Under 18s

Presteigne St Andrews 2 v 2 Westfields
HFA Floodlit Youth League
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Presteigne St Andrews FC

A point, but it should have been three..

Presteigne St Andrews FC’s Under 18s had to make do with a point from their HFA Floodlit Youth League match against Westfields at Llanandras Park.

But manager Roy Simcock felt his side has deserved all three points from this one and he had been disappointed by the key decisions that had cost them dear.

“A draw against Westfields – would I have taken that before the game? Possibly,” said Roy.

“But a draw under those circumstances? No, definitely not – I was gutted for the lads after they gave their all against the league leaders who had beaten us easily a month before.

“But we played some brilliant football, dug in to defend and ran ourselves to a standstill for ‘that draw’ – gutted doesn’t quite get there.

“We knew it would be a difficult game but we were up for it and started the game with the right attitude and did what we hadn’t done a month before and put pressure on them.

“Last time their centre half had an amazing game but this time Kyle Slaven was there for everything and this led to mistakes which we jumped on and, after 25 minutes Greg Parks had a easy tap in after their defence got in a muddle.

‘Big assist for Kyle on that one and so it was 1-0 and the game was a little like a cup tie with chances at both ends.

“Then five minutes before half-time Westfields were awarded a penalty for a ‘push’ in the box – only one person in the ground thought it was a penalty but he was the one that counted.

“1-1 at half-time and an easy team talk for me – the second half was a carbon copy of the first half.

“Then, after a nice move on the left, followed by a good cross, Kyle Slaven was on the back post to slot the ball home – justice maybe!

“Westfields started to pressurise us now as we tired a little, but the defence was holding and I thought we could make the finish line.

“Then, a throw in to Westfields which turned into a free kick was headed home to make it 2-2.

“I try not to make comments about referees as they have a difficult job and without them where would we be?

“But I find it hard to stomach when I have to explain to my team that played their hearts out and should have won, but we ended up drawing the game because of two errors by an official.

“People say its only Under 18s football not the World Cup or life and death but the effort put in by all involved makes it hard to take.”


Presteigne St Andrews 4 v 2 Ludlow Town
HFA Floodit Youth League
Thursday, 21 November 2013

Presteigne St Andrews FC

This was much more like it from the Under 18s

Given the poor showing in the previous home match against Llandrindod Wells, you didn’t need a degree in sports psychology to work out that manager Roy Simcock would have been demanding far better from his side against Ludlow Town.

While it was still not a perfect performance, there was no doubt it was a vast improvement and the Under 18s duly completed a league double over Ludlow Town when the sides met at Llanandras Park.

“I was looking for a reaction from the team after last week’s display and we made a few changes to both the starting eleven and the formation to push that home,” said Roy.

“We had beaten Ludlow earlier in the season but their results since that game suggested they would be a difficult side to beat.

“We started the brighter of the two teams which, in itself, was something of a miracle and started to pressurise them high up the pitch.

“Kyle Slaven made a good run and was up-ended just outside the box giving us a free kick in a great position.

“We were a little surprised on the bench as Kyle wanted to take the kick himself but he stepped up and bent the ball round the wall into the bottom corner of the net – so a great start as we were 1-0 up.

“We continued to press and after some neat work in midfield and a precise through ball from Aled Preece, the ‘Ginger Pele’ Tom Lewis popped up to slot home a great goal.

“Ludlow looked a little shell shocked and again our midfield work opened up the defence for Greg Parkes to come from the left wing and score.

“So, 3-0 up at half-time and we were happy, but the second half was to prove much more equal.

“Ludlow upped their game and started to create some chances of their own which ended with them getting a goal back so this restored some confidence in their side.

“We were having a little wobble, but a good attack down the right that ended in Gareth Bull netting gave us some breathing space.

“Ludlow still wouldn’t lie down and they scored a great goal late on – credit to them, it was a really good strike that not even a Premiership goalkeeper would have saved – a 30-yard volley into the far corner.

“It ended 4-2 and I was pleased with the team performance as they wanted to win – a desire which I thought had not been evident the previous week.”

Presteigne St Andrews 0 v 3 Llandrindod Wells
HFA Floodlit Youth League
Thursday, 14 November 2013

Presteigne St Andrews FC

Manager Roy was distinctly underwhelmed by this showing

The long lay-off due to a raft of postponements did little for the Under 18s as they were well below their best in producing a sub-standard showing as they crashed to a heavy home defeat against their Radnorshire rivals.

But manager Roy Simcock had no complaints about the result – indeed, he felt the margin of that defeat could easily have been greater.

“With a five-week break because of cancellations and weather problems, I was hoping for a good performance against our Welsh neighbours from Llan’dod,” said Roy.

“Alas, it was not to be but, even though we had a couple of players missing, I still thought it was a strong enough side to give Llan’dod a good game.

“We again started slowly and this set the tone as we went on to struggle for the whole game.

“Llan#dod played some good football and when 1-0 up from a long through ball which their winger converted well with a lob over our goalkeeper from 25 yards.

“We were trailing 1-0 nil at half-time which wasn’t the end of the world but again in the second half we made mistakes and Llan’dod punished us.

“I don’t think we tested their goalkeeper at all that night – in fact, he probably needed he probably needed a warm bath when he got home to thaw him out.

“To say I was ‘disappointed’ would be something of an understatement.”


Ludlow Town 2 v 5 Presteigne St Andrews
HFA Floodlit Youth League
Thursday, 12 September 2013

Presteigne St Andrews FC

A great start to the league season for the Under 18s

Presteigne St Andrews FC’s Under 18s proved their fine win over Hereford United’s juniors was no fluke as they backed it up in emphatic style in their opening HFA Floodlit Youth League match on Thursday, 12 September.

Roy Simcock’s side overcame a surprise change of playing surface and then falling behind to run out comprehensive 5-2 winners at  Ludlow Town.

I am grateful to Roy for supplying a report on the game as I was unable to get there due to the fact I was watching Deacon Blue in concert in Cardiff – if you are under the age of 30, ask your parents!

“After the win against Hereford we went into the first game of the season quietly confident,” writes Roy.

“But the first spanner in the works came when we arrived at Ludlow’s ground and were told the game would be played on there astro pitch, rather than the grass.

“I am not sure if this had any bearing on the first 20 minutes, but we were 1-0 down and playing badly.

“At the half-hour mark we decided to make a couple of substitutions to try to steady the ship.

“Jack Price came on and almost scored with his first touch while Tyler Isaac went into the back four which gave us a burst of speed to cover the long balls from Ludlow.

“We started to get back into the game and had what we thought was a stonewall penalty claim waved away.

“But in the second half we started to boss the game and two 30-yard screamers from Shane Griffiths brought us first of all level and then put us in front – all within the first five minutes of the second period beginning.

“Ludlow started to struggle as we added a third from Liam Davies – another long-range screamer while Gareth Bull then netted our fourth with a tap-in which means he’s scored three times in as many games.

“A new player got on the score sheet for the last goal as Alistair Bownes scored at the back post from a deep cross.

“Ludlow pulled one back after a lapse of concentration at the back from us but it was too little too late.

“So, this was a good win in a game in which we had started awfully, but which ended on a high – roll on Westfields away on Monday night.”