Needham Market Phoenix U12s vs. Whitton United

Middle top - Conner Lane, captain of the team and grandson of a Just client

The Just Recruitment sponsored Needham Market Phoenix U12’s had their first league game - read the match details here!

The Under 13’s Suffolk South Football League Division 2 has begun, and the Needham Market Phoenix U12’s had their first match to make an impression. The 9th of September saw the boys travelling to Ipswich for an away fixture against Whitton Utd, a club that has previously produced a number of players that have gone on to play for Ipswich Town. The starting eleven welcomed two of the new additions to the squad, with Nat starting in left midfield, a position he hasn’t been in before.

The first half kicked off with a whistle - the team’s first league game to be officiated by a Suffolk FA referee.  The team adjusted well to the big playing area and were dominant from kickoff. Nat was getting crosses in from the left wing at will, getting past the Whitton right back every time, but it took until the 13th minute for Alfie to make the breakthrough; he scored a goal from an assist by Alex after good work from a corner. At this point, the score was 0-1. The boys continued to press, but they only had one more goal to show for 35 minutes of dominance after Ed had put the ball into the back of the net, assisted by Tyler. As the halftime whistle sounded, the team was at a strong lead on 0-2.

Starting the second half, the Phoenixes seemed to think the game was won, allowing Whitton Utd to have the ball. In quick succession the team gave away two fouls just outside the area which were both punished; the Whitton Utd player placed both free-kicks out of sub keeper Freddie G's reach and into the top of the net. The score was now even at 2-2. The coach made some more rolling subs to try and retrieve the Phoenixs’ dominance… and it worked. 6 minutes after the equalising goal, Alex ran down the right wing and smashed the ball into the net from a difficult angle. The team was reclaiming their lead, putting the score at 2-3.

Normal service was resumed. 3 minutes later Ben gave the ball to Tyler, who ran into the area and put the ball into the net (2-4) despite the Whitton Utd keeper trying to wrestle Tyler to the ground in the process. The referee pulled both players aside for a talking to for the keeper’s foul play and Tyler ruffling the keeper’s hair after scoring! Tyler's enthusiasm got the better of him and to everyone's surprise, he collected Needham Market Phoenix U12's first official yellow card for persistent foul play. The boys continued to press and Conner added a fifth goal, pouncing on a rebound from a shot from Alex. The goal count was now at a triumphant 2-5!

Whitton Utd pulled a goal back from a long ball over the top which the Needham defence could have dealt with a lot better. With the boys letting the long ball bounce a few times and failing to deal with it, the striker sprinted through, controlled the ball and placed it under the keeper. Whitton were trying to lower the goal gap - placing the score at 3-5. As the second half wore on, Ed and Alex both scored their 2nd goals of the game with assists from Alfie and James respectively; the score then sounded more realistic for the possession of play Needham had. The final score was 3-7, a smashing success!

All in all, a great first game for Needham Market Phoenix U12’s. The team were playing a year above, on bigger pitches with qualified referees (who now have cards!) The Man of the Match this time was Alex - well done!

The starting formation of the Needham Market Phoenix U12's for the match.

Posted on Tuesday Sep 12