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U18s Holland diary - day six

Posted: Mon 04 Aug 2014
Author: Jeremy Poulson
Image by: Oliver Leaper

Day six saw Blues play the second match day of the Holland tour, with their U18s team were up against an older PSV Eindhoven U19s side.

The team assembled for breakfast at 8am, which was followed by a team meeting at 9am. With the starting 11 having already been announced the day before, the meeting was more based on the objectives of the game and the requirements of the players and the team.

Following the meeting, the group departed the Mierlo hotel and made the 20 minute journey to the PSV Eindhoven training ground. The team arrived in a positive mood with all the appropriate preparations done.

The two sides stepped out onto the pitch, the pre-game hand shake routine took place, and then the two sides took for a group photo, before captain Dom Bernard exchanged the club pennant with the opposition captain.

PSV Eindhoven kicked off, but it was the Blues players that controlled the opening stages of the contest with some tidy moves passing moves across the pitch. Wes McDonald produced two excellent defence splitting passes which carved open the PSV defence, but unfortunately they were not capitalised upon.

After 20 minutes the first clear chance fell to Blues striker David Popa who was through on goal one v one after a fine one-two move with George O'Neill, but he saw his effort saved by the PSV goalkeeper.

There was another similar opportunity on 30 minutes when Blues counter attacked after PSV lost possession of the ball. McDonald’s pass found O'Neill but he put the ball wide of the goal and in the process picked up an injury which saw him replaced by Edidja Mbunga.

PSV were provided with there first opportunity of the game on 39 minutes when a direct ball was played over the top of the Blues defensive line and the PSV striker got to the ball before goalkeeper Jake Weaver taking it past him, and then twisting past defender Jack Challis to put the ball in the Blues net. This goal took PSV into half time with a 1-0 lead.

PSV came out of the traps faster at half-time and were rewarded with two goals in the space of just five minutes, with the second goal of the game coming after 50 minutes. Both of the goals came after Blues were caught in possession of the ball in their defensive area and they were duly punished by the Dutch side.

The fourth PSV goal arrived after the ball broke loose in the Blues penalty area and fell at the feet of the PSV striker who placed the ball into the net.

With 78 minutes gone, Blues finally found the back of the net themselves after Sam Deadfield's pass found Mbunga and the striker calmly slotted home.

Speaking after the game Blues U18s captain Bernard said: "Playing a good strong side like PSV Eindhoven was always going to be a challenge and the martch was a real learning curve for us.

"We came together and defended well in the first half but we lost the match because of our mistakes and that is something we need to work on.

"There was great attacking play in the game by us, but the end product wasn't up to scratch.  As a team we will analyse the game and take the negatives and positives out of it looking ahead to the next game which is against FC Twente on Tuesday."

To read Jeremy's review of day one click here, two here, day three, including a report of the team's win over Willem II, here, day four here and day five here.

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