The final group game of the Southampton Cup saw Ormer pitted against the reigning Nike U14 European Club Champions, Dinamo Zagreb. The Ormers were under no illusions about the task that lay before them, which was only compounded by the manner in which In the hugely impressive Croatian side had dispatched Servette 7-0 and Southampton 9-1 in earlier group matches.
Due to the prevailing wet weather conditions the game was transferred from a grass pitch to $G at the Staplewood training base of Southampton FC. It was clear from the early opening stages that Dinamo Zagreb play a free flowing style of football in which players fluidly rotate positions, play with pace and sublime technical skills. However for 15 minutes the Ormer line up frustrated their illustrious counterparts with a disciplined defensive display. Each player in the Ormer blue played their part in ensuring the Croatians could not penetrate their defensive lines. Much to the irritation of the Zagreb management team, shots from distance failed to threaten Jack Hamon’s goal.
Sadly for the Ormers, Charlie Le Page sustained a serious injury in blocking a ferocious shot from a Zagreb forward, which will cut short his participation in the remainder of the tournament. As a result of the injury the game was delayed to allow the Southampton medical staff to deal with the situation and culminated in a re-shuffle of the Ormer shape. From the re-start the concentration levels of the Ormers had deserted them and from their own free kick the ball was given away. Zagreb are quick to punish any mistakes and the quick thinking full-back raced into the area, before pulling the ball back into the path of the towering centre-forward who finished past the helpless Hamon.
Goals two and three followed in quick succession. The first of the brace came from an exquisite cross into the area. The ball travelled with pace and was perfectly delivered to the on rushing forward who directed a header into the top corner. The third goal was culmination of a sweeping team move, which flowed from one end of the pitch to the other and underlined the quality of the opposition that Ormer faced. Despite the best intentions of the Ormer players to get as tight as possible to their opposite number. The assured skill and strength of the Croatians made it an unenviable task. By half time the Croatians had sauntered into a 6-0 lead.
The half time whistle allowed the Ormer management team to re-shuffle the pack and re-iterate the game plan from the start of the game. To the credit of the Ormer players they did not allow their heads to drop and continued to contest for every ball and try to impose themselves on the opposition.
However it was the Croatians who extended their lead from the penalty spot and scored two further goals late on, to run out worthy winners 9-0. Whilst the score line may appear harsh, this was a fantastic opportunity for the Guernsey based players to develop their game understanding against one of the top club sides in European football.
Ormer FC will now face Aldershot Town in the semi-final of the shield competition, with the victors set to face Plymouth Argyle or the Kenyan national team.