Match Date: 11 September 2016
The first game of the season was finally here - a day that Bearsted U13s thought may never happen four weeks ago, when only 8 registered players remained at the club!
Having come through a difficult Summer and attracted as many as seven new players, they now need time to settle in and learn how to play as a team.
Unfortunately, this was evident in this first match today.
Rochester were the huge favourites on paper but you wouldn't have guessed it from the first half of the game, with Bearsted matching them in every department!
Our defending was resolute, counter-attacks had pace and movement and each individual lad won their battles against their opposition player.
In goal, Toby Howells had a little bit of catching practice as the home side were restricted to long range efforts by our tenacious players.
Andrew O'Neil continually threatened with his explosive pace, going through on their goal three times in quick succession. Alas, none of his one-on-one attempts troubled their keeper.
New striker Joe Savage put the ball in their net once, only to see the offside flag raised surprisingly.
Half-time: 0 - 0
In the second half, it became impossible to apply the same pressure on the ball in the way we had done throughout a long and draining first half.
Tired legs and exhausted midfielders on our part inevitably started to leave gaps which gave too much time and space to Rochester, who capitalised, scoring a handful of unmarked tap-ins past our over-worked defence.
Another new signing, Oscar Mulligan, got onto the end of a delightful through-ball and finished into the top right hand corner with aplomb to grab a deserved consolation goal for the Bears.
With more substitutes available, the game would have been ours, but it was not to be today.
The scoreline immensely flattered the home team and failed to reflect the match, but we will go again with our newly-formed side and use the ball more effectively early on so that we still have the legs to run in later stages.
Full-time: 5 - 1