Honours this week go to our battling Under 18 side who earned a place in the next round of the FA Youth Cup with an ‘against the odds’ win at Cogenhoe.
For reasons that I can’t go into at this stage but will certainly look to address in the future they started with just 11 players none of who was a goalkeeper and fell behind from the first move of the match.
I won’t tell you that at that moment I didn’t think the writing was very much on the wall and we were in for a long hard night and I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was to be proved totally wrong.
Instead what we saw was a battling exhibition of team spirit, belief, togetherness and true grit. We got back on terms quickly and went on to win 3-1 thanks to goals from Sam Sale, Jack Bendon and Kyle Jeffrey and quite frankly we should have won by much more.
Special praise to Grady Hayden who was ‘volunteered’ into playing between the sticks and who was, apart from the opening minutes, brilliantly protected by our defence.
They then followed this up with a 3-0 win over Potters Bar Town in their opening Eastern Junior Alliance game.
To say I am proud of every single one of them doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. They were a credit to the club and the perfect embodiment of everything we are striving to build here from the bottom up. Plaudits also to coaches Keith Castle and Sam Goodman who have done a wonderful job of building and sustaining a magnificent spirit among their young charges.
Their reward is a match for the town’s bragging rights with a first qualifying round match at Biggleswade Town next Thursday (ko 7.45pm). I can’t wait.
We are up and running in the FA Vase thanks to a 2-0 win in Norfolk against Downham Town from the Eastern Counties League and now look forward to facing Thrapston Town at home in the next round.
The loss of Abraham Eze with a shoulder injury which looks like it is going to need surgery is a blow but one slightly softened by the new found form of Dave Iwediuno up front who seems to have found his scoring boots
We have also reverted to a flat back four and look much more solid in defence as a result and will be looking to carry on our unbeaten run when we visit Tring Athletic tomorrow (Sat ko 3pm) in search of three more valuable league points before visiting Barton Rovers on Tuesday night (7.45pm) for a North Beds Charity Cup match.
See you there