Yodas 2012 - 2013

May 4th. Away against Paddock Wood

Vs Paddock Wood Warriors: 3-1

In their last league match of the season the Yodas showed off everything they had learnt this season and showed what an improved team they have become. In an unusual sweeper role, Toby demonstrated his pace and strength running up and down the right hand side like a terrier, from defence to attack and back again. Running all the way forward early on he let one loose from long range and it few in – 1-0 to the yellows. Ethan was forced to make a good save soon afterwards to maintain the lead, but the Yodas were making most of the forward play. Matt B, driving forward from midfield, sent one just wide. Max R made a number of good crosses from the right, Jacob connected with one but couldn’t quite steer it between the posts. Toby put the Yodas two up, after another strong run out of defence. The Warriors pulled on back just before half time against the run of play, but the Yodas were by far the more dominant force. Dom H had looked solid in central defence but had to go off injured at half time, to be replace by Dom J. Max S was industrious and reliable at left back and the clever passing between Matt B, Jacob and Max was impressive at times.

In an action packed second half, Toby narrowly missed out on a hat-trick, shooting just wide. Paddock Wood sent one flying over the bar. And Max R widened the gap with some excellent dribbling followed by a powerful shot. There could have been many more goals too, with Jacob having a good shot saved by the impressive Paddock Wood keeper. Most of the play was with the Yodas going forward, but Dom J looked increasingly confident in defence alongside Max S. A long range shot from the Warriors narrowed the gap, and the last few minutes seemed to last an eternity but the Yodas held on for a well deserved victory

Vs Paddock Wood Predators: 1-3

Paddock Wood’s Predators provided much stiffer opposition than the Warriors, and the Yodas appeared to have used a good deal of their energy in their first match. A clever one-two between Matt B and Jacob signalled a promising start from the yellows. But soon after the Predators had a great shot saved by an excellent save from Ethan. And that was just one of many top notch saves from the newest member of the team. But there was nothing he could do about a towering header straight from a corner by the opposition – possibly the only goal we’ve seen scored with a header this season – powerful and into the top corner. The Predators scored again and suddenly the Yodas were on the back foot, going in at half time two goals down.

The Yodas kept up their efforts in the second half though. Matt B, now playing as the lone striker, shot wide, as did Jacob soon after. Then a great pass from Jacob and Matt volleyed stylishly but just wide. Another good goal from the Predators made it 3-0, but the Yodas didn’t give up. Good positioning from Max R’s well taken corner saw Matt B get on the end of it, but fired just over the bar. But Matt’s moment finally came shortly after, with a fantastic pile driver of a shot that flew into the corner, leaving the Predators’ keeper no chance. The Yodas looked like they might get back into the game at this point, but there simply wasn’t time to make it happen and it finished 3-1 to Paddock Wood.

Player of the Week: Ethan

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March 23rd. Away against Tunbridge Wells Forresters

Vs Forresters Red: 0-2

The Yodas started strongly against an accomplished Forresters side, proving more than a match for the Reds in every department. The midfield trio of Matt B, Max R and Toby were dynamic and creative in their skills and passing. It wasn’t long before Max R sent a shot flying into the side netting. Toby did the same shortly afterward. Jacob was finding some good attacking positions up front but couldn’t quite put the finishing touch in. At the other end, Ethan made a brilliant last ditch lunging tackle that prevented the Red striker going through to be one on one with Dom H in goal. The goalie didn’t have much to do in the first half, other than pick the ball out of his net shortly after, but he’s looking more of a presence between the posts with each match, and the kicks are getting better all the time.

Despite the snow and freezing conditions, the Yodas came out in the second half still buzzing with energy. Max S looked lively and committed in defence, putting in some important tackles, getting forward whenever he could, and covering a lot of the pitch. In central defence Matt C was solid as a rock, helping the back three to work well as a unit. The yodas continued to push forward, and it wasn’t long before Matt B let a great shot fly goalward, only for it to be stopped by a diving keeper. Then Sammy hit the crossbar. Soon after, a brilliant long forward ball from Matt B sent Sammy away, with only the keeper to beat, but just shot wide. Largely against the run of play, the Forresters scored again. In the end it was an increasingly familiar story, with the Yodas dominating possession and looking the most likely to score but simply unable to make it count by getting the ball in the back of the net.

Vs Forresters Blue: 0-1

In their second game, the Yodas increased their dominance of the play even more, but again found that the ball simply would not cross the line. A couple of goal mouth scrambles early on seemed likely to result in a goal, but the Blues cleared it away both times. An impressive shot from quite a way out from Max R flew just over the bar. That was just one occasion when he looked dangerous – the opposition looked worried every time he got the ball and didn’t know what to do against his skill and pace. Toby also had a long shot go just wide. In a rare attack for the Blues their striker let fly with a powerful shot, Ethan did well to get a hand to it but it just crept over the line. Ethan’s looking increasingly comfortable between the posts, in only his second competetive match, making a great diving save soon after. In an increasingly one-sided match both Jacob and Sammy came close to scoring, but the yellows remained 1-0 down at half time.

The second half continued much like the first, with Sammy having a shot saved. Ethan made another great save after finding himself one on one with the opposition striker. Max S moved into midfield, where he continued to buzz around and cause problems for the Blue. Matt C, Dom H and Dom J looked solid in defence, and were rarely troubled. Dom J increasingly looks like a force to be reckoned with at the back, running and tackling well. The midfield, driven well by Max R and Matt B, sent Sammy scampering forward on a few occasions, but it just wasn’t the Yodas’ day today. Another goal mouth scramble near the end saw Sammy put the ball in the side netting again, but the goal simply would not come. A little bit of luck would have gone a long way today. Maybe next time…

Player of the week: Matthew C

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March 9th. Home against Pembury

Vs Pembury Gunners: 1-1

The Yodas set themselves out as a well organised and disciplined team against the Gunners from Pembury. With a full squad turnout and everybody looking keen, the difficulty was always going to be taking turns as substitute. The Yodas made a statement of intent early on with a shot from Sammy within virtually the first minute. The midfield trio of Matthew B, Max R and Toby were excellent, with some impressive inter-play, particularly between Max and Matthew. It was a long pass that set up Sammy with another scoring opportunity soon after, but he couldn’t quite hit the target and shot just wide. The yellow defence was well organised, with Matthew C, Max S and Jacob working well as a unit, keeping a good high line. But the Gunners were a strong team and hit the post just before half time.

Dom H hadn’t had much to do in the first half, but was forced to make a good save early on in the second. Ethan came on in the second half, making his first appearance for the Yodas as an effective right back. He took to it like a duck to water. Dom J, in the left back position, is looking more accomplished with every match, growing in confidence, ability and awareness. It was neck and neck for most of the second half, but a Pembury corner resulted in a goal mouth scramble and the ball somehow trickled over the line. The equaliser, when it came shortly after from Max R, was in a completley different class – a high, lobbed ball from a long way out dropped perfectly behind the keeper. What a goal! 1-1 The Yodas continued to match the Gunners in every department for the remainder of the match, but couldn’t quite find the winner. A well deserved draw against tough opposition was the consensus of opinion.

Vs Pembury Broncos: 5-1

It seemed that the Yodas had simply been warming up in their first match, because they attacked this game with real style and commitment. Jacob, who had been doing a grand job in defence, was back as the striker, and he wanted to make that position his own from the whistle. Attacking straight away down the wing, he could only find the side net, but he’d only just begun. Toby, who was charging up and down the right wing like a train, ended a superb solo effort with a beautifully taken goal. The midfield trio continued to put some excellent passing moves together. Matthew B and Max R were making strong tackles and always looking for their team mates. Against the run of play, though, another corner and another goal mouth scramble and somehow the ball ended up in the Yodas’ net. The Yodas were really up for it though in this match. Jacob had another good shot saved. Another great run down the wing by Toby and a good cross, but it just managed to fly past the heads of two yellow shirted players. 1-1 at half time, but the Yodas were in the ascendancy.

In the second half of this match the Yodas played perhaps some of the best football they’ve every played. It was a joy to watch, with some beautiful passing moves. Some great work down the right wing from Max R and Matt B saw Matt B put the Yodas ahead. Fantastic goal. An excellent pass forward from Matt B soon after split the Pembury defence and set Jacob on his way, but he shot just wide. Ethan, in his first shift in the green shirt, had little to do – the ball was in the Pembury half for most of the time. But he was well protected on a couple of occasions by Dom H, who was not to be messed with in central defence. Max S was controlling the ball well out of defence, as was Dom J, supplying the midfield well. One of a series of well taken corners from Max R saw Sammy escape from his marker and poke the ball home – 3-1. Jacob continued to work like a Trojan up front, making another good shot, but well saved. In a repeat of the earlier corner, Sammy again dodged all markers and finish with aplomb – 4-1! A brilliant passing move between Jacob, Max R and Matt B put Matt B in on goal, but he just shot wide. At times the passing and movement of the whole Yodas team was simply sublime – the Broncos were left standing and could muster no response. Jacob’s hard work and determination finally paid off near the end when he poked in the final goal to make it 5-1 to the Yodas. What a match! What a team!

Player of the Week: Jacob

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January 23rd, away against Tonbridge Ferrari

Vs Tonbridge Ferrari: 0-1

They shot wide, they hit the post, the goalie made some great saves, the ball was in the side netting, it was over the crossbar, the Yodas did everything except get the ball in the back of the net. There was some excellent forward play, clever passing and neat footwork, and aside from conceding an early goal, the Ferraris were under almost constant pressure. This was a different yellow team to the one that suffered a nightmare against Raw Skills – they remembered what they’d practiced in training and put it into practice brilliantly. Dominic H was commanding in goal, executing the practised goal kicks well. Passing to either Jacob or Max S in defence, who sent Max R or Toby scurring down the wings. For the first time in their history, goal kicks were leadint to goal scoring opportunities, rather than something to be dreaded. Matt B hit one into the side netting and Toby had a good effort saved. Toby played a blinding game, and was a constant menace down the right hand side, creating scoring opportunities for others as well as himself, but tracking back to defend when needed. Max R also had an excellent game, defending strongly in front of the back two, as well as driving forward at every opportunity.

In the second half, Matt B and Toby both had good shots on goal, but didn’t quite go in. Toby also shot just wide – he was really hungry for a goal today. In a brilliant piece of link-up play we strung four good passes together. Matt B from central midfield out wide to Toby, who crossed in to find Max R, neat pass to Sammy, who couldn’t quite persuade the ball over the line. But beautiful teamwork – just like in training! Dom J is growing in stature, awareness and confidence with every game. Perhaps his best position now is in defence, and he made a number of last ditch interventions and covered his position well. If this match was about posession, shots on goal and skilful play, the Yodas would have won easily, but if they keep playing like this the victories are sure to come.

Vs Tonbridge Ferrari (again) 2-3

Flowing with confidence after their first match, and despite the near blizzard conditions at times, the Yodas made a great start to their second match. A slight re-jig to the formation saw Jacob up front, having already showed his focus and commitment in defence. And he took to it like a duck to water – a fantastic strike from a seemingly impossible angle almost on the goal line flew in the top corner. Gooooaaaaaalllll! The yellows couldn’t have wished for a better start, and all the possession was mostly theirs. But somehow the balance shifted and the Ferraris equalised. Then it was end to end exciting stuff. Max R, who is now the first choice corner taker, made a couple of excellent long range shots, over and wide. The Tonbridge goalie was kept on his toes the whole time, with Toby hitting the crossbar right on the stroke of half time. Half time and 1-1 – great play from the Yodas and all left to play for.

The yellows kept up the pressure in the second half, Max R having yet another shot saved. Despite having most of the possession though, Tonbridge scored twice on virtually their only forays into the yellow half. Toby had a great shot parried by the keeper, Dom H was there for the rebound but couldn’t quite force it over the line. Goal kicks continued to be a strong point for the Yodas, with Matt B making some good strong kicks out from the goal. All the pressure was on the Tonbridge goal, with Toby hitting the side netting and Jacob hitting the cross bar. It wasn’t until a few seconds from the end that Toby finally got his well deserved goal to make it 2-3. Another good team performance from the Yodas – victories must surely follow.

Player of the week: Toby

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January 9th, 2013. Home against Raw Skills

Vs Raw Skills Albion: 1-5

This was the Yodas’ first game for over two months and they were a little rusty and a little short of match fitness. The Albion put the yellows under pressure from the off. Jacob made a great goal-line clearance and Dom H made a good save, but the visitors deserved their first goal. But their second was something of a gift, trickling under the feet of several defender before just making it over the line. But the Yodas didn’t give up, and some of them remembered their training exercises from the previous week. Matt B, in particular, made a number of excellent passes forward from midfield. Toby got on the end of one, running out from defence, but couldn’t make it count. But a killer from Matt to Sammy opened up the opposition brilliantly. Sammy was through on his own, stepped on the gas and finished with aplomb. So it was 1-2 down at half time.

The Yodas started the second half much the better team, and having changed ends playing downhill rather than up a significant slope certainly helped, They looked like they were going to equalise, with the Yodas dominating play. Matthew C and Jacob maintained a high defensive line, with Matt B, Toby and Dom J bossing the midfield. But suddenly the opposition scored a great goal and took over the game. They scored numbers four and five in fairly quick succession as the Yodas lost concentration and confidence. The 1-5 scoreline did not do the Yodas justice however – they were more than a match for the Albion for much of this game.

Vs Raw Skills Rovers: 1-13

Not a good day at the office for the Yodas, as they struggled to stay focused and motivated against skilfull and forceful opposition. The pitch was a quagmire, which didn’t help, but as the opposition kept scoring the yellows became more and more deflated. It was 0-8 at half time, but the Yodas enjoyed a brief revival after the interval. Sammy scored a well-taken goal to restore some of the team’s rapidly evaporating pride. Dom J was brave indeed to go in goal for the second half, and he was excellent. His first ever shift between the posts and he made a number of good saves to maintain some sanity to the score line. Max S made several good runs forward from the half way line, getting on the end of one or two passes from Toby and Sammy, but that second goal just wasn’t coming. The Yodas are a much better team than this scoreline reflects and hopefully some more match practice will help them to restore their winning ways.

Player of the week: Dominic J

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December 1: Away against Rotherfield

Vs Rotherfield Spitfires: 6-1

On a frosty morning in Rotherfield, with a depleted lineup and a striker on loan from the Devils, the Yodas showed that all their hard work in training is coming to fruition by playing some scintillating football that left the opposition at sixes and sevens. Playing six a side, rather than their more usual eight benefited the Yodas because it gave them extra space and time to run with the ball and make their passes count. Dominic had little to do in goal during the first half, but always looked assured. Jacob playing out of his usual position in defence was always in control, making some incisive passes forward and telling runs. Freddie is starting to make himself at home in defence, with the opposition rarely getting past him. Matt B played his increasingly familiar role as defensive midfielder to a tee, allowing Sammy the freedom to run forward and form a deadly attacking partnership with Dan, on loan from the Devils. The Yodas were in control of the first half, with Sammy scoring an excellent goal mid-way through to give them the lead at half time.

It was only in the second half though that the Yodas truly got into their stride and the floodgates opened. An impressive solo run from Dan led to his first, but definitely not last, goal of the day. He also put a shot just wide. Sammy had a good shot saved as the game really swung in the Yodas’ favour. The passing, positioning and teamwork was excellent all over the pitch. A well worked move gave Dom H his first goal in a yellow shirt. Replacing him in goal Matt B had to make an important save at the other end, but quickly turned defence into attack with a great long kick out. A long pass out of defence by Freddie set Dan on his way again and he bagged his second of the game for his adopted team. A well taken corner gave Sammy the chance to slot one in the top corner. In a rare attacking move Rotherfield forced an excellent save from Matt B, but he couldn’t stop the rebound and the green and white hoops had a consolation goal. But mostly they were mesmerised by the Yodas’ passing and movement. Jacob was all over the pitch, but always tracking back to defend. Sammy was outstanding today, and he and Dan looked liked they’d been playing together for years. It was all made possible by some excellent service from Dom H, who was solid in central midfield. Shortly before the end Sammny powered one into the top corner to claim his first hat-trick for the yellows. It ended 6-1 to the Yodas and they truly deserved this scoreline, against a strong Rotherfield side.

Vs Rotherfield Hurricanes: 11-2

The Yodas continued in this game as they finished the last, their confidence was brimming over and they really showed what they could do with a little belief and adventure. Again, an unfamiliar lineup and shape didn’t hinder them and actually drove them to even greater heights. Freddie started in goal for the first time, and soon looked comfortable and like a regular contender for the position between the posts. Defensively, Jacob and Dom H played an excellent partnership, taking it in turns to go forward while the other covered, but always making it hard for the Hurricanes to get past. Matt B was doing the work of two in midfield, defending and also setting up Dan and Sammy on some impressive runs. The interplay between those two was absolutely fantastic and left the opposition standing on numerous occasions. It was just such interplay that led to the first goal for Dan. Then, rather against the run of play Rotherfield managed to sneal a long cross ball into the far corner, making it 1-1. But another great finish from Sammy soon after made it 2-1. He was a constant menace in attack, also hitting the post at least once. Some great dribbling from Dan gave him a second and we were 3-1 up at half time.

The Yodas went into overdrive in the second half, with Sammy scoring straight from the kick off. He hit the post soon after, leaving Dan with an easy tap in for his hat-trick. An impressive solo run from Matt B gave him a chance to shoot, but the keeper made a good save. Out of nowhere Rotherfield nicked their second and last goal to make it 5-2. From then on the Yodas were scoring for fun. A fourth for Dan made it 6-2. All Matt B’s hard work was finally rewarded after another solo effort left him one on one with the keeper. He slotted it into the back of the net, cool as a cucumber. A long pass forward from Sammy cut through the Rotherfield defence to put Dan in an excellent position to drive home his fifth of the day to make it 8-2. Then he made it 9-2 and the fans were struggling to keep count. A super dribble from Sammy gave him his second hat-trick of the day. And Dan rounded it all off with a final goal to make it 11-2. The striking pair were awesome, but none of it would have been possible without the sound foundations at the back by the rest of the team. Another well-deserved victory for the yellows, and perhaps a sign of things to come.

Player of the Week: Dom H

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November 10th: Home against Forest Row

Vs Forest Row Rangers: 2-0 Yessss!!!

Today the Langton Green Yodas truly performed like the skilled players we’ve known they can be, but with excellent teamwork and conviction that gave them their second win this season. They completely bossed the game from start to finish, dominating possession going forwards while looking secure at the back. If it wasn’t for the heroics of the Forest Row keeper the Yodas could have scored several more. Dominic H had little to do all game, but looked confident every time the ball headed his way. Matthew C now looks well established in central defence, taking charge of the defenders either side of him. Max S looked assured on the left of defence, reliably acting as the last defender. Toby seems to be growing into his wing back role on the right, charging up and down the line at speed, contributing to attacks but also tracking back to defend. In fact, Toby scored the first goal, running in at speed from the right and finishing well. Matthew B had a good shot saved, as did Max R, and the dribbling and link up play between those two was excellent. Sammy had any number of shots, mostly on target, from his striking position, but somehow couldn’t quite beat the keeper, who was keeping Forest Row in the game. The 1-0 half time scoreline didn’t quite do justice to the Yodas domination of the game.

Max R and Matt B continued to be the engine room of the midfield, full of energy and commitment. Max R had a number of great shots just go wide or get saved, and his corner kicks were of a consistently high standard. Jacob worked hard up front, making the second of two overhead kicks with Matt B getting the first. It would have been goal of the season if it had gone in, but again the finish wasn’t quite on target. Freddie looked like a much improved player on the right of defence, no-one getting past him and his 100 per cent concentration. Then, from a Forest Row goalkick, Matt B dispossessed the defender, went around another defender, was suddenly one on one with the keeper and kept a cool head to slot home from close range – goooaaaaallllll! It was 2-0 to the Yodas, who kept their focus well to play out the game. A truly well deserved victory – a brilliant team effort.

Vs Forest Row Rovers: 1-2

Re-shuffling the team to incorporate the subs seemed to lose the team some momentum. The teamwork remained good, Dom H came out from goal to play central midfield and made some commanding runs. Toby, now in midfield, looked a constant threat and even hit the post. Freddie, his confidence growing all the time, looked like he might score, but just shot wide. The play was evenly balance though, the Rovers proving more of a test for the Yodas. And, after a fast break, the Rovers took the lead. Jacob looked confident in goal, making some good kicks out. Sammy was finding some good positions up front, but often the midfield couldn’t quite get the ball to him when it mattered. It was 0-1 at half time, but the Yodas kept their heads up.

Back in midfield, Max R made a number of excellent weaving runs – the opposition looked worried. Matt B also troubled the defenders constantly, earning a kick on the ankle for his efforts. A true poacher’s goal from Sammy levelled the scores and it looked like the Yodas could win this. The defensive unit of Matt C, Freddie and Max S was working like a well oiled machine, with one going forward to attack, while the other two narrowed the gap in the middle. The crowd were getting frantic with excitement, expecting the Yodas to score at any moment. The tension was unbearable, until Forest Row suddenly counter attacked and an excellent strike left Jacob with no chance of stopping it. It was virtually the last kick of the game, and it finished 1-2.

Player of the week – Freddie

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October 27th: Away against Wadhurst

Vs Wadhurst Rovers: 1-3

The Yodas started this match looking like they were more than capable of winning it, showing some considerable verve and committment. We matched Wadhurst in every department, with Max R making some fantastic dribbling runs down the right win, often beating two, three or even four players on his way. His final ball was often good enough, but either Jacob couldn’t get his toe on the end of it to tip it into the goal, or the goalkeeper was well placed to make a save. At the other end of the pitch Dom H made a couple of great saves and looked in control between the posts. Matthew B also had a shot saved, and Jacob sent one wide. The Yodas has the best of possession, but again the coaches were left scratching their heads as to why they didn’t capitalise on it with a goal or two. It was 0-0 at half time, with the Yodas’ defence holding up well.

Toby made some good runs forward from an unsual position in defence, beating the opposition for pace and skill. Max S and Matthew C stayed back and marshalled the back line well. Almost out of the blue, Wadhurst scored a couple of goals, one a cheeky chip over the keeper. Then perhaps a lack of concentration gave Wadhurst a third. Just when some teams might have given up, the Yodas created an extra yard of space, Dom J linking up well with the forward players and Toby sealed it with a thundering volley into the top corner – what a goal! Suddenly in the ascendency the yellows looked like they might mount a comeback, with Sammy making space for himself to run into and link up with the forwards. But with the wind fully in their sails the referee blew for time and it was all over. Well played the yodas – just still lacking that bit of luck, but improvements are evident all over the pitch.

Vs Wadhurst United: 1-3

This looked like it was going to be the Yodas’ game, with Max R continuing to run rings around the opposition and Sammy hitting a great vein of form. He’s really improved this season, but he was on fire today in the striker’s position. He kept making scoring opportunities, sending the ball just over and just wide, giving the Wadhurst keeper no respite. Freddie got more stuck in during this game, playing the ball forward and tracking back well. Matthew C also made a couple of probing runs forward to confuse the opposition. Max S continued to battle hard in defence, making sure no-one got past him. Matthew B looked assure in goal, making a good save, and at half time it was still all to play for at 0-0.

Again, from out of nowwhere the opposition scored early in the second half. Sammy continued to trouble the defence with his weaving runs, and finally made it all count with a well taken goal to level the scores. Dom J continued to improve in his midfield role, making a couple of telling passes, but with a full complement of players today there was a lot of chopping and changing of the positions and the Yodas started to look a little bit at sea as the second half wore on. Too many players out of their usual positions started to tell, with Wadhurst getting behind our defenders too easily. They did it twice and made it count on both occasions. The match ended 1-3 -a disappointing result considering some fine play.

Player of the Week – Sammy

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October 13th. Home against the Ridgeway Jupiters and the Langton Green Eagles

Vs Langton Green Eagles: 1-2

The Yodas did just about everything right in this game, except score more goals than the other team. They had nearly all the possession but simply couldn’t get through the Eagles’ defence. It was reminiscent of last night’s England V San Marino game at times, with the Yodas looking the better team for much of the game. Unfortunately for them, the Eagles made virtually their only two attacks count, with good solid counter-attacking resulting in a goal on both occassions. The Yodas’ defence were playing a high line for most of the game, looking confident with experience defenders Matthew C and Max S working well as a unit with Freddie, who grew in confidence throughout, having had a few games out. Matthew B made some excellent kicks from goal, but otherwise had little to apart from pick the ball out if his net on the two occassions when his defence suddenly went AWOL. There was some excellent passing movements from the midfield trio of Sammy, Toby and Max R, and Jacob constantly looking to tuck one past their hardworking goalkeeper, who was excellent throughout. The Yodas hit the goalkeeper, the post, saw shots go wide, but it was not until Jacob finally poked one in just before half time that the yellows got their just reward. 1-1 at half time.

Dominic J came on at half time for Freddie, and concentrated well in an unfamiliar right back position. Max R continued to create chances through the centre, and took some excellent corners and throw ins. If only someone could have got on the end of one of them….. The Yodas continued to dominate play without making it count, and a swift counter attack from the Eagles saw them go 2-1 up. The yellows battled until the end, but their luck was not in today.

Vs Ridgeway Jupiter: 0-2

A shuffling of the pack saw Matthew B come out of goal and into central midfield, where again he proved very effective. Ridgeway soon singled him out as the danger man, and with his usual commitment he was sent tumbling several times. He came back fighting each time though, and made some excellent passing moves with Max R, now on the right of midfield. Toby took Jacob’s place up front, but struggled to get away from the Ridgeway defenders, who marked him tightly. The defensive trio of Matthew C, Max S and Dom J continued to look solid, setting off some good attacking moves, but the Ridgeway counter-attacks split them down the middle. It only happened a couple of times, but the second one led to a goal. Jacob kicked out well from between the posts but was rarely troubled. Freddie continued to grown in midfield stature throughout this game, looking strong in the tackle. Sammy switched with Toby up front for the second half, but still the Yodas couldn’t get the killer pass, or a powerful shot on target in the final third. A free kick to the opposition near the end saw them rifle in a ground level shot into the corner and the Yodas had no answer. It finished 2-1 to the Ridgeway, but it was oh so close….

Player of the Week – Max R

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September 29th, 2012. Away against Uckfield and Jarvis Brook

Vs Uckfield Grasshoppers Rockets: 2-4

The Yodas got off to one of their more sluggish starts in this game, allowing Uckfield to cut through the midfield and attack far too easily. The midfield trio of Dom H, Toby and Sammy were struggling to keep hold of the ball as they often seemed outnumbered, and Jacob was having to come deep to get hold of the ball. The defensive pairing of Max S and Matthew C made a number of excellent last ditch tackles but again, often seemed outnumbered by the Rockets’ attackers. Matthew B made some excellent saves, but the Rockets were simply getting too many shots on goal and it was 4-0 down by mid-way through the second half. After attempting a particularly courageous save Matthew B sustained a nasty injury to his leg and had to go off. With no subs to draw and only six players available this required a re-shuffle with Dom H going in goal and leaving only three in midfield.

The injury to their brave keeper and the extra space they suddenly had in mid-field sparked the Yodas into life, and for the last ten minutes they were constantly attacking instead of constantly being on the defensive. Sammy and Toby were both able to use their lightning pace now they were finding more space and possession, and with the defenders keeping a high line it was suddenly going the Yodas’ way. Good interplay between Sammy, Toby and Jacob netted a goal apiece for Sammy and Toby, with Sammy also hitting the post. Toby won a number of strong tackles, which he followed by an impressive turn, changing defence into attack. The Yodas got a taste for scoring, the Rockets didn’t know what had hit them, and if the game had been longer the Yodas would surely have pulled level. If only the Yodas had played like that from the start…..

Vs Jarvis Brook Griffins: 3-1

The Yodas started their second game as they had finished the first, attacking, passing, winning possession and finding space in an impressive display of what we’ve known they’re capable of for some time. This was probably the best ever performance from the yellows, and they deserved their victory against skilled and stubborn opposition. This was their first victory of the season and based on this display it certainly won’t be the last. Everyone kept their position from the first game, except with Matthew B recovered from his injury he slipped into central midfield while Dom H went in goal.

Keeping possession and attacking at every opportunity allowed the defenders to come well forward and Matthew C hit a screamer from just over the half way line into the top corner of the opposition’s goal. Everyone just stood and watched as the ball looped in: 1-0 to the Yodas. They then conceded a particularly unlucky goal direct from a corner on one of the few occasions that the opposition made it into the Yodas’ half of the pitch. 1-1 at half time.

The second half really saw the Langton team assert their authority on the game, with the whole team playing the beautiful game like they’d played together their whole lives. Matthew B was the linchpin of the team, playing a truly box to box midfield role in the style of the great Roy Keane. He was everywhere, charging up and down the pitch, sheltering the defence with strong tackling, going around the opposition at will, and setting up scoring opportunities with clever passing. Excellent team work set up striker Jacob to put the Yodas in the lead. Sammy and Toby were running up and down the wings like trains and there were any number of scoring opportunities created. But at 2-1 up the second half seemed to go on forever and the fans were biting their nails as the Griffins broke through a couple of times. Dom H didn’t have much to do in this game, but he concentrated well and looked convincing when it really mattered. Max S was not going to be beaten in defence, and the belief was really flowing through the team. With a couple of minutes to go, Matthew B was seemingly hemmed in by the corner flag at the opposition’s end. But with some George Best style footwork he bamboozled the opposing defender and passed the ball out onto the toe of the forward rushing Sammy, who bagged his second of the day in emphatic style. What a goal! What a victory! Oh, and what a team! Absolutely brilliant. Well done to all the Yodas – everyone is very proud of you.

Player of the week: Matthew B

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September 15th, 2012. Home against Ratton Rangers

Vs Ratton Rangers: 1-2

The curtain raiser to the new season hopefully gives us a sign of things to come, as the now Under-9 Yodas gave a very well disciplined and committed performance against accomplished opposition. The Yodas were not at all rusty after their summer break, and fresh from a pre-match training session gave an excellent demonstration of passing and good positioning all over the pitch. The first half saw some committed tackling from Sammy and Toby in midfield, with Matthew B and Max S strong in defence. Max R had to work hard to get the ball up front but put in some good dribbling. Dom H made an important save and some impressive kicking sent the Yodas into attack mode. Everyone kept their concentration well, but despite a couple of good attacking moves couldn’t quite get the ball in the net. A long range shot from the opposition took everyone by surprise and left the keeper little chance. The Yodas were 0-1 down at half time.

Everyone kept their positions for the second half, except Matthew B went in goal for Dom H, who took his place in defence. Matthew B looking commanding between the posts, making three excllent saves to keep the Yodas in the match. The slick passing continued, with Jacob, Sammy, Toby and Max R linking up well, but were still unable to make all that posession count. Jacob was unlucky to see a good shot go just wide of the post. Out of nowhere a handball gave the opposition a penalty. It was powerfully struck, leaving Matthew no chance to get behind it. Otherwise, the Yodas continued to dominate the second half in terms of possession and looked most likely to score the next goal. Max S made numerous last ditch challenges in defence – no one was getting past him and he made sure of it. His partner in defence, Dom H, also tackled effectively, controlling the ball out of defence particularly well. Eventually it came after a period of sustained pressure, Sammy slotting the ball home to finally reward the yellows for their hard work. The opposition were on the ropes for the last five minutes but the equaliser just wouldn’t come and it finished 1-2. Great performance by the whole team – this sort of performance would have given them a comfortable win against lesser opposition.

Player of the Week - Max S