The U18 boys’ team played an exciting and end to end game against Norwich School. Bitterly disappointed, they had to settle for second best after the match was determined by penalty strokes, ending 4-4 after full time.
Woodbridge started nervously and the Norwich centre forward pounced on a moment of hesitation and robbed the ball from our centre back and calmly slotted it into the net. Woodbridge recovered and started to settle into the game. However too much direct play down the middle resulted in many turnovers and counter attacks. Chris Moody made some good saves in goal and the back four, led by Ben Kilburn had to be at their best to stem the tide. 10 minutes from the break Norwich doubled their lead and went into half time 2-0 up. Woodbridge had chances in the first half but Norwich defence, especially at penalty corners were up to the test.
In the second half Woodbridge improved their marking, and defensive positioning, was more patient and also started to change channels more, making use of the full width of the pitch. Forward leads improved to give us more width. 7 minutes into the half some good link play between Will Neall and George Williams from a free hit released Ed Robson to take a clear shot and the keeper had no chance. Ten minutes later Myles King made clever use of tactics at an attacking free hit to win a corner. Ed calmly converted. 2-2.
Woodbridge won another penalty corner. A good move was converted well by Will Neall getting the final touch from a Robson flick. Play continued and minutes later Robson again unleashed and the score was 4-2 to Woodbridge, scoring 3 goals in 6 minutes.
The writing looked on the wall for Norwich. But with key players tiring, and a little inexperience showing, Norwich persisted and forced penalty corners, two of which Woodbridge couldn’t keep out. The final score was 4-4.
Disappointed to not convert their strong position, Woodbridge went into penalty strokes. Now it was a lottery. Chris Moody saved one of Norwich’s strokes and Myles King, Will Neall and Tom Innes scored for Woodbridge, Norwich winning the match 4-3 on strokes.
A very exciting game to start the season.
Player of the match was a close contest between Ed Robson and Ben Kilburn, but ultimately Ben Kilburn’s play in defence, and as distributor won him player of the match.