3 in a row? St Peters U13’s say NO!!!!

St Peters U13 V Hampden Weir RAFC

      St Peters under 13’s hosted a visiting Scottish Academy side on Saturday 29th to round off a 3 match island tour by Hampden Weir RAFC.   Hampden are already playing 11 aside competitive football in their respective league and are used to playing on a full size pitch with full size goals so for our lads to offer the same setup presented quite a challenge.   St Peters under 13’s put an 11 aside team together and we played on the main St Peters pitch with full size goals….anything you can do…….!  Hampden were buoyed by the fact that they were coming off the back of a 2 match winning streak having beaten Jersey Wanderers 5-1 and the Centre of Excellence U12 team 4-0.
     Any notion that Hampden were about to put another soft Jersey team to the sword were swiftly put to bed when within 5 minutes of the start and with the home side being the liveliest of the two teams, Ethan Hutchison who was partnering Ryan Peel up front sent a great pass to the feet of Ryan on the edge of the area.  Finding his way to the right blocked he spun on his left foot, took a touch and thumped the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal beyond the fingers of the diving keeper.   Game on!! 1-0!!
     The visitors were understandably shaken and they tried to get back into the game, good passing, movement but the home side were more than up for the challenge.   Jamie Ritzema and Luke Lister dominated the midfield passing the ball out wide to Finn Hougardy and Harry Scott on the wings to give them the opportunity to supply crosses into the box.   Luke got onto the end of one such cross and his shot crashed into the crossbar but he was quickest to react and pounced on the rebound sending it into the back of the net, 2-0!
      The scoreline seemed to galvanise the visitors along with some strong words from their coaches and they started to put our defence under pressure. They had a few chances which were snuffed out but finally got their break when they picked up the ball on the right of the goal from a corner.   Our defenders were to slow to react and allowed Hampden to have their first clear shot at goal and they scored from it just before half time. 2-1!
     The second half got underway and St Peters continued as they began the first half, plenty of pressure and good movement from the wings.   Tom Proffitt coming back from a long injury controlled the defence and he linked up well with Max Martin. Charlie Nash and Noah Risby covered the flanks and started a lot of our attacks. One such attacking move resulted in a quick goal by Ryan but it was ruled offside. The home side continued to apply pressure and our movement was so good in and around the opposition box that it was inevitable that we would score again.   A scramble in the area, some rushed defending and the ball fell to Harry at short range and he doesn’t miss from there.   3-1!!
     The visitors finally got back into the game and with their ability to call on substitutes (they had 6, we had 0) their ability to add fresh legs to the field started to tell for our lads.   With their experience in a competitive league they were also smarter in the art of gamesmanship and after winning a very generous free kick they were able to make their fresh legs count.   The free kick was lofted in and Pierce Roche our goalkeeper, having done a sterling job guarding the goal all game made a mistake by coming and jumping for the ball but slightly misjudged the flight.   The ball went past him and through a scramble of legs before a Hampden boot connected and it hit the back of the net.   3-2!!
     The match was drawing to a close and the visitors were desperate not to finish their tour with a loss so they piled on the pressure.   There was a lot of contact which St Peters got the worst of resulting in treatment being required for two of our players.   This combined with the visitors ability to introduce fresh players meant the last five minutes of the match were quite a slog but we held on and we’re delighted to record a win. Not so the visitors who were demonstrably upset and even though they had the benefit of the majority of the decisions the players were very unhappy.  Not so St Peters who were delighted that their hard work and excellent teamwork and spirit had carried the day.   A great credit to St Peters under 13’s who rose to the challenge of a full size pitch, playing against a well organised and competitive team.  The future looks very bright for these lads when they move from development football to the competitive side.

A great response from the under 13’s.

St Peters under 13’s came from a 2 goal deficit to beat St Pauls 4-3.  A fantastic game which could have had a much higher scoreline for St Peters but for some resolute defending from new Centre of Excellence Island defender James Murphy who showed why he made the Island team.
As the coach I have to hold my hands up and take the blame for the fact that St Pauls scored twice in quick succession right at the start of the game.  Whilst we coach the lads and set them up to play the matches I have one eye on next year when we will be playing 11 aside.   As such I wanted to play with wing backs today to see if I could utilise players in different positions next season.  Charlie Nash and new St Peters player Noah Risby were put in an unfamiliar role and as such St Pauls punished us.   As soon as Charlie and Noah dropped into familiar fullback roles they were terrific and immediately stopped St Pauls attacks meaning we could go on the attack ourselves.
The lads were well briefed with what to expect with this game and applied themselves very quickly,  stopping St Pauls from playing their usual high tempo game right from their goal kick.   We disrupted their distribution from the back,  piling on the pressure and it wasn’t long before Ryan Peel had bundled the ball over the line from close range to halve the deficit.  No time for celebrations and the lads were desperate to attack the goal and they thought they had scored again after Finn Hougardy ghosted in behind St Pauls defence to score a very good goal only to be ruled offside.
However,  with the amount of attacking intent within our team it was inevitable that we would equalise and we did just that with a very good strike from Harry Scott from just outside the area.  Sometimes substitutions can cause the momentum of the team to drop and this was the case as St Pauls managed to pile on the pressure before half time. St Pauls continued to attack our goal which meant Cole Graham in the heart of defence had to work hard to shield our goal whilst Pierce Roche pulled of some fine saves to keep us in the game.
In the second half changes were made putting our new Centre of Excellence Island player Tom Profitt at left back and giving Noah a chance to play left midfield.  The lads continued to put St Pauls under pressure and time after time we were thwarted by St Pauls strong play.   Jamie Ritzema had an excellent game,  controlling the midfield,  dribbling past opponents and making timely passes.   One exquisitely timed pass was perfectly weighted for Ryan to run onto and he had plenty of time on the ball before slotting home very neatly into the bottom left corner of the goal. 3-2 and it certainly looked like we could score more but chances went begging,  hitting the woodwork,  deflections,  good goalkeeping and defending all meant we couldn’t get the all important cushion.
St Pauls also had other ideas about us winning and they sprung the perfect counterattack to equalise again.   However,  they weren’t able to do so again as the defence realised what could happen and reacted accordingly.  It looked like it might have been one of those days when no matter how many chances you get to score you just can’t convert the chance.   Ryan stepped up to take yet another corner (which shows how many shots on goal we had) and Harry Scott fired in from a bicycle kick into the net.   4-3 and the lads were desperate to keep the score.   Sometimes the best form of defence is to attack and with almost the last kick of the ball Ethan Hutchison almost scored just before the final whistle.
A great result for the lads today against a tough opponent.  The hard work in training is paying off and as a coach my hardest decision is to decide who to rest,  who to rotate.   Special mention to Noah Risby, as a new player to the club coming from St Ouens FC and playing in a tougher league he had a very good debut and I am looking forward to seeing more of him at St Peters.

U13’s share the spoils

The honours were even in a well fought contest at FB Fields last Thursday as St Clements and St Peters cancelled each other out in a thrilling match that ended 2 – 2.  An early goal from St Clements within the first few minutes could have spelled disaster with spectators thinking a goal fest for St Clements was in the offing.  However, they hadnt reckoned on the stout defending from Cole Graham who was fantastic at the back.  Time after time their keeper sent longball after longball over the top of the midfield and through to their highly pacy attacking duo only for Cole to snuff the attack out.
It wasnt all one way traffic.   The response from the lads to going a goal down was immediate.  Within a few minutes Tom Profitt had raced down the left flank,  linked up with Ethan for a quick one,  two and rifled in an equaliser into the bottom right of the goal.   Game on!
The second half was very similar to the first and St Clements started the stronger.   However,  St Peters held them back and due to the pace of the game it was inevitable that substitutions had to be made.   Everybody deserved their spot in the team but tiredness began to set in and it may have been as a result of this and nervousness in and around the penalty spot that St Clements pulled off a fine piece of skill to once again take the lead.   However, the lads didn’t let their heads drop and our goalkeeper Pierce Roche saw the opportunity to launch a quick counter attack after St Clements failed to drop back quickly enough.  A perfectly weighted long ball over the top for George Le Quesne to run onto enabled him to lob the ball over the onrushing keeper and we had levelled the score again.  2-2!
The final few minutes of the game was end to end.   St Peters almost pulled off a huge upset though when in the final minute Charlie Nash, our right back managed to be the furthest forward player.   Max Martin took a thrown in and sent a great through ball for Charlie to run onto.   He fired a low shot only for it to hit the right post,  travel behind the keeper back to Charlie who shot again only for the keeper to save it.   It would have been a real smash and grab had it gone in.   All in all a draw was a fair result.   Next match our first cup game V Grouville.

2 for 2 v Grouville

St Peters under 13’s continued their run of fine form by beating a well organised and determined Grouville this evening at Quennevais.  They showed great determination and discipline to overcome a very tough Grouville team, made all the harder by going a goal down inside 5 minutes.  You could have been forgiven for thinking the lads heads had gone down after conceding early, however they upped their game and it wasnt long before Ryan Peel equalised after a timely assist from Finn Hougardy.  Ryan wasnt finished though and he added another to give us the lead.
     Due to the new length of time matches are played at under 13 we are having to make various substitutes to rest players and as a result of this we lost our momentum a bit which allowed Grouville to equalise taking us into the halftime break at 2-2.
     With a quick rest and a reorganisation of the team we started the second half in top gear.  Harry Scott made a great run from the right side of the pitch and fired a lovely low shot into the bottom left of the goal.  He continued firing in shots and crosses from that side and gave Grouvilles left back real problems and it was inevitable that Ryan would collect one of his crosses, thread it through the middle between Grouvilles defence for Ethan Hutcheson to loft the ball over the keepers head and into the net for a lovely, well composed finish.  The buildup to the goal was top class and the morale was extremely high going into the last 15 minutes.
     Unfortunately a bit of tiredness crept in and even though the back three had worked really hard throughout the match they just couldnt stop Grouville nicking a goal and reducing our two goal cushion.  This set up a terrific final 10 minutes with chances for more goals at either end, Grouville hitting the post and Ryan just missing with his outstretched foot for a tapin that went tantalisingly close.  Fortunately, the final whistle blew to bring an end to the game and stop any more of my hair falling out or going grey.  A great game of football with St Peters deserved winners with the final score 4-3.
     A quick mention to David Highfield, Joe Winter and Ethan Hutchinson who played the majority of their games in the B league last season and who have stepped up and been instrumental in the success of the last two games.  Id also like to say how pleased I am to see players who arent playing coming up to support the squad with Finn watching on Sunday and Tom Profitt who is injured coming up this evening.  A great team spirit which bodes well for the rest of the season.  Well done lads!

Under 13’s start the season with a win!

A new season for the under 13’s started today and our first game of the season was at Le Quennevais football pitches V Jersey Wanderers. Having only had two training sessions before today we knew that unless we were disciplined and organised from the ko that we would be in for a tricky game.

Right from the start it appeared that the team talk had sunk in and in under 10 minutes a delightful through ball from Tom Profitt was latched onto by Ryan Peel who cooly slotted home. A short while later after numerous chances, one of which resulted in yet another corner, George Le Quesne headed in from close range. After a very productive first half, it only takes a moment to switch off and unfortunately the lads didnt close down quickly enough which allowed Wanderers to pull one back just before half time.

In the second half, after a much needed rest and the chance to discuss a few ideas we were back in action. During half time, after pointing out one or two areas that needed to be addressed we were straight on the attack. This produced immediate results and two quick goals from Ryan Peel and Harry Scott virtually allowed us to dictate the pace of the game. After a couple of substitutions, one of which was new striker Ethan Hutchinson, he immediately settled into the game by adding 2 more goals to the scoresheet. He assures me that the second goal was on target but as it ricocheted in off a defender the dubious goals committee were called and after deliberating for some time they generously awarded it to him so the goal stood. Our last goal came from a wonderful solo effort from Jamie Ritzema. He collected the ball from the halfway line, rounded 2 defenders and beat the goalkeeper on the nearside. It was a lovely goal and fully deserved after the hard work he had put in throughout the game.

The final score was 3-7 and whilst im sure the lads might be disappointed not to keep a clean sheet it was a good all round team performance. I was able to play players in different positions to give them a new perspective on the game and increase their range of abilities.

All in all a great start, plenty still to do but if we continue like today we are in for a very good season.

Under 12’s leave Jersey Wanderers feeling lost at home.

St Peters under 12’s Red team beat a well organised and resolute Jersey Wanderers team at their ground 3 – 0 this afternoon. A fine through ball from the middle of the pitch saw Harry Scott bear down on the keeper who parried the ball only for Jamie Ritzema to pounce and follow up with the opening goal. Jamie had an excellent game, tireless in front of our defence and he was the lynchpin linking defense and attack. Always in the right place at the right time protecting our defence, nicking the ball and distributing out wide to start the attack. Stout defending from Max Martin meant that throughout the match there was no way through for Wanderers to threaten our goal. Time after time he was there to blunt their attacks, either with a well timed defensive header or playing the ball out of his feet while under pressure. He kept a very cool head throughout the game and it was particularly impressive how well he played as he was deputising in that role due to our regular centre back coming down ill at short notice. Ryan Peel also had a very good game registering twice with two excellent goals. The first when he lobbed the keeper from 30 yards, the keeper could only watch helplessly as the ball sailed over his head and nestled in the back of the net. The second was a very well taken goal with the smallest target to aim for. A throwin on the right side of the pitch eventually worked it’s way to Ryan and without looking at the goal he fired a low shot which beat the keeper on his nearside. He had a very small part of the goal to aim for and it looked like the keeper had it covered but it was rifled in low and with pace. There were other opportunities to score due to some very good buildup play and but for the crossbar coming to the rescue and some excellent goalkeeping by the Wanderers goalkeeper the score line should have been a lot higher. All in all a very good match with some lovely intricate passing and movement from the St Peters players resulted in a fine win.

Under 11’s win St Clements World Cup Tournament

A fantastic result and achievement for the under 11 squad last weekend as we represented St Peters FC and entered St Clements annual football tournament. We entered the team name St Peters Ubiques (Ubiques stands for everywhere which I thought was appropriate after the excellent season the lads had just experienced) and the lads were true to their name and seemed to be everywhere when needed on the pitch.

We had to play 4 group games, matched against some very tricky opposition with St Pauls and Grouville being our first two matches. A stern test which the lads overcame with 2 2-0 wins. Subsequent wins against St Clements and St Brelade (1-0 & 2-0) respectively saw us top the group.

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Having played excellent football all morning and with tiredness becoming a factor the knockout stages proved to be every bit as challenging as we expected and our qtr final match against a determined Wanderers side ended in a 0-0 which took the game to penalties. With Piers Roche in goal we had a big advantage and he didn’t disappoint. A combination of his saves and well taken penalties from the lads saw us progress to the semi finals.

This was to prove our sternest test as we were up against Grouville’s strongest squad. Again there was little to separate the teams and it went to penalties after a very hard fought goalless draw. Our defending was terrific but we just couldn’t find a breakthrough. Our previous shootout was to stand us in good stead as we were clearly the cooler team and dispatched all of our penalties with ease whilst Grouville’s lack of composure in front of goal cost them the chance to progress to the final.

So, we had made the final! Our opponents? Grouville again, the team we had met earlier in the group games. A great touch by St Clements FC saw both teams enter the pitch to the sound of the Champions League and after each team had shook hands the whistle blew and the match started. DSC_0184

The lads were really up for this match however if we thought that there would be a repeat of the earlier match then we were to be disappointed. Grouville had learnt the lesson of earlier and their defending was resolute. St Peters had chance after chance and it seemed as if we were going to another penalty shootout when we were awarded a corner. Tom Profitt fizzed over a perfect cross and Ryan lost his marker to cooly head home into the top right corner. A mirror image goal from these two players that helped us win our last tournament in April. Grouville were unable to come up with an answer and St Peters Ubiques were worthy winners.

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Goals from Tom Profitt, Jamie Ritzema, George Le Quesne, Ryan Peel, Finn Hougardy and Max Martin and fantastic defending from Cole Graham and Piers Roche all contributed to a fantastic day and a terrific win for the club. With players of this quality at St Peters it bodes well for the club.

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Under 11’s at the double !!!!

A new season of competitive football started today for the Under 11’s and I’m delighted to say that both teams got off to a winning start.

The Red Group beat a very determined St Clements 3 – 2 with goals from George Le Quesne, Tom Proffitt and Jamie Ritzema, while the White Group managed by Ciaran Pack had a fantastic goal fest beating a very well organised Rozel Rovers 11 – 5 with the following players registering :- Alex King, PJ Dodge, David Highfield, Robbie Mossop, Kyle Fernandes and braces from Dylan Stocks, Harry Scott and Sam Harvey respectively.

The work rate from both teams was fantastic and there were plenty of moments of individual skill. A mazy run that beat four players before cannoning a ball off the upright had the crowd cheering Ryan Peel’s solo effort in the first match while a sublime piece of skill from David Highfield which resulted in a spectacular long range goal had the crowd equally excited.

With the quality on offer from both teams it looks like it is going to be an exciting season.

Summer Fun Football Camp

Dear all, I will be running two 5 day fun clubs during the summer holidays on my property in St Brelades Bay.

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The exact same format as Easter and half term. The first one will take place on Monday 28th July until Friday 1st August starting at 09:00 and finishing at 12:00.  I will then run another week starting Monday 18th August until Friday 22nd August with the same times. Same costs as the previous camps £10 per person per day. I have some new games and the swimming pool is much warmer at this time of year and will be most welcome at the end of a few hours of fun football. Please note that this is for both St Peters FC members and non members so please do pass the word to anyone who might be looking for something to do during the summer holidays. Please either email me orangeazz@hotmail.com or telephone 07797 725858 to either secure a place or for more details.

Many thanks Aaron Peel Year 5 coach.