First ever match for 8 children!
Extremely proud day to see so many play their first ever football match!
On Thursday afternoon 10 children headed over to Earith to play a football friendly in the first of many fixtures between the two schools.
Of the 10 players selected, 8 had never represented the school before in any competitive fixtures and the other two had only played one friendly each! So to say that there was minimal experience is a bit of an understatement!!
Having said that, the players all played with a fantastic attitude and all worked so hard for each other. The match was a 'mixed' 9 a side fixture with both schools fielding two girls.
Willingham started off the brightest of the two sides with some great passing in the middle of the pitch followed up by a great long range shot from Riley which just crept over the Earith crossbar. Earith responded well with good pressure, resulting in a succession of corners that Willingham dealt well with.
Earith did eventually break the deadlock half way through the first half with a powerful effort into the bottom corner. Harvey, the Willingham goalkeeper couldn't do anything about the strike but Harvey came to Willingham's rescue two minutes later with a great save tipping the ball round the post. Harvey made a couple more saves from distance before he pulled off an absolute worldie of a save!! The ball was bobbling around the Willingham penalty area when their striker turned and rifled the ball towards the goal but Harvey stretched out and tipped the ball onto the crossbar saving Willingham from going two goals behind. Harvey was definitely the player of the half for Willingham by making 5 fantastic saves.
At half time, Willingham swapped some players into new positions, including giving Harvey a break from making worldie saves!! Kieran took the gloves and went between the sticks and instantly showed confidence by rushing out and sweeping up Earith attacks. Willingham grew in confidence in the second half and started playing forward more quickly which allowed the attacking players to start creating chances. Max had a couple of opportunities that just went over the bar, including a free kick that was inches from flying in the top corner. Earith did eventually double their lead later in the match and the match finished 2-0
The 10 Willingham children did amazingly well, especially as it was a first competitive experience for a number of the players. We hope they enjoyed the experience and strive to play more matches in the future.