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Saints Southwest Somerset Under-13s vs Taunton Town Under-13s

Taunton Town were the opponents which awaited Saints Southwest Somerset U13s in a much anticipated local derby.

Saints came flying out of the blocks with Wilbur, Rafe and Alfred putting the Taunton Town defence under great amounts of pressure in the opening exchanges. The first big chance fell to Alfred, who rattled the crossbar from a tight angle after some slick build-up play from Charlie T and Rafe.

The Saints back four of Edmund, Sam, Josh and Charlie M were calm and measured in their defence of Jack C in goal and minimised Taunton’s ability to create clear-cut chances – while also providing a great platform to build forwards. Ferran and Charlie T dictated play in the centre of midfield with Jack H in the slightly more advanced role, picking up the ball in dangerous pockets and creating plenty of chances for the forwards.

With neither side able to break the deadlock heading into the second and third quarters, Saints continued to pose a threat moving forwards following the introduction of Tommy causing problems on the left flank. Despite a number of half-chances, the Taunton defence continued to frustrate the Saints attack while also, at times, looking dangerous going forwards. But with the addition of Louis, the Saints defence continued to prevent any clear-cut chances.

Then, following a defence-splitting ball from Charlie T, Rafe was played through one-on-one but was denied by some superb goalkeeping. Not to be deterred, Saints continued to push for the opener and the Taunton defence was eventually broken as Charlie T made a surging run from deep, beating three defenders, before delivering an inch-perfect cross to Sam who cut inside his marker to rifle the ball home for Saints to take a deserved lead as the third quarter drew to a close.

Heading into the final quarter, Taunton were chasing the game and were very direct in their attack and got into some dangerous areas but the Saints’ defence, particularly down the left side through Josh and Charlie M, was superb and nullified their advances.

Saints continued to play their attacking football in possession, and following another surging run from Charlie T earned a corner. Alfred delivered a wicked cross, causing havoc in the Taunton Town box, and the ball was inadvertently turned into the net by a Taunton defender – giving Saints some breathing space as the game drew to a close.

Less than 90 seconds later, Alfred was again the provider as he found Thomas inside the opposition box who sent a thunderous strike past the Taunton goalkeeper to put the cherry on a superb individual performance.

In the closing moments, the resilient Taunton created their biggest opportunity and caught the Saints defence sleeping as the striker was sent through one-on-one but Jack C was equal to the challenge and was backed up by Louis who cleared away to prevent any second chances and to help Jack C earn the clean sheet that he fully deserved.

A superb team performance throughout with plenty of positives to take forwards both from an attacking and defensive viewpoint meant it was difficult to single out one individual as Player of the Match. Charlie M was fantastic throughout, Josh performed well on his debut and Jack H also excelled in the attacking midfield role. However, it was Charlie T who received the accolade following yet another well-rounded performance accompanied with another goal and assist, continuing his own fine start to the season.

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