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Philip Stanley24 Mar - 19:06
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Strong second half performance sees Lazio take the points

(Many thanks to coach, Peter, for the match reports)

CYFL U13 Div 2
Dunstable Town U13 Panthers 1 - 5 Linslade Galaxy U13 Lazio

This morning U13 Lazio made a familiar trip to Creasey Park to face Dunstable Town Panthers.

As always at Creasey Park, it was a windy day. Combined with a sloping, bobbly pitch, conditions weren’t great for either team. Captain for the day Kingy made his first big decision at the coin toss, as he elected to turn the teams around and play uphill against the wind in the first half. This turned out to be a good piece of tactics from the skipper.

The game itself started fairly evenly. In fact the entire first half was an even affair with limited chances at either end.

The first opening fell to Lazio when Jake swung in a great corner to the back post. Jelani connected with a firm header but it was just the wrong side of the post. It was Jelani who then had another opening for Lazio shortly after, working some space in the box before firing straight at the keeper.

At the other end new signing Caelan was making his debut at centre back, playing alongside the ever dependable Kingy. An assured display from the pair of them, together with Joe and Jake at fullbacks, was limiting Dunstable to long range efforts that Chris was dealing with.

Ahead of the defence Lazio’s midfield three of Tycho, Blake and Adam were working hard against the opposition and the elements, trying to find that ball to give Lazio the breakthrough.

However, around 10 minutes before halftime it was Dunstable that found the breakthrough, grabbing the lead from a very well taken free kick. 25 yards out and dead central, the Dunstable player curled it perfectly into the top right corner, no chance for Chris. 1-0 Dunstable.

Both teams had half chances approaching halftime. Good work from Kiro on the left wing saw him play the ball into Jelani in the box before receiving it back and testing the keeper with a shot. Moments later Jelani turned provider again, this time laying the ball back for Blake on the edge of the box, but he wasn’t able to keep his left foot effort down. For Dunstable there were a few more free kicks in dangerous positions that caused some panic in the Lazio area before being cleared.

1-0 Dunstable at halftime.

Playing downhill with the wind at their back, Lazio came out confidently for the second half and it didn’t take long to get back on even terms. Jake swung in another dangerous corner which hit Blake and then bounced to Adam who looped a left foot effort into the far corner of the goal. There was some controversy as Dunstable appealed for a handball from Blake as the ball crossed the line but the ref waived away the protests and Adam’s goal stood. 1-1.

Lazio were now getting on top and the next goal didn’t take long to come. Blake won the ball in midfield and looped a ball over Dunstable’s backline for Lazio’s in form striker Josh Green to chase down. Josh won the race and then lobbed the ball over the oncoming Dunstable keeper into the empty net. There was a muted celebration to begin with as it had the look of being offside but the linseman confirmed Josh was on and the goal stood. 2-1 Lazio.

Josh’s celebrations were less muted when moments later he grabbed his second and Lazio’s third. Luke, playing on the left wing, took a throw-in and picked out Josh’s run down the left hand side of the box. Josh got the ball onto his right foot, then from a tight angle, slammed a shot across the goal and into the opposite top corner of the net. A contender for goal of the season (if we had that award, which I’m afraid we don’t Josh) and more importantly, 3-1 Lazio.

Lazio now had their tails up and were looking for more goals. After a few wayward efforts on goal (no names…Blake) it was Jelani that popped up to grab the fourth and effectively seal the game. After a good run down the left channel Josh played a ball into the box that was only partially cleared. Blake made a great tackle on the edge of the box and the ball fell to Jelani who neatly swivelled to steer the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. 4-1 Galaxy.

Dunstable were largely playing on the break and still had moments where they looked dangerous but the Lazio back four of Caelan, Kingy, Jake, Joe and then later Luke had another massively impressive half to ensure no further goals went in.

As the game drew to a finish Lazio were guilty of losing a little shape as they looked for more goals. The chances did keep coming though. Josh went close a few times, as did Samuel who was very unlucky to see one effort come back off the bar. It was good play from Samuel though that led to the fifth and final goal. A ball into box ended up falling perfectly for Blake and this time he made no mistake cooly side footing home into the bottom left corner for a well deserved goal.

With no further goals, the game finished 5-1 to Lazio.

Well played both teams in what weren’t the easiest of conditions.

For Lazio, the boys did really well to use those conditions in their favour and turn round what had been a really tight game to finish the stronger team.

Although we scored five goals, today’s performance was built on a strong defensive display. Any of the Lazio back line could have made a case for the Gartec Player of the Match but it went to Caelan who was outstanding on his Lazio debut.

And finally…big thanks to Tony (aka Kingy’s Grandad) for another great performance running the line for us today.

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