Ormer FC travelled to Eastleigh for a friendly as part of their preparations for the forthcoming Manchester Cup, which will be taking place over the weekend of 20th / 21st April.
Thankfully the weather conditions improved sufficiently during the early part of Saturday morning to allow the lunch time kick off to take place in relatively benign conditions given the best efforts of storm Erik earlier in the day.
Ormer were able to introduce three debutants to the squad in the shape of Liam Mwamuka, Evan Harris and Fin Smith. Following the traditions of the Junior Premier League the game was played over four quarters of twenty minutes duration and it was Eastleigh who fashioned a blistering start to the game within the first minute.
With a number of Ormer players still rubbing the sleepy dust from their eyes, Eastleigh took full advantage. A cross from the left hand side of the pitch flew across the heads of waiting Ormer players in the penalty area to three Eastleigh players converging at the back post who had ghosted in on the blind side of the Ormer defence. Needless to say, The Eastleigh forward gratefully accepted the gift and slotted the ball past Hamon in the Ormer goal to the delight of the home support.
However within minutes the Ormer players had made for their inauspicious start and were beginning to string together successive passes in an attempt to out manoeuvre the Eastleigh defence. From one of these passages of play the Ormer strung together a series of passes before releasing Evan Harris inside the Eastleigh penalty area. At an acute angle his driven shot fizzed past the keeper and was deflected into the goal by a recovering defender. Without the intervention of the defender the shot looked goal bound.
There was no doubting the second goal. This time the ball was worked from the Ormer back line, well marshalled by Jimmy Mumford and Jamie Smith, through midfield and into Harris, this time on the left hand side of the penalty area. Without breaking stride he was abe to deftly chip the ball over the advancing keeper and push the Ormers into the lead.
With the quarter coming to a close the hard working Lucca Toms was able to break up play in midfield and release Joe Adams. As Adams drove at the Eastleigh back the arcing run of Harris between the two central defenders gave Adams the opportunity to thread a through ball into the on running Harris. Showing admirable composure Harris was able to finish across the keeper to complete the hat-trick. The first quarter ended Eastleigh Academy 1 Ormer FC 3.
The second quarter started with the introduction of Liam Mwamuka, Fin Du Port and Brandon Weysom. Despite the re-shuffle Ormer continued to play their brand of football with a number of players showing their versatility by playing in a number of positions. The impressive Fim Smith who started the game in a forward position made the transition to right side midfield and was a contributing factor in Ormer extending their lead during the second quarter.
Two second quarter goals, one from Fin Smith and another from Harris was enough to extend their lead into half time. However the essence of the success that Ormer was having was largely due to the energetic press when out of possession and the slick inter change of passes when in possession. Combine this with with a willingness to continually offer multiple options for the ball carrier will stand them in good stead during the tournament season. Half time Eastleigh Academy 1 Ormer FC 5.
In to the third quarter and Ormer FC once again wrung the changes, albeit this time playing into the stiffening breeze. Much to the credit of the Eastleigh Academy they changed their style of play to hit t the ball a little more direct into the physical presence of Flynn Mccabe. The tactical shift seemed to work the oracle and Eastleigh found a way back into the game as Ormer struggled to contain the more direct threat. As a consequence Eastleigh responded with three goals of their own. Ormer weren't without their own chances but they failed to convert them until late in the third quarter.
Raff Boyd-Kerr now playing as a wide midfield player held the right touch line as the ball moved across the park. When the ball did arrive at his feet he travelled powerfully back in field and fashion his own chance by dribbling past two players and into the Eastleigh penalty area before dispatching the ball past the helpless Eastleigh keeper.
Into the final quarter and it was very much Ormer on the front foot as they re-found the rhythm they had established in the first half, resulting in another three goals.
One of the goals was the product of a an excellent team move which showed patience, quick feet and slick passing. Ultimately after a period of shifting the ball from one side of the pitch to the other it was left to Joe Adams to deliver a ball from the right side of the penalty area for the arrival of Fin Du Port to side foot home. A simple finish, however it was the quality of the football in the build up which took the eye.
The final goal of the day was one that would feature in a goal of the month competition. Adam Voller showed great balance to dribble in from the left side of the Eastleigh half and wriggle his way past the attentions of a couple of defenders before unleashing an unstoppable drive in to the far right corner. Final score Eastleigh Academy 4 Ormer FC 9.
Thank you to Eastleigh Academy and to Ashley for his patience in organising the fixture. All the best for the remainder of the season to the Eastleigh boys.