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Football-Grade 5s and 4s Travel to Vigour Sports-16th January 2021

School News January 25, 2021
Football-Grade 5s and 4s Travel to Vigour Sports-16th January 2021

The Grade Fives and Fours set off for the Changzhou-based Vigour Sports complex to take on Victory FC on Saturday morning. In contrast to the last sweltering time these two teams met at the ground last September, this time the weather was bitterly cold, as the icy wind penetrated through the thick trees surrounding the pitch.

Spirits were not dampened, however, and after a prolonged warm-up, the Grade Fives were the first players to take to the pitch for a repeat of this local derby.

From the opening referee's whistle, WASCZ started strongly, with some pacey runs down each flank, and within 5 minutes, H. Liao connected with the ball just inside the penalty area and looped a shot goalwards which zipped between the keeper's stretching hands. The visitors 1-0 in front and seemingly with their tails up!

However, Victory FC quickly forced their way back into the match with their impressively well-drilled passes and came very close to an equalizer when the ball flashed across WASCZ’s goal-line and spilled off the post to an audible groan by the home spectators. But WASCZ soon re-imposed their first-half dominance and back at the other end, after a flurry of shots and parries in the box, H. Liao’s shot was deflected into the net by a defender - 2-0 to Wycombe Abbey.

But, as was the case last time, Victory FC showed an admirable resilience and determination and kept to their pass and move style of play. Hand-picked players from the locality impressed both sets of spectators with well-controlled football, and it was soon evident that the hosts were starting to enjoy more possession than the visitors and, before the half-time whistle, they had brought themselves right back into the match with two fine shots which WASCZ keeper M. Shao could do nothing about.

Half-time 2-2

The second half recommenced with the teams showing their contrasting styles, Wycombe Abbey -strong, physical and looking for quick counter attacks, and Victory FC, with their linear passes and use of the width of the pitch.

It was the hosts who finally broke the 2-2 deadlock with an excellent connection which flew into the top corner to make it 3-2.

It seemed that WASCZ heads might drop at this stage as they had finally lost their 2-0 advantage, but great credit to R. Huang who found a new gear and started to make excellent dribbling runs up the park. A clearance from WASCZ defence bounced fortuitously for R. Huang around the centre-circle who continued his run and deftly beat the final defender and keeper to slot the ball into the net. 3-3.

On balance, a draw would probably have been the perfect score-line, but the host’s larger squad and their ability to make rolling substitutions eventually took a toll on the tired legs of the WASCZ players, and two late defensive errors sealed the win for the hosts.

Final Score – Victory FC  5  Wycombe Abbey 3

Special mention has to go Wycombe Abbey ‘Player of the Match’, M. Shao, whose fantastic concentration, physicality and presence in goal almost turned the tide in the visitor’s favour. Well done and well played to the whole Grade 5 squad who battled so valiantly right up to the final whistle.

Grade 5 Squad:

M. Shao, K. Huang, S. Kim, T. Shi, L. Tsang, H. Liao, R. Huang, B. Ling, S. Yan, L. Dai.

Staff Attending:  

Mr Philpott, Mr Gray, Ms Dai, Mr Lu