SASS Beat Celts and Continue To Top the League
By Gary Tustin
The U17s game against Cambridge Celts always promised to be a tight affair and so it proved with SASS running out 2-1 winners.
A change in the weather meant the teams played this fixture on a soft pitch which should have favoured Celts as they had a full strength squad and SASS continue to have players unavailable through injury and other commitments.
Celts ranks contained Miles and Luke who both had distinguished SASS careers and are very good footballers.
The first five minutes was mostly Celts playing neat incisive football with many of the SASS players playing the occasion rather than the match. Celts have many players known to SASS and a good reputation.
However, SASS finally found their feet and their football was good but so was the Celts keeper.
Daniel created a clear opening and was denied by a point blank save from the keeper. Gregory’s effort was turned away at full stretch. Both sides were playing good passing football in patches with SASS creating the better chances.
SASS took the lead after twenty two minutes when a ball found Jake on the right of the box. His shot was stopped and came back to him, his second shot somehow was blocked and came back to him and third time lucky he finished.
SASS created more chances, Louie was denied by the keeper, as was George. Recent games SASS have created chances and been let down by their finishing. This was the case too in this match but the Celts keeper has to be praised for his part in keeping SASS out.
On the stroke of half time a needless foul led to a set piece delivery into the box and SASS left a player unmarked to nod home the equaliser.
The half time whistle went upon the restart, real blow for SASS to concede so late on.
Second half was a much closer affair. Both teams having spells of sustained pressure with the Celts keeper being the busier of the two. Jake fired straight at him when clean through.
Jake also beat the keeper to a through pass, collected the ball, rounded the keeper and missed an open goal.
The winner, when it came, was unexpected. Louie was fed by Jake’s incisive ball and his tame shot across the keeper was somehow spilt onto the net…..just. Hard on a player who had been magnificent until then.
The final ten minutes were frantic with Celts giving everything to try to get back on terms and SASS defended stoutly but creating chances on the break.
SASS held out for the win. Deserved? Some say yes others think Celts deserved something from the game. SASS did create more opportunities and for that reason maybe they merited the victory.
A magnificent team performance from SASS sees their perfect start to the season continue. Ted captained the team and led by example. He was immense all day and apologised for not picking up the Celts player for the equaliser. Really mature performance.
Jake scored one goal, assisted the other SASS goal and got booked for dissent late on. Jake in a nutshell, brilliant, creative and impetuous. Infuriating at times but this season has been outstanding in his leading of the line and deserves all the praise he gets.
The back four worked well as a unit both defending and attacking and they protected Aidan well. Aidan was carrying an injury so was not mobile and had to take kicks with his weaker left foot. Aidan did all that was needed of him with no fuss, really composed performance especially under the circumstances.
Thanks to all the players (including Celts) as every contributed to a really entertaining game played in a fantastic, competitive spirit.
Thaxted away next week and that promises to be an equally tough affair. If the players perform as they have been though it should be a good watch for those present.