MATCH REPORT | ST NEOTS TOWN U12 v MILDENHALL TOWN U12
Mildenhall Town U12 defeat St Neots Town U12 in their latest pre-season preparations
Mildenhall Academy under-12’s continued their preparation for the new season with a friendly against St Neots Town Academy. The game was played on the 3G surface outside the step 3 club’s main ground, which was the second fixture for the under-12’s this week following their big time fixture against Cambridge United’s prestigious Academy!
The game started at a high tempo with the Mildenhall youngsters quickly finding their feet and in front of goal. They showed hunger and desire to win the ball back high up the field and showed ruthlessness in front of the St Neots goal early on which gave them a comfortable lead. The combination play to build up into the final third was eye-catching and Mildenhall looked threatening from the wide areas as well as from distance where a couple of the boys scored some true screamers!
Going into the second half, St Neots had started to build on their slow start and the game became more even with St Neots working the ball in midfield as well as showing good aggression to win it back when they lost it. This was a chance for the Mildenhall boys to show their resilience and protect the goal against a re-energised St Neots Town. The boys went into half time with a clean sheet.
At half time, the boys had the chance to evaluate the first half and work out ways to improve the second half. A lot of the focus was on how they could stay on the ball with more quality and for longer. The main focus was on making the pitch bigger to give the boys more time and space on the ball and creating the appropriate angles to be more effective in possession!
At half time, Alfie Tate, manager of the under-12’s made a number of changes to challenge various players in different positions and improve the quality of their understanding of the game. Defenders played up front and in midfield, while the strikers had a go defending at the back and midfielders trying up front and in defence!
In the second half, the players started to show some individual class with tricky skills and turns to be creative in beating players in 1v1 and 2v1 scenarios. This led to Mildenhall driving into the final third at pace and delivering brutal shots at the St Neots goal – loads of chances to score throughout the game but with limited success. Shot after shot, but the St Neots goalkeeper staying firm and preventing the shots going in. Eventually Mildenhall broke down St Neots again and within a short space of time, created a bigger score line with some well taken goals by players playing in different positions. St Neots pulled one back with a wonder strike from their centre back.
Overall, a good run out for all the boys involved in the fixture. Alfie Tate had this to say on the game: “I thought the boys showed a great clinical instinct today. St Neots were a tough team to break down in the second half and our boys showed excellent confidence to have a go at goal – something we didn't show enough in the Cambridge United game.
The result was good for the boys, who will gain confidence from this, but even with a positive result we still have to assess the performance and look at ways to improve. Every game we play, we want to be recognised for playing a certain way, and I felt we showed it at times, which is a good sign going into the new season, but by the end of our pre-season schedule, we want to see it consistently over the whole match - that's the level we want to be at.”
Thank you to St Neots Town for the fixture and best of luck for the rest of the season.