Match Report
Haberdashers' Elstree Schools Boys-U13A vs  St Martin's School, Brentwood
On: Monday, 06 Nov 2023
Venue: Away

We went into this game with a positive attitude and mindset. We knew we were facing a tough opponent and that every single one of us would have to give everything we’ve got to pull off a win. We started well. Our defence was doing well to get rid of any threats to our goal, and our attackers were generating a good amount of chances down the wings. We had a fair few opportunities to score at the start, our best one with Anthony taking a stunning free kick that rattled the woodwork. As we progressed through the half, our energy levels were dropping. We gave away a few free kicks and corners, that Leo managed to punch away out of the danger zone. Then, close to the end of the first half, St. Martin’s won a free kick in a dangerous position at the edge of the box. It was an excellent shot that Leo saved, but then, unluckily lost a grip of. It was a great effort from Leo to try keep it out. After a lot of arguing from both sides about whether the ball crossed the line or not, the ref came to his decision and gave them a goal. 1-0 St. Martin’s. The half time whistle blew and we knew that we needed to do something. After a talk from Mr. Kerry and a team huddle, we were ready and prepared for this second half. This half we were all over their defence with attack after attack, winning corners and taking shots on goal. The momentum we were building up as a team was incredible. About 15 minutes through the half, we had a good play down the right wing. We passed the ball around a bit and kept it from our opponents well. When the option came we played Zac T in the middle, just outside the box. Turn, touch, set, and Bang! The ball soared high in the air, curled and dipped into the top left corner. An absolute screamer from Zac T! We couldn’t believe that we’d pulled one back. We settled, got back into position and went again. Now, our spirits were sky high. We had the determination and the confidence to win this game. Our attacks were incessant, our defence didn’t let a single ball through. We had a great counterattack down the right wing which resulted in Artmigan absolutely sending his defender with an outrageous skill and laying it off for Anthony who took a good shot, but the keeper made a great save. After many great runs from Max L, we managed to create a similar chance to the one resulting in us scoring before. There were only 5 minutes left in the match or it would go to penalties. We played the ball around a little on the left wing, and then like before played our man in the middle, Zac T. He saw an opening between the St Martin’s defenders, and thought, “why not?” He struck the ball with great power from his strong left foot. It stayed low, but was positioned perfectly, so that it landed straight into the bottom right corner! We were absolutely screaming our heads off! What a comeback! We didn’t want to brag too much, but I think we all knew that we had this match in the bag. When the final whistle blew, there came a huge cheer from us Habs players. It was comeback that we couldn’t even imagine in our wildest dreams. Our toughest match of the season yet, but also the best we’ve played as a team so far. A big thanks to Leo, who made all of those saves when we were in trouble. To our back line, who stopped opposition threats as much as possible. To our attackers, who kept on pressurising their defence into losing the ball. And to our midfielders, who created chances to help us score. Our MVP was Zac T for those two amazing goals he scored. In all, our performance and work rate was phenomenal, and I think we all should be very proud of ourselves. It was a fairytale comeback for us, as we progress to ESFA round 4.

Aiden Barretto