen Clarke was covering every blade on the lush Watton surface. Jake Vincent and Cameron Francis looked dangerous when Brandon moved forward. After half-time both teams started to relax and play some excellent football. Cameron Francis was unlucky not to increase Brandon's lead but for an excellent save. Wymondham had their chances but Will Bales was determined to keep a clean sheet and was having a MoM performance. Jake Vincent popped up to slam Brandon into a 2-0 lead. Wymondham ploughed forward in numbers and were unlucky not to score but time after time Will made excellent saves. Tyler Churchill (on for Cameron Francis) and Jake Vincent linked up well to create more chances. Callam Horn was strong in defence and nothing really got past him, he had an excellent game and looked dangerous pushing forward. Jake Vincent finished things off with a cool finish to take his total for the season to 165 league and cup goals. Well done boys and excellent display and an excellent game from two super teams!

BRANDON LADS lost to Wymondham 1-0. MoM: Ben Long. Brandon visited Wymondham for the match following the league cup final. It was always going to be a hard match on a changeable day. Brandon got off to a good start and were unlucky not to take the lead when Jake Vincent was put through only for the excellent keeper to make a vital save. Brandon were controlling possession but Wymondham always looked dangerous on the break and were unlucky when Jacob Bush went just wide the other end. Stephen Clarke made some excellent tackles as Wymondham tried to push forward. Callam Horn was unlucky not to score but just missed and Jake Vincent shot directly at the keeper twice. Wymondham took the lead against the run of play when a corner was blown by the wind directly into the Brandon net. Tyler Churchill caused Wymondham problems down the right side and was having an excellent game, he was unlucky when his shot went just wide. In the third quarter Brandon piled on the pressure but could not break the deadlock, they had chance after chance that went wide, over the bar or saved by the excellent keeper (MoM). Stephen Clarke worked tirelessly in midfield again and made some excellent committed tackles with Alex Matthews on the left wing trying to penetrate the Wymondham defence. Brandon were unlucky several times and the game finished 1-0 to Wymondham. Will Bales had another good game in the Brandon goal and was never really troubled by the Wymondham attack, the Brandon defence was excellent again but the attackers couldn't break through.

BRANDON LADS U13 visited Bury Town C for a mid-table battle and won 4-2. Brandon soon found themselves two goals down but they started to pass their way out of trouble and soon got to grips with the game. Brandon were looking a much better team in the second half and soon had a goal back when Muzza Burt made a clever run into the box to coolly slot the ball home, Brandon kept the pressure on Bury, and Jordan Kemp soon got his reward for his hard work with a well-taken goal, Brandon's third was to follow again with Kemp latching on to a poor goal-kick which he placed straight back in the goal with a well taken strike. Brandon now had complete control of the game and with all 14 boys involved giving their all and there was no surprise that Kemp would get his hat-trick after some good football in midfield, Kemp was set free to powerfully shoot home and get his second hat-trick of the week. Brandon played some great football at times with the outstanding Jake Bogle in midfield. MoM: Jordan Kemp.

BRANDON LASSES U11 travelled to Frettenham for Horsford's five-a-side tournament. Brandon took an eight strong team, put in a league of eight, with the top four going through to the semi-finals. Brandon won their first two games very well, next up was the tournament favourites they lost by one goal, putting in a tremendous effort. Brandon went on to win one more and draw two, having already qualified for the semis before the last group game. In the semis Brandon again were drawn against the favourites Sprowston, though Brandon gave as good as they got, they could not find a way through and were unlucky to be knocked out at this stage. Overall, every player played well above their means, and did well to get as far as they did.

THETFORD INDIES U13 travelled to Woodbridge where they played a side they have never beaten. With some players not in their usual positions and no subs the odds seemed against them. But Kieron Fowler blasted the ball from just inside the hosts half over the keeper's head. With great play from Indies they kept the heat on. But Woodbridge scored from a free-kick. Indies got one back when a cross from Luke Chappell to Charlie Reed and finally to Tom Mason saw him turn and rattle the net. The second half saw the hosts up their game and they levelled the score. Indies responded and Charlie Reed managed to break through the defensive line and was only denied by the keeper who spooned the ball for Shey Spears to clear it up. Indies soon sealed their first win over Woodbridge when Charlie Reed once again slipped past the defence and with the keeper dropping the ball again, he gently sent a shot towards goal, only for Tom Mason to confirm its place in the back of the net. Final score Woodbridge 2, Indies 4. MoM: Callum Crabb.

THETFORD INDIES U9A put in a confident performance to dominate all areas with Lakenheath causing few threats. Despite this, only one goal was scored during the first quarter and this came via Aiden Try from a penalty after a Try cross into the area was handled by a Lakenheath defender. There was only one goal added during the second quarter following some good work from Connor Noble who slotted the ball past the keeper into the net. In the third quarter Kehan Whitby and Aiden Try began to control midfield and produced some of the best passing football of the season. Whitby got his name on the score sheet with a fine shot resulting from some of the passing play mentioned. Defender Jordan Bowie, then cleanly struck a ball that fell to him on the edge of the penalty area following a corner with the resulting shot flying into the net. Whitby then added his second and Indies' fifth as he fought hard to bundle the ball over the line. Aiden Try added a further three goals. Keeper Jamie Humphrey made two excellent saves from free-kicks in the dying moments. Final score Lakenheath 0, Indies 8. MoM: Kehan Whitby.

MUNDFORD U9 beat Swaffham 2-1 after a tight game. Swaffham scored in the first quarter, striking early on, despite good defending by James Gornall. Mundford squandered two good opportunities to score, including a missed penalty, but rallied, and after a great pass from Sam Rolph, Billy went flying across the field to level. In the final quarter, Harvey finished the game by scoring a wonderful goal to give Mundford the match. MoM: keeper, Angus Marsh, who played brilliantly, as did the Swaffham keeper.

WEETING U10 took league champions Watton on in this League Trophy Final. Watton were unbeaten in the league so this was going to be a big ask for Weeting but they gave everything they had. At times they had Watton on the rack and if they had taken their chances the score could have been different. Weeting were but under pressure from the start and for five minutes they could not get the ball out of their half and in this period Watton scored. After this Weeting managed to keep hold of the ball and forced Watton back and were unlucky when J Peeling's shot was blocked twice before the ball would not run for R Hunter to score. The second quarter saw Weeting making plenty of chances with the best two falling to R Hunter who just missed. The third quarter was very even and by this time Watton knew they were in a match and at times were hanging on. The turning point was at the beginning of the final quarter when B Saberton made a great tackle, but the ball rolled to a Watton player who had now a three on one and made it 2-0. Watton then made the game safe when their midfield player picked it up, moved forward and rifled in a excellent shot from the edge of the area. But credit to Weeting, their heads did not drop and they pulled one back when J Peeling fired home with five minutes left and had a few more chances before the final whistle. Final score: Watton 3, Weeting 1.