MATCH REPORT | PETERBOROUGH ELITE U12 v MILDENHALL TOWN U12
Mildenhall U12’s competed in their 3rd pre-season fixture of their schedule as they travelled to Peterborough Elite.
Mildenhall under-12’s competed in their 3rd pre-season fixture of their schedule as they travelled to Peterborough Elite.
The boys, who had already played against Cambridge United Academy and St Neots Town Academy, were aiming to up the level of performance as their pre-season intensifies as the season edges closer! Peterborough Elite, who had won the JPL (Junior Premier League) for their age category last season, was always expected to be an extremely tough test with the standard of players and success they’d recently had.
The match was played with four 20 minute quarters and started at the highest possible tempo, with Mildenhall and Peterborough seeming to play at 100mph, play going from one third of the pitch to the next within seconds.
Play varied, with Mildenhall showing excellent decision making in possession of when to play forward quickly and more direct, or when to maintain and build possession up the field.
Peterborough proved difficult to break down with stern defending from their back line and a physical presence by all of their players. This didn't worry Mildenhall as they stuck to their strengths and played the way they did best and eventually worked their way from the midfield third, being creative with various combination plays to exploit and open the Peterborough defence and eventually took the lead.
During the break, the boys had the freedom to discuss their thoughts on the game and spoke about a few small points, but the main theme was to maintain the tempo and high standard of performance from the first quarter of the game!
Into the second quarter, and that's exactly what Mildenhall did – maintained the tempo! They kept moving the ball swiftly with the intention of playing forward when possible and being effective in possession. With Peterborough growing into the game, Mildenhall had to look at how they could limit the threat and prevent them playing forward. As Peterborough dedicated bodies forward, this gave Mildenhall the chance to exploit them on the counter and double their lead with a quick, well worked goal.
At half time, the focus changed as the players spoke about how they could manage the game with a two goal lead with one player saying “If we don't concede, we don't lose”. The mentality then changed to how they could manage the game, with an emphasis on preventing Peterborough from playing through us and keeping the play in front which would give us the best chance of conserving the score line or improving it.
Into the third quarter and Mildenhall showed good intelligence of when to slow down and speed up the tempo of the game to suit them. This allowed them to control the game and see out another quarter while adding a couple more goals to the score line! The players showed ruthlessness and class with some great individual play to score some well worked goals.
The aim for the final quarter was to keep a clean sheet, but unfortunately the boys didn't get what they deserved with some rushed work at the back which led to Peterborough finishing in the bottom corner. Mildenhall added to the score line and finished the game with class, hoping to transfer these kind of performances into the new season!
Under-12’s Manager, Alfie Tate said this following the game: “I thought it was an outstanding performance. Every player was superb today and deserve a lot of credit for their performance. The tempo in the first two quarters was the standard we want every game – one touch, two touch, quick combination plays across the whole pitch was spot on. Considering the record Peterborough have, winning the JPL last season, it's a massive credit to the boys who not only got a fantastic result, but a fantastic performance as well.”
“The way the boys managed the game in the last two quarters as well showed the boys maturity and character to see out the game, but also add to their performance with the goals they scored. The only negative was we didn't manage to get a clean sheet! Anyone who saw the game knew that we fully deserved it and we were just unfortunate that we rushed things at the back a bit. Regardless, the boys were outstanding and deserve a lot of credit.”