Match Report
Moulsford Preparatory School Boys-U9B vs  The Beacon School
On: Tuesday, 23 Jan 2024
Venue: at Home

First Game Ends In Defeat, But Plenty Of Positive Learning Opportunities To Be Taken.

Today's football match against Beacon was a challenging encounter for the Mighty Moulsford Under 9B, as we faced a formidable opponent boasting both numerical strength and plenty of talent in their year group. The sheer size of Beacon, with an impressive 72 pupils in one year group, demonstrated the depth of their squad, and it was evident that their capabilities matched their numbers.

Houlihan-Smith started the game as our goalkeeper, and his bravery between the posts was essential in preventing the scoreline from reaching double digits by halftime. Despite commendable defensive efforts from Morant and Carter, the Beacon attackers capitalised on intercepted passes across our goal, swiftly netting three goals in succession. Anyone there today would have applauded some of their goals as they moved the ball well and crossed the ball beautifully for two first time finishes.

As the halftime whistle blew at the 18-minute mark, we gathered to discuss key areas for improvement. Emphasis was placed on reinforcing the defensive triangle, clear naming of passes, and receiving the ball deeper to allow more time during goal kick restarts as Beacon retreated to halfway.

In the second half, we witnessed a transformed Moulsford side, with several near misses that showcased our improved attacking prowess. Houghton showed strong ball control and executed clever runs out wide, while Meynell and Morant formed a resilient defensive partnership, blocking shots and adjusting positioning to thwart the opposition's advances. Carter's relentless work ethic in midfield, marked by crunching tackles and quick passes, demonstrated his pivotal role in the team and winner of the MOTM award.

Warren proved to be a handful for the Beacon back-line, scoring a well-taken goal after a smart save. Houlihan-Smith, who shifted to the left wing, contributed significantly by providing the assist for Warren's goal as he whipped the ball in after some clever play to beat his man out wide. Morris, transitioning from the flank to goalkeeper, made two crucial saves, including a spectacular effort in the final phase of the game that could easily find its place in the Match of the Day highlight reel.

While the scoreline favoured Beacon, I am proud of the boys' second-half effort and resilience. They showed a commendable ability to learn and adapt after the first-half challenges. This experience will undoubtedly serve as a stepping stone for improvement throughout the season.

Looking ahead, we aim to refine our attacking play in the final third as we prepare for the upcoming Games session on Thursday. The match against Abingdon Prep next week (Tuesday) presents an opportunity to translate our lesson objectives into success in front of goal.

I extend my gratitude to all the supporters who attended today's match, cheering for the boys. Your encouragement and presence make a significant impact, and we look forward to your continued support throughout the season.

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” ? Barack Obama

Squad - Houlihan-Smith, Morant, Meynell, Carter, Warren, Morris and Houghton

Mr Chaffey