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Academy Match Reports


16th Mar 2022


Bloomsbury U13 4-1 Benfica

Bloomsbury looked to redeem themselves against Benfica after Saturday’s upset against Stevenage. The boys dominated in possession and had some great passages of play, and it didn’t take long before they scored their first goal. A lot of chances missed kept the score at 1-0 in the first half. Bloomsbury were hungry for more goals and began to be more aggressive in attack. Some fantastic overlapping runs by Gonzalo which overwhelmed the Benfica defence led to a tap. Aaron showed some individual brilliance as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box making it 4-1. An excellent performance from Bloomsbury getting the 3 points and securing their league victory. All players were very happy to win the league.

Bloomsbury U8 Gold vs Bloomsbury Foundation U9

A reaction was needed after the disappointment of the previous Market Road fixture, and the performance showed this in abundance as the U8’s Gold were very unfortunate in their very first 7-a-side fixture against the older U9’s Foundation programme outfit. Ivan demonstrated his shot-stopping abilities when called upon, however some excellent marshalling of the defence, particularly in 1 on 1 situations from Marcelo, Mathias, and Franco meant that the goalkeeper was not called upon too frequently. Both Misha and Laurence were looking to get on the ball as often as possible, pulling the strings in order to create transitions from defence and attack, with the latter scoring his 1st goal for the gold team, culminating in a very well worked counter attacking move. Pax and Marco both impressed in attacking areas, both working hard for the team out of possession and looking to fire shots off where possible with Marco scoring his 3rd goal in successive games. A fantastic challenge and experience for the boys which they met with great determination and impressed throughout.

Bloomsbury U8 Gold vs AFC U8

Far from a poor performance from the U8’s Gold at Market Road, it certainly was not up to the high standards expected which was a little disappointing after the boys had a very good training week. Two well taken goals from both Franco and Marco softened the blow, however some quick-fire goals from the opposition meant the task of at least drawing the game was too far out of reach. This team have had a fantastic season to date, improving in a host of areas with every single player also showing their versatility on the pitch and everyone is confident they will bounce back sooner rather than later when competing in the notoriously more challenging Market Road fixtures.

Bloomsbury U9 Gold vs Fusion U9

A very strong performance from the U9’s Gold. Their application of this week’s theme and topic was of a high standard as rarely did the team look for the direct ball out from the defensive third. All players were confident, calm, and composed to play their way out patiently, but also recognizing when to play out with speed in a counterattack. Playing against an oppo with only 6 players was not ideal, however, the team went out and carried out their performance in a great manner. The quality of goals scored was of a high level and extremely impressive.

Bloomsbury U10 Gold vs Benfica U11

Heading into this fixture, the boys knew it was going to be tough, a very physical and talented opposition, not to mention a year older too! Today’s highlight came from a quick-thinking Oli, who pounced on a defensive mix up from the opposition, beat a defender and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net. All players gave it their all out there and should not be too disappointed with the end result. Stepping up to a challenging fixture like this was an achievement in its own, and the fact that the game was as close as it was should be reason enough to be proud of how they played. A great learning experience for the players, keep your heads up and keep going!

Bloomsbury U10 Black vs MGA U11

Zak was today’s man of the match as he finished off a wonderful attack after a fantastic build-up play involving the majority of the team, a cheeky backheel volley to score his second of the game in an overall brilliant individual performance. Ylli, who provided the assist for Zak’s goal with an intuitive first-time cross, made some fantastic saves when in goal during the first half, denying the opposition any chances to score. When outfield, some excellent tackling, pressing and ball-winning in combination with tricky footwork proved too much for the opposition to handle. Max had a great game, managing to score a header from a corner against a bigger side! An overall very solid game from Max, putting in tackles whenever possible and not backing away from the physical challenge despite his size. Yacine battled constantly today, using his body to shield the ball from the opposition and retain possession as much as possible, some fantastic challenges too, always closing down the opposition with great pace. Otto had another solid game in midfield and defence in the first half, excellent pressing to reduce the time the opposition had on the ball and forcing errors, he made some great saves when in goal in the second half. Bert had an absolutely fantastic game, never shying away from a challenge, and despite being slightly smaller, was easily the most physical player on the pitch, proving incredibly hard to dispossess, and winning the ball back in all areas of the pitch. Adam continued his brilliant run of form, opening the scoring with a wonderful half-volley, then continued to be a nuisance for the opposition the entire game, making calculated runs and using his body to turn and block defenders, creating heaps of space for his teammates. Kieran was defensively sound, preventing many attacks, and his distribution from the back was brilliant! Mo performed very well in all areas of the pitch, defending extremely well and carrying the ball up the pitch with great skill and drive. His passing and decision making was also fantastic. Malik dominated the midfield, providing the assists for more than half of the goals, a very close shout for MOTM with his brilliant footwork, passing and decision making!

Brilliant team performance, a strong first half, lacking in some areas but these were addressed in the half-time team talk. A fantastic response from the team in the second half, scoring 5 more goals to put the game to bed. Against an older, bigger opposition the team managed extremely well, and were the more physical side in the fixture. Due to the fixture being a cup semi-final, the team were ecstatic to win the game, and all rightly commented that it was a very good performance from everyone on the pitch. Great character shown and fantastic effort from all players, a very deserved win!

Bloomsbury U11 Black 3-6 Eastside United U12

Oli Brito showed a fantastic talented display. He clearly listened to instructions given pre match around being brave in possession of the ball. This was evident in his goal, an exquisite lob over the goalkeeper from around 25 yards out. After a positive first half, which culminated in the boys coming in level at half time, the score being 1-1. Oli Brito’s superb effort cancelled out Eastside’s opener scored via a counterattack down the left-hand side. The second half ultimately left the boys frustrated as goals from Eastside flew in one after another to leave the U11’s with a mountain to climb. Harvey Mala won the boys a penalty after successfully winning the ball high, which was calmly dispatched by Troy Ismailji. Jacob Bell gave the boys a glimmer of hope late on with a well taken goal but ultimately the boys fell short.

Bloomsbury Girls U12 3-3 Kickabout Griffins U12

A rainy evening of football ended in a 3-3 draw for the Bloomsbury Girls against mid-table Kickabout Griffins. Despite the weather and slippery conditions, the girls came away with 3 goals in the bag, and a surprise appearance of our trusty birthday girl in goal, Phoebe, closed the gap in the goal difference. This week’s theme and topic of playing through the thirds, exposing the half-space, and supporting the players in possession, proved to be tricky for the U12’s. The YDP topic sought to challenge the girls and work on one of their weaknesses – supporting each other off of the ball, instead of being “ball-hungry” and looking for success on their own. Jet has been an absolute stand-out in this discipline this and last week, where her selfless runs and selfless play have led to fantastic team goals and brilliant play. Another standout, whose drive to keep playing, strength, and speed have been critical in many team scenarios, was our player of the match, Janet.

The game started out quick, as the girls started to acclimatise to the slippery surface throughout the rain. The tempo was naturally quick, and lots of mistakes were made. Within the first 5 minutes, the girls stepped up and maintained a majority of the possession. Towards the end of the 5th minute, a long ball was booted up the pitch from the back, intercepted by LacaJet, who with speed played through the thirds all the way to the keeper, faked a shot, and smashed the ball to the back of the net … a real screamer! Not long after, a corner, our new favourite goal-scoring opportunity arose. Jet’s corner kick was intercepted by the opposition but was re-intercepted by Jet who was in the right place at the right time – carrying the ball back into the box, luring the defender away from Kitty who was on the back post, tapped it to her and Kitty smashed the ball into the net … another corner success! The girls then conceded not long after. One thing to improve will be to keep the momentum, and not press too high, and staying modest in our play.

Going back out in the second half, the rain proved to be a bigger struggle than anticipated. Unfortunately, the score line was balanced at 2-2 with an opposition goal in the 4th minute. With the score even, the girls were more motivated than ever to get back onto the scoresheet. The girls played some magnificent phases of play, key standouts being Marwa and Janet’s exploitation of the width and getting into the half-space to draw out defenders and create space for their teammates to play into. Janet’s efforts came with a reward. Laura launched a long ball to Jet, who passed the ball to Janet into the left-wing. With speed, Janet went 1v1 against the goalkeeper and scored a screamer in the 6th minute. Despite their offensive efforts, the girls were caught out with another goal against in the 15th minute of the second half. The theme and topic may have been a bit complicated for the U12’s this week, which resulted in objectives not being reached. Despite this, the girls displayed some fantastic football, and standout performances from Marwa, Janet, Phoebe, Kitty and Cecilie kept the girls in the game.

Bloomsbury U12 3-3 Global Blues

It was really impressive to see how Rubens carried the theme and topic this week by receiving in the half space to create an opportunity to score. Ford Luke and Jackson were really good at controlling the opposition forwards and controlling things from the back when building the attack or breaking a line to play through the thirds.

The effort from the players to respond from 2-0 down was great to see. The boys showed lots of patience and maturity to get back into the game, by either retaining the ball to find the best pass or pressuring mistakes from opposition.

Bloomsbury Girls U13 0-3 Kick Action FC

Clara came back to playing after a knee injury and was outstanding. Her ability to play and understand that the opposition make the decision for her allowed the girls to start to get some success from playing out. Carla being able to use her left foot to play down the line created some success, even when she was very isolated. Georgia B did very well play central midfield, when shifting from side to side out of possession she blocked passing lines whilst also getting pressure on the ball.

The team struggled to play out from the back against a high press which is something that will be looked at in training. Another thing they struggled with was dealing with a long ball from their goalkeeper. However, they did really well in decision making in the middle third. Some passes were really good and the girls understanding of when to play first time and when to secure the ball was great to see.

Bloomsbury U13 1-4 Stevenage Borough FC

Bloomsbury put the pressure on Stevenage right away not giving them any time to play out. They played out from the back with confidence and looked comfortable in possession but struggled to find the answer in the attacking third. Stevenage unable to withstand the pressure decided to play more direct hoping to break the team down. Bloomsbury continue to play their game but still struggling to create any concrete chances. The score is 0-0 at half time. Bloomsbury were on the edge of scoring in the second half as Aymen has a wonderful strike on goal which is blocked by the hands of the opposing teams defender who was protecting his face from the ball. Unfortunately luck was in Stevenage’s favour as the referee waved play on. Stevenage later countered and crossed the ball into a free man in the back post who goes and scores. The momentum was now with Stevenage who go on to score two more goals in the third quarter. Joél tried to get his team back in the game by scoring a fantastic goal from outside the box. However, Stevenage were quick to respond by scoring their fourth goal to secure the win. The score line was not a true reflection of the game but in the end, chances need to be taken and the team needs to maintain their discipline and concentration throughout the whole game. Overall, a lot of positives to take from the game.

Bloomsbury U15 Gold 4-5 Bromley U15

Raphy’s persistent determination from start to finish was great to see. He was struggling fitness wise with the high intensity speed of the game, but he pushed through mentally and lead the team from the front being the focal point of attack and defending from the front even when he had nothing left in the tank.

It was impressive to see Daniel’s shot stopping abilities, making 3-4 world class saves keeping Bloomsbury in the game. Nason and Alex as wing backs took instructions very well and implemented them, being very effective in the game offensively and defensively and being a problem for the opposition the whole game. However, defensively as a unit, the players weren’t up to standard. There were too many slips in concentration causing individual errors and costing goals. As a team and as a unit, the boys were not communicating and moving as one therefore as a result, they were unorganised in transition and not enough players were taking responsibility in marking at corners, setting up for goal kicks and just man to man marking and winning second balls. Ultimately Bromley were more aware and urgent and win.