|The Cannock boys were pleased to draw WBMHC in the third round of the EH U18 Cup, after all, they had comprehensively beaten our U16’s last season and they are…..Cannock. Their coaches were more cautious though and were right to be so.
The WB plan was simples, start strongly, score and hold out. Parts one and three worked but the Cannock keeper had not been briefed and pulled off a series of saves to keep them in the game. Cannock were unable to assert themselves due to disciplined teamwork by WB denying them space and posession, they were also under constant threat from a barrage of incisive aerials being sent up from sweeper James Brockhurst and Khaleel Seedat that allowed Dom Halter and the other forwards to exploit gaps in the defence. No score at half-time but the talk was easy, just carry on what you have been doing so far!
Cannock had to drop deeper to counter the aerials and a stalemate started to develop in the second half, both sets of coaches were starting to contemplate flicks. However a moment of inexperience by one of the young WB defenders in taking down an aerial led to a yellow and just as that had been served Henry Ellis got another (only the umpire knew what for) so WB had ten minutes in all with only ten on the pitch. Inevitably, with balance and continuity interrupted, Cannock scored from a short and then added a second. WB never gave up though and, with a full team again, pressed hard to draw level but it was just not to be.
Cup hockey is a hard school, no matter how well teams play one has to lose and this was one of those games played at a very high standard between two very talented teams. The WB boys were very disappointed but most will be around to play again next season and in the meantime will be challenging for places up the club so watch out anyone who doubts the ability of these boys or the standard of U18 hockey which the members of the firsts and seconds who provided training opposition (thanks to all involved) will vouch for.
Many thanks to the parents who came along and provided much appreciated support.
Squad v Cannock: Stan Hansen, James Brockhurst, Khaleel Seedat, Ben Morton, Simon Bennett, Henry Ellis, Fred Notman, Harry White, Finlay Fletcher, Dominik Halter, Ryan Glossop, Oscar Thompson, Ben Shaw, Tom Hovell. Plus Richard Lloyd-Mills and Alex Carr who played in round two.