Under 14 Football

 

The Under 14s team is for players who, from 1st September 2016, will be in Year 9 at school.

The divison 1 team is Managed by Kevin Youens, Head Coach Matt Flint. 

 

 Good start to the 2016-17 season winners and runners Up 

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MATCH REPORTS by Jon Haines

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Downley 4 Westwood Park 0

 

Downley  entertained Westwood Park in their third last league match of the season still with an outside chance of winning the league but knowing that any more slip ups would put pay to that.

 

Downley started on the front foot, and Tom’s early corner was headed wide by Charlie when well placed. Downley opened the scoring when Nathan flicked the ball on for Freddie, and he thumped the ball into the net in great style.

 

Westwood did have a long throw that the big number 19 headed wide, before Charlie got to the deadline on the right, and his long cross was put back in by Ben, and Austen’s header was saved. Tom then showed he had twinkle toes with a lovely bit of skill before striking the bar with a powerful shot. Tom was soon in the action again when his corner was put in with ease by Nathan. Fikayo then got in the act when after winning the ball just inside the Westwood half, before turning inside and unleashing an unstoppable shot over the keeper and in for his first goal of the season for fully 30 yards.

 

Westwood then had two efforts, the first deflected over, and then from the resultant corner they shot just over. But the only other feature of the first half was when the ball was kicked out of play by a Westwood player, Kerry, spectating in the first half, caught it impressively before falling over the bank near the touchline and making himself look a little bit silly.

 

The start of the second half saw Westwood have the first effort that Kian did well to get in the way of and deflect the ball for a corner. Jed’s pace then took him clean through but the keeper made a good save when facing him one on one.

 

Andre then was involved in the next pieces of action when first he shot just wide from the right, and then his corner was turned wide by Theo. Andre himself was not to be denied however when fed by Charlie he finished emphatically with his left foot.

 

Kerry the second string linesman deserves credit for his initiative too as when given the second half by his senior partner, he made a sophisticated decision by not flagging at all when a Westwood free kick went in the direction of three players in an offside position. He was apparently waiting for ‘Phase 2’ of the move before flagging but as the ball eventually went out for a goal kick he just couldn’t be bothered.

 

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Chalfont Wasps 0 Downley 3

Downley Dynamos visited Chalfont Wasps in their latest League match, a dress rehearsal of the League Cup Final in a few weeks, with both sides still looking to finish the season strongly and as near the top as possible. 

 

From the outset Downley took a grip on the game, the contrasting styles seemingly suiting them perfectly. They took an early lead when Tom’s corner was returned to him by Fikayo, and his second cross got the slightest of headers from Andre, and the ball nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

 

Dan then made a good brave save with his legs from close range, but it wasn’t long until, Downley doubled their lead, when after good work from Nathan, Andre composed himself to net from 8 yards. Austen then took a free kick that unbeknown to him would have earned him £50 from his dad, but his kick went just over. Next, Charlie went on one of his typical powerful runs down the right, and his low cross flew right across the six yard box to safety. Dan then again proved agile with his legs stopping another close range effort before Downley scored a quality third goal. Charlie won the ball yet again and fed Tom, who played affine through ball for Jimmy to finish well.

 

Half time with Downley dominant, and soon in the second half Austen raided down the right and the ball broke to Charlie, whose shot went just wide. Chalfont then had a dangerous corner that evaded everyone in the six yard box, before Andre won the ball and played a fantastic pass to Jimmy who finished with aplomb but unfortunately had strayed just offside.

 

Chalfont need manage more possession as the half went on, but rarely threatened the Downley goal. A long range free kick went just over, and from a long ball Dan made an excellent save but Downley were still in control of the match, keeping Chalfont at arm’s length. Chalfont did manage one last effort, and in a scramble inside the Downley box Jude and Nathan defended the situation well before clearing.

 

This was a superb performance by Downley setting out a marker for the final in a few weeks, and for the final run in for the league. Though they must avoid complacency as Chalfont didn’t perform here as well as they would like to have done, and the final is another game altogether.

 

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Downley 1 Gerrards Cross 2
Downley played hosts to Gerrards Cross in their latest league match, knowing that if they won all their last matches they’d have a great chance of still winning the league.
 
The match was slow getting going with few chances for either side, but it was Gerrards Cross who had the first decent effort when a right wing corner was headed over by their skipper.
Charlie did make a couple of enterprising bursts down the right, crossing low but both were defended soundly and turned away for corners. Charlie was also thwarted by the keeper with a low one handed save after being supplied by Jed’s header at the far post from Tom’s deep corner.
Tom and Jude both had efforts saved and saved again from rebounds before the final action of the half proved decisive. A long ball into the Downley penalty box was chasing by the Gerrards Cross forward and Fikayo defending. Unfortunately Fikayo illegally barged the player and a penalty was awarded. The penalty taker duly dispatched the spot kick and Gerrards Cross went in at half time 1-0 to the good.
 
Downley were up against it as they really needed a result to maintain their title bid, but the second half started in a similar vein to the first half with them not firing on all cylinders, as they started slowly. They did begin creating chances though after a while, and Jed made a great run down the right before crossing to Austen, who with only the keeper to beat, lobbed the ball over him but also over the bar. Charlie then threaded a fine through ball to Jed, but his left foot shot hit the post. And when, from tom’s corner Fikayo headed over you began to wonder if it was going to be another of those games where lots of chances missed and one error at the back would cost dear.
This feeling didn’t leave when from Jimmy’s free kick Tom shot wide when in the clear, and then from Daniel’s long kick Charlie headed on and Tom then blasted over. Ben was the next to miss the target when the ball was flicked on from Freddie’s long throw and just when you thought that would be it, in the closing minutes from another Freddie throw in Tom was able to poke in for a long overdue equaliser.
 
Again Downley couldn’t turn chances into goals and that will probably be decisive at the end of the season. All is not lost, but made a lot more difficult than it ought to have been, and it’s out of their hands as to the destination of the league title.
 

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 Downley 2 Penn 1

Downley played hosts to their big rivals Penn in the return fixture from two weeks previously, and again put in a terrific performance.

Downley started in the same vein as they had in that previous encounter well on the front foot and Tom soon fed Jed, who laid the ball off to Charlie who shot over. Jimmy then had a decent shot blocked, before from the same player’s corner Ben had a goal bound header blocked too.

Penn did have a left wing cross that was headed wide, and then might have scored in a mad scramble in the Downley box before Ben finally cleared. Nathan, who has played extremely well in the last month or so, also made a fine interception as Penn threatened.  But Downley, prompted by Charlie again a colossus in midfield, were getting a grip on the game, and Tom did well on the right wing and sent over a superb teasing low cross that unfortunately no-one could get on the end of. Jed then found a gap in the Penn defence  to work his way through, but the keeper made a good save, and Tom also got himself through on the right but could only find the side netting.

Before half time however, Downley got the goal they deserved, when Ben found Tom with a fine pass out to the right. Tom cut in and again switched the play to the inside half position, and Andre duly despatched into the top corner form 12 yards. 

Penn began the second half better, and had the better of the early exchanges, first in the inside left position when in space the striker scuffed his shot and the ball went harmlessly wide. Downley were then punished when they twice failed to clear their lines with headers in windy conditions, and the number 19 scored impressively.

But Penn weren’t level for long and Downley at last had a large slice of luck that has largely deserted them this season. Charlie competed for the ball 20 yards from goal, and the ball ricocheted off him and nestled into the top corner.

From a Fikayo clearance, (he too enjoyed another fine match), Jimmy’s first time effort went wide as it looked like he would put the game out of Penn’s reach, and then Tom and Jude both had efforts bravely blocked when in good positions.

The Penn keeper was also forced into a fine save from a corner then Ben met with force, and Charlie also worked wonders when out by the left wing corner flag, he beat two players, and cut in before blasting just over.

Penn did have a shot from the inside right position that Dan made a terrific save when he tipped over, and Ben had a fierce shot that just curled wide before the final whistle blew and Downley had finally beaten Penn.

The two matches Downley have played against Penn have been highly impressive, especially as Penn are such strong opposition. Downley have played with determination, drive and no shortage of skill and some of their football in those two matches have been a pleasure to watch. All the team played pretty much to their full potential and they proved that they are capable of beating anyone on their day.

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Wendover 1 Downley 2

Downley Dynamos travelled to Wendover for another vital league match, knowing that a victory would put them right back in the thick of the title race. 

Wendover started brightest but neither side could produce any early chances. And it was from a  short throw in which lead to a  speculative shot on the left wing a, that gave Wendover the lead with the first attempt on goal.

Charlie who again proved to be Downley’s driving force in the match, then played in Jed over the top, and when he fed Tom, his effort was cleared off the line. Charlie then sent a vicious and teasing free kick in from the left that begged a team mate to get on the end of, but no-one reacted quick enough, and halftime came with Downley now on top but not turning possession into goals. 

The second half saw Downley again in the ascendancy, and Jed went clear through, and although his effort was blocked, the ball fell to Jude, whose first time effort was saved by the keeper who had just thrown himself in the way.

A Wendover long ball then saw a tremendous pile driver from 20 yards smack the cross bar, before Downley got the equaliser they deserved when from Tom’s right wing cross. The ball went across the goal and was turned in by Ben at the far post. Downley then really should have took the lead when Tom’s delicious low cross again went across the goal, but Jude somehow got his feet mixed up and couldn’t turn the ball into the empty net.

Wendover then had a similar cross that went right through Downley’s defence but no one was near enough to get a touch. Next, Andre won possession and played Ben in on the left but his effort hit the side netting. Andre was soon in action again, playing a superb through ball to Jed, who as he was being closed down cleverly played it square to Jimmy, but his shot from 12 yards with the goal beckoning hit the inside of the post and came out. Fikayo then sent a glancing header from Jimmy’s corner wide, before for the second time in successive weeks Downley conceded a late goal that proved decisive. Kian missed a tackle on the halfway line, and from the break on the left, another fine shot hit the crossbar and then in the ensuing scramble the Downley defence failed to get tight to the forward giving him space to fire the ball in at the third attempt.

Downley has somehow lost another game they really didn’t deserve to, but again it proves that you have to be more ruthless in front of goal. They had some golden chances again to give them breathing space but couldn’t take them, whilst defensively you cannot afford to lose concentration and give your opponents time and space to play their football, and maybe sometimes put their selves on the line as many of our opponents have done in recent weeks to stop a goal going.

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Penn 2 Downley 1

Football can be a cruel game at times, as Downley Dynamos found when they visited their oldest rivals Penn for their latest league match. 

Downley started very well and much of the first half was played in the Penn half of the field. In a fine flowing move, Jed won the ball laid off to Tom who passed on to Charlie, and his raking pass found Andre who shot and the ball was headed off the line.

Next, from Jimmy’s corner there was a scramble and Ben then had his effort cleared off the line too. Charlie then had a goal disallowed for pushing, before the same player went on a surging run down the right, crossing for Jimmy’s header to be blocked. As the half was drawing to a close, Penn in their first real raid of the half played the ball over the top, and the forward lobbed the ball over Downley’s makeshift keeper Jude as he came out to close down.

Half time arrived with Downley unluckily trailing.  

From the restart Downley picked up where they left off, and Ben soon shot wide when well placed, but Penn did manage a right wing free kick that flew wide. Jimmy then had his effort headed off the line, before from his corner Andre’s shot looked goal bound before that too was headed clear. Jude then was forced into his first save, when facing a shot from 18 yards that he turned round the post well.

Downley then got the goal they’d more than deserved when Theo won the ball in midfield, fed Austen, and his cross was turned in well by Jed. Downley now looked like they would surely go on to win the game, and Austen passed to Tom, whose effort went wide, and then in a scramble, the ball ricocheted and yet again was cleared off the line. As if the match wasn’t proving unlucky for Downley, worse followed when in the last couple of minutes another long pass got behind their defence, and although Jude made an excellent save as he advanced, the ball fell kindly for the winger out on the right wing, and he crossed to the centre-forward who’d followed in and he headed into an empty having reacted quickest.

 Downley 2 Taplow 1

 Downley Dynamos took on Taplow at home in their latest league match trying to avenge their first defeat in their previous weeks fixture against Wendover.

Downley started on the front foot, and Jed went on a fine run down the right beating three players before setting Tom up. But Tom’s shot was easily saved by the Taplow keeper. Downley soon took the lead however, when from a corner Nathan swept the ball in at the back post for his first goal of the season. He then almost made it two, but his left foot shot went wide. Ben & Charlie then combined with a lovely one touch move that set Tom up, but his shot went straight at the keeper.

 

In another fine move, Charlie and Andre exchanged passes and Jed had his shot saved when through, and Andre’s rebound was cleared off the line. Tom then had a free kick just over before half-time came with Downley dominating but only a goal to show for their efforts.

 

The second half started in a similar vein, Charlie going just over from Jimmy’s corner, before Taplow had their first good attempt on goal, with Dan making a fine diving save from a shot from 15 yards. Nathan then made a superb defensive intervention as Taplow slowly worked their way into the game and they then had a left wing free kick that just sailed over the far post.

 

Downley then got the second goal their superiority deserved when the excellent Charlie went on a surging run down the right, cut in and his dangerous cross forced the defender to attempt a clearance but unfortunately for the defender he diverted the ball into his own net. Taplow did pull one back when a shot from the edge of the box was deflected unluckily past Dan, but although this match followed the path of previous games against Taplow with Downley missing lots of chances and then struggling get over the line, they saw this one out comfortably to win what in the end was just 2-1.

 

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Downley 0 Wendover 2

Downley Dynamos played host to Wendover in their latest league match, and finally came unstuck in a hard fought contest.  

Downley started the better of the two sides, and Jed got behind the Wendover defence to put a low cross into Ben, who from 15 yards sliced wide when in a good position. Nathan and Jude then both won headers to play Tom through, but his left foot shot was easily saved.Wendover’s first attack ended when on the inside left position the forward shot wide, but minutes later took the lead, when a deep right wing corner was headed back across goal and looped in over the defender patrolling the post. Half time came with few other chances of note, in a highly competitive match between two determined sides.

Early in the second half, a scramble ensued in the Downley penalty box, Dan made an excellent save with his legs, but unfortunately the ball fell kindly eventually for the striker to bury into the net. Dan then made another fine save with the striker clean through on goal, before Charlie brought a smart save out of the Wendover keeper with a crisp shot. As the match continued to two and fro Dan again made a fine save off a Wendover break, and from another they blasted over when well placed to score.

Charlie then powered his way down the right but his inviting cross couldn’t find a teammate, and Tom then hit a powerful shot that the keeper got a thin touch on, and ball  smacked against the bar. 

Downley had lost their first league match 2-0, and perhaps need take stock and realise that sometimes you need to concentrate more, and tough games out. Charlie had a storming match, Nathan, Fikayo, & Cole all battled well but in fairness Wendover seemed to want to win more and Downley failed to really have enough ideas to get around their stubborn defence.

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Downley 7 Aylesbury Utd 5 League Cup Quater Final

Downley Dynamos entertained Aylesbury in their latest League Cup tie, and a classic encounter unfolded with many of the Aylesbury side old adversaries of Downley’s from Bucks C.C. Downley settled quickly and Tom soon brought a low save from the Aylesbury keeper. Andre then forced the keeper into another good save before the ball fell kindly for Freddie to put Downley ahead from the rebound.  Aylesbury had a fierce shot well over the bar before Downley continued their pressure, first Jude having a shot blocked and then Tom shooting over. The Aylesbury keeper was being kept really busy and Freddie was next to be thwarted with a point blank save. Against the run of play however, Aylesbury equalised when after Dan had made a good save with his feet to turn the ball around for a corner, from that corner the ball was floated into the far post where the forward had a free header in. Andre then took a quick throw that Charlie shot just wide, before Jude played a defence splitting pass through to Tom who flicked at the ball for the keeper to save with ease. Tom soon made up for it though, in the very next move, he found space and put the ball nonchalantly past the keeper. The goal of the game soon followed, when from 20 yards Ben let fly and the ball arrowed into the top corner before the keeper could move. A great strike! Downley finished the half 3-1 up, and playing very well.

 

Aylesbury started the second half with a bit of possession, and a dangerous corner was deflected wide. But Downley soon increased their lead in their first attack of the half, Tom threading a perfect through ball to Jude, who took it on and then finished coolly into the bottom corner. Abu the Aylesbury striker then screwed a shot wide before Downley scored a fantastic team goal. Ben won the ball in midfield  and played it up the line to Austen. He in turn found Jude to played the ball inside to Charlie, who’s first excellent touch took him past a defender before rifled the ball past the keeper for a seemingly unassailable 5-1 lead.Aylesbury weren’t finished though, and from a free kick on the left angle of the box, the taker superbly found the top right hand corner. Andre then brought down the striker, and from the penalty Aylesbury reduced the deficit to 5-3. Andre soon made up for his error though when from Austen’s deep corner he headed in from a yard out. He then scored again after Austen tricked his way past the defender and crossed. Although Andre’s first shot was saved, he buried the rebound for again a seemingly unassailable 7-3 lead. Next, Tom cleverly back heeled to set Freddie through but his shot went wide. Aylesbury again came back though showing a determined attitude, and when a long range shot struck the post, the forward was first to the rebound and he converted. Dan was then forced into a really good brave save, before Aylesbury scored again with an excellent volley from a corner. Time ran out though, and Downley ended the match with a 7-5 victory. 

 

This was a strange match, Downley playing really well and could have had more goals, and for the most part defended really well. But sloppiness in the last 15 minutes saw them lose a bit of the control they had earned throughout the match and really it was a crazy final score in a match they pretty much dominated.

 

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Cookham 1 Downley 2

Downley travelled to Cookham Dean for another tough League encounter and showed great determination to get the result they were after.  

Cookham started the brighter, and twice from dangerous right wing crosses Dan in goal did really well to get a hand to the first one, then an instinctive foot to clear excellently on the second. But Downley were slowly working their way into the game and scored two classy goals to gain the initiative. First, Andre won the ball on the right, played a lovely one two with Tom and finished into the bottom corner.

Then Andre was involved again returning the compliment to Tom after Jude’s excellent through ball to Andre. He crossed and Tom squeezed the ball low under the keeper.

Downley finished the half in control but not with an unassailable lead in a hard fought first half.

 Cookham again started the half better and pegged Downley back without creating too many chances, though Dan again made an important save and punch when they bared down on goal. From a corner too, the number 5 headed just over. In another move the striker blasted over when through, before in a rare attack on the break the defender handled, but Austen put the penalty just wide of the left hand post. Then it was Cookham’s turn to be awarded a penalty when Dan upended the striker as he went through. The big striker just about beat Dan with the spot kick to make it a nervy last ten minutes.

However Downley defended superbly with the back three in particular -Fikayo, Kian and Cole resolutely protecting the rear guard and Ben, Charlie & Theo in midfield cushioning the attacks away from their defence as much as possible as they ran out 2-1 winners.

This match showed a different side to Downley’s play –gutsy, determined and highly competitive. And the result was justice for the effort all 12 put into the match. 

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Downley 0 Bracknell1 B & B Cup last 16

Downley took on Bracknell Town in the last 16 of the Berks & Bucks on Sunday December 11th. Both sides were unbeaten in their respective leagues so something had to give. 

This was a hard fought contest with both teams giving their maximum, and Downley started brightest, and in the first 20 minutes enjoyed a lot of possession creating a few openings to score.  First from a through ball Jude got to the ball before the advancing keeper and poked the ball past him, but as the ball rolled towards the line it didn’t have quite the pace to beat the retreating defender, who was able to just get there in time to hook it away for a corner.

Next, from Tom’s corner Fikayo sent in a blistering header that the keeper tipped over the bar with a great save. Bracknell’s more direct approach didn’t really have much effect in the first half, and from their only real offence of note, a free kick on the right sailed just over the bar. 

The second half however began with play more in the Downley half without really being put under too much pressure. Dan was forced into a good save with his feet though when a low cross/shot was put in from the right. Andre then did some good work before feeding Gautum on the right, and his deep cross was headed just wide by Freddie at the far post.

With 15 minutes to go Bracknell took the lead in a match that had looked as if it would go all the way.  Another long ball saw the impressive and Pacey number 10 outstrip the defence and he finished low into the net.

Jimmy then had a free kick straight at the keeper, and another superb volley well saved. Jimmy was then involved again when on the left he squared with a fine pass, and Nathan saw his shot smothered by the inspired keeper as it looked as if it was a certain goal.

Bracknell then nearly caught Downley out on the break  when another ball over the top bounced around and the lob over Dan also cleared the bar. There was just time for Downley to have another fine chance, when from Kian’s long throw, the ball worked it’s way into the box where Austen had timed his run to perfection, but frustratingly the ball would not go in and went just wide. 

 Downley had been beaten for the first time this season, in a match they really didn’t deserve to lose, but their failure to be able to find the net when they were on top and   Bracknell’s excellent keeper and striker caused their downfall.

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Thame 2 Downley 4 League Cup

 Downley went into League Cup action for their latest match travelling to Thame Youth.

Downley began trying to get the ball wide and create chances using that width and most of the early action was certainly in the Thame half. Jed’s cross by laid back to Jimmy by Jude and his shot was straight at the keeper. Freddie and Gautum then combined, with the latter laying the ball off to Andre who shot just wide. In another chance Jed’s left wing cross found Jude who stretched and just headed wide, and Jimmy’s left foot shot was half saved and bounced on the line before eventually being cleared.

Downley then took the lead when Kian’s throw found Jed, -who had an excellent match- and he turned inside showed a burst of pace and finished well low into the net. Thame however were not to be undone and with their first real attack dispossessed the Downley rear guard and the forward scored with a cracking strike into the top corner.

Jimmy then had a header saved after Jude’s skill and cross, hit the inside of the post from a free kick, and pulled the ball wide when well placed before the half time whistle blew all square in a match Downley were finding more difficult to put away than they anticipated.

However, they were to take a firm grip on the match right from the start of the second half when from Jed’s right wing burst and cross, the ball fell to Andre, who’s shot cannoned off the bar and hit the unlucky keeper before crossing the line. Jimmy then showed great control and through pass for Jed to steam through to again finish coolly and give Downley some breathing space. Gautum had a shot well tipped over by the keeper, before Matt made an inspired substitution when Downley were about to take a corner. From that corner Tom crossed with his first touch, and Austen tipped in with his!

Tom then had another shot tipped over, before Thame again scored when the Downley defence again lost possession, and from the hard working centre forward’s determination and cross the ball was turned in by his supporting striker. Jimmy had time for yet another shot that went over from a long pass, and from Austen’s cross Charlie just headed over. But Downley were safely through to the next round 4-2.

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Slough 1 Downley 4

Downley Dynamos made the trip to Slough Town for their latest league match, on a nice flat wide pitch, that should have suited their style of play.

Play started very scrappily, with both sides somehow finding it difficult to string any sort of passing movements together. Downley took the lead however in the 10th minute with their first real assault on the Slough goal although they had enjoyed the majority of the possession. Fikayo played a long ball into the Slough box, and Austen found Tom, who flicked the ball around the keeper as he bared down on him, and from a tight angle did well to pass the ball into the empty net.

Tom then increased the lead after good work from Ben & Austen, when he turned inside and lofted the ball over the keeper and into the top corner from 18 yards. Downley’s best move with lots of quick passing finished with Andre shooting just wide, before Slough got themselves back in the game when along ball out of defence caught the Downley defence out, and the impressive striker shook off the challenges of Fikayo and Nathan to finish very well from an acute angle.

In Slough’s best period of the whole match Dan then had to make a brave save taking the ball in the face as Downley finished the half unimpressively.

The second half was equally as scrappy, and in Downley’s first raid of note Tom completed his hat-trick when cutting in from the right he shot across the keeper who seemed to let the ball go through him and nestle into the bottom corner. Jude then had a side-footer cleared off the line from a corner when he really should have scored, before he and Charlie combined very well with a one-two that finished with Charlie coolly making it 4-1.

Slough did break away and have another decent effort that ended with the striker lofting the ball high over the bar but this was to be the last action of note.

This was probably Downley’s least impressive performance of the season, failing to use the width of the pitch and playing too narrow and not passing the ball with any conviction or accuracy, which was a great shame as it was a lovely surface to play on. They will have to improve as the big games are now just around the corner.

 

 

 

 

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Downley 2 Penn Rangers 0 B & B Cup 3rd Round 

Downley Dynamos took on Penn Rangers in the Berks & Bucks Cup in their latest match, a team they’d struggled to overcome in the League Cup last season.

This contest was hard fought with both teams fully committed and chances were at a premium. Ben made a great tackle deep inside the Downley box to avert any danger early on, and Charlie tested the Penn keeper with a free kick on the left, before Charlie then fed Austen, whose right wing cross-shot was palmed away for a corner.

Downley’s hard earned superiority was rewarded before half time however, when Jude gained control of the ball on the right edge of the box, and squared for Jimmy to finish in style.

The second half continued in a similar vein, with both sides making strong tackles, unfortunately for Kian in going for a brave header he took a kick in the face and had to go off to hospital minus a tooth.

Of the few clear chances Andre secured the victory, showing great skill in turning inside and unleashing a shot from 20 yards that the keeper could only help into the net.

2-0 to Downley , and although they went through this was a stern test which they were able to battle through showing character. The defence was very solid and rarely looked like being breeched, and the midfielders battled for everything. They will play more flowing football in matches but they had to show that there is more than one way to win a match, and this they did. Downley are at home to  Bracknell Town in the next round.

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 Taplow 1 Downley 4

Taplow played host to Downley Dynamos in Downey’s 6th League match of the season on a cold November Sunday morning on a difficult, bumpy pitch. Both teams started the season with aspirations of doing well in the league but so far Downley had had the better start.

Downley went into the game having not conceded a goal in the league all season, but it only took Taplow three minutes to change that when after a raid down the left, the winger’s cross was partially cleared, and a shot from outside the box on the right hit the centre forward and fortunately for Taplow found it’s way into the net. 

Downley were struggling to get into their stride and didn’t create much early on, Jimmy did manage a cross that Tom sliced wide, and then Charlie put a header over from Jimmy’s corner that normally he would have scored but Downleys  play was very patchy and they couldn’t get into a rhythm.

Mid way into the half though, Downley managed to pulled level from a break on the right, a scramble that first involved Tom and the keeper, was eventually turned into the empty net by Jimmy.

Jimmy was soon involved again, when out wide on the right he got the ball over to the back post, and Gautum squeezed the ball into the net where there seemed no room. Charlie then set up Andre, who shot just wide and Andre himself then put Jimmy through, and he poked the ball past the advancing keeper for 3-1.

Andre did have time for another shot before half-time with Downley now dominant, but his effort again went just wide. 

The second half produced very few chances and was very scrappy, certainly the best early chance being when the Taplow winger ran up the left wing, and his cross was headed wide when the striker had time and space.

Downley sealed the match with 10 minutes to go when Freddie made a superb run on the right wing, crossed and despite Jude mis-kicking, the ball fell kindly for Tom who made no mistake from 15 yards, thumping the ball home. 

This was an awkward match for Downley, who didn’t perform anywhere near their best in difficult conditions,  but still ran out comfortable winners in the end.  Improvement will be needed for the big games that lie ahead.

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Downley 4 Cookham 0

Downley entertained fellow big guns Cookham Dean in their latest league match, and put in another powerful performance.

 Honours were even early on, with few early chances being created by either team, but as Downley slowly started to get their game together, in the 11th minute Tom flicked the ball on to Andre on the left and his long lob wasn’t dealt with by the keeper and the ball ended up in the top corner of the net.

Cookham then had a couple of free-kicks that found men in space in the box but they couldn’t direct their headers on goal. Jimmy was then put through on goal but the keeper saved when one on one.

Jimmy again was in action when his corner was met full on by Ben, but his thumping header was well saved and turned around the post by the keeper.

 

At the start of the second half Jed soon had an effort that was easily saved, and Austen also had a free-kick that flew over the bar before in a lovely move Jed found Ben, who played a lovely ball to Tom who unfortunately mis-kicked on what would have been a lovely goal. But he soon made amends when, Jed played him in down the left, and Tom cut inside and coolly slotted the ball low past the keeper to double the lead.

Downley’s defence was almost penetrated when after letting the ball bounce in their box Dan was forced to palm the ball out of danger, before Cookham shot the rebound well over, but Downley were soon back on top, and from Dan’s long kick Jude lobbed the keeper who was well off his line from 20 yards and the ball just cleared the bar. Charlie then tried the same from even further out and this time the ball landed just half a yard in front of goal and bounced over!

Gautum flashed a shot just wide, before Jude released Charlie down the left, and just like Tom earlier he powered inside and finished low past the keeper for 3-0. Jimmy then out Gautum through and he to finished in style, before Austen played the ball inside to Jude, whose powerful shot was tipped around the post by the Cookham keeper.

 This was another ‘professional’ performance, Downley weathered the storm in the first half with Cookham playing direct football , but Downley were  strong and tight at the back, highly competitive in midfield, with lots of options in attack. In the second half Downley played their football and opened Cookham up.  If they can keep this up, it will take a good team to beat them but they must maintain these standards.

 

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Westwood Park 0 Downley 3

Downley travelled to Westwood Park for their fourth League game of the season, and although they never really hit any great heights still did more than enough to come out on top.

Play started very scrappy with no real flow from either team, and the first of very few first half chances fell to Fikayo, who from Tom’s corner saw his effort deflected wide. Jude and Tom then did combine well, but Jude’s effort was lobbed wide when he really would have hoped to at least test the keeper.

Down the left Austen showed great skill before his high cross was mistimed by Jimmy who’s jump was not matched by his timing! He did make up for it a little later however when his surge down the right drew the keeper, and he lifted the ball over him for an excellent finish.

Early in the second half Downley doubled their lead when Jed showed great strength in shrugging off his much bigger marker and hitting a low shot that was placed to perfection into the bottom left corner of the net.

From Kian’s long ball Jimmy again lobbed the keeper, but this time a defender got back to head off the line.  Jed was then sent through but this time the keeper saved the one on one well with his feet.

Westwood did then threaten, when from a corner the ball went outside the box and from 20 yards the Westwood player struck the bar with a well struck pile-driver. That was as good as it got through for Westwood. With 5 minutes left Tom played a clever through ball for Jimmy to finish with ease.

Final score 3-0 to Downley and another clean sheet, but this was not their best performance of the season. They need to improve and work hard on the training ground if they want to continue their excellent start to the season. They have some big guns to come in the next few weeks.

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16th October Downley 11 Burnham 2

Downley Dynamos took on Burnham in a League Cup match on Sunday 16th October and ran out  winners against their opponents from the lower division.

Downley soon got into their stride, and Andre squared on the edge of the box to Tom, who worked the ball onto his right foot and shot powerfully into the left hand bottom corner for 1-0. Jude and Andre then combined for the latter’s shot to be tipped around the post by the keeper. But it wasn’t to be long before Andre found the net, when Tom returned the compliment and passed to him and his shot took a slight deflection that was enough to beat the keeper.

Nathan then played Jude in well, and his high shot was parried only for Andre to follow up and head in the rebound. Andre, who was clearly enjoying the match was then put through for the keeper to make a good save, and then have a shot just wide, before Tom then fed Jude who also put his shot just wide.

Burnham started the second half better, and from a corner the striker headed just wide at the far post, before Gautum played a lovely ball up the line to Jed, who surged on before playing inside to Jude who produced a prodigious chip to beat the advancing keeper for 4-0.

Burnham then headed another decent chance just wide from a right wing cross, before Nathan’s long range effort was tipped wide well by the keeper. But again it was not to be long before Downley extended their lead when Jimmy’s deep corner was headed in well by Ben. The effervescent Andre then robbed the defender from a goal kick before setting up Jed up against the keeper, and he managed a cool finish under the keeper. Jude then threaded a fine through ball to Andre who duly completed his hat-trick.

Nathan’s great run down the right ended with Gautum’s shot being deflected just past the post, but Jed soon fed Charlie who beat the advancing keeper for a low finish.

Downley then conceded their first goal of the season when after a break down the right the Burnham player smashed an unstoppable shot past the helpless Ali. But there was no comeback on the cards, as Tom’s cross to parried out onto Austen’s head, and he gratefully scored to make it 9-1.

Tom’s then tried a chip that the keeper was able to save, but unluckily for him it fell to Freddie, who passed into the empty net. Jed burst up the right wing in the next attack and somehow used his lightning pace to get to the ball before the keeper, and finish with great quality from a tight angle.

Burnham did manage to complete the scoring though, in another break down the right  before thumping in.

It finished 11-2 and again Downley know that there will be tougher matches ahead the further they go in the competition.

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2nd October Downley 2 Chalfont Wasps 0

Downley Dynamos entertained Chalfont Wasps in their 3rd league match of the season, and put in a Rolls Royce performance in a hard fought contest.

Chalfont were perhaps first off the grid and from a dangerous low cross on the right across the six yard box, Dan did well to get his legs in the way and clear to safety. Dan also had to be alert coming off his line when a long ball in the inside left position which  looked dangerous. But  Downley slowly moved through the gears and pressed forward with Jed winning the ball in midfield and playing Jimmy in to bring a decent slow save from the keeper.

Downley were soon in the lead however, when from Jimmy’s cross Tom saw his shot take a slight deflection that the keeper could only parry, and Austin Motors in for the rebound.

Tom then played a lovely ball through the middle lane for Jed who shot just wide, before from Dan’s goal kick Ben headed on skilfully. Austin again driving through the defence out stripped his marker and finished well. This was proving to be a hard fought contest though and Chalfont then had a decent spell themselves. One shot saw Dan parry only for the rebound to be blasted over when the forward really should have scored. Audi miss!?

Another effort slid wide, and from a free-kick the resultant header went straight into Dan’s grateful arms.

Both teams went into the pit-lane as half time arrived, with Downley in the ascendancy but still with a lot of work to do.

Charlie was soon in action in the second half when his superb last gasp tackle stopped a very dangerous raid, and Chalfont had a dangerous corner that Dan got a punch to and was then put wide. Downley in this half were defending resolutely, looking dangerous on the break and never really looked like being overtaken, but Dan did pull off a fantastic save after the ball fell kindly for the forward from a free-kick. Chalfont then headed over when in a good position, before from Dan’s long kick Jimmy raced through only to put his effort just wide.

Downley by this stage had overpowered their worthy opponents and as Chalfont tyred,  Downley’s engine seemed to keep going and from Ben’s delightful curled long pass Jimmy again was inches away from making it 3-0. But Downley were far from exhausted and in another fine move Gautum fed Jed running as smooth as a Jaguar but his shot was just over. This was a fine contest between two very good teams and wheel meet again later in the season. 

All 14 players played extremely well and it was fantastic to watch them all perform to such a high standard, and perhaps it’s a good time to pick out a couple of unsung heroes – Ben had a wonderful match winning his tackles and playing some great passes, while Kian defended resolutely and again got his tackles in fearlessly. Also Tom had a fine match using the ball with great intelligence, and was unlucky that at least one of his probing through passes didn’t result in a goal.

Downley played extremely  well in this match, attacking with flair and defending and competing fiercely in a highly accomplished performance.

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25th September Maidenhead Santos 0 Downley 22

Downley travelled to Maidenhead for their 1st Round clash in the Berks and Bucks Cup and I’d imagine broke quite a few records!

1-0 –Austen christens his new boots with a toe punt from 10 yards that finds it’s way in. 2-0–Jimmy plays a ball across to Jude, who coolly finishes. 3-0–Jimmy finishes well after a ricochet falls to him 4-0 –Nathan goes on a run through the middle before releasing Freddie, who crosses well for Jude to beat his man and finish.  5-0-Andre slipped in Jude, who slotted home. 6-0 –Andre empathically smashes home his first Downley goal from 12 yards-top corner 7-0 - Andre plays a lovely through ball to Jude, who finishes well on the volley 8-0 -Jed surges through the middle and sets up Andre, who turns his defender and finishes confidently 9-0 –Freddie makes a determined run down the right, and his cross falls to Jimmy who curls into the top corner 10-0 –Cole plays Jude through the middle and he finishes with ease 

Half time 

11-0 -Jimmy scores direct from a corner  12-0 -Tom crosses and the defender turns it into his own net 13-0-Jimmy cuts inside and blasts home 14-0–Tom finds himself 8 yards out in lots of space, takes his time and finishes coolly 15-0–Tom then gets another as his left foot drive is too much for the keeper 16-0–Tom’s right wing corner finds Gautum at the back post and he quickly controlled and buried 17-0–Nathan raids down the left on a long run, turns the ball inside to Ben, who feeds Jude for another 18-0–Tom’s corner is met by Ben’s fantastic header 19-0-Ben again on hand to finish after Tom’s effort hits the post 20-0 –Tom scores with a ferocious shot from an angle on the right 21-0–Tom cross on the left which sailed through everyone into the net 22-0–Jude beats numerous defenders before shooting straight at the keeper, who despite saving  couldn’t stop Tom’s follow up. 

Sterner matches lie ahead

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18th September Downley 3 Slough Town 0

Downley’s first home league match of the season saw them play new boys Slough Town Youth, that although didn’t quite hit the heights of the previous match,  still produced a decent, disciplined performance.

The match again got off to a slow start as both teams enjoyed fair possession without doing too much offensively. Slough had the first real effort on goal when a long range effort sailed over Dan’s goal.

Midway through the half though Downley took the lead with their first real threat on goal. Charlie broke through the middle with a powerful run, and although his deflected shot was partially saved, the ball fell kindly for Tom, who blasted in low through the keeper’s legs for a one nil lead.

Slough then had a free kick just outside the box but the danger was averted when the strike hit the wall. Tom then turned well but shot wide, before after a mad scramble in the Slough box the ball broke to Nathan who’s shot was handled on the line. Austen duly dispatched the penalty. Jude then fed Freddie, but his shot went over before half-time arrived.

Early in the second half new signing Andre was soon in the action as he and Jed combined well for Charlie to shoot wide. Slough then had their best chance as from another free kick the shot hit the post, but unfortunately for them the lad that put the ball in the net was standing in an offside position. This turned out to be their last hope as 2 minutes later it was 3-0 when from Tom’s free kick Jed turned inside and his left foot shot beat the keeper.

Andre and Austen then worked the ball well before Andre’s shot was deflected wide, and in the last action of the match Kian’s long pass was flicked on by Andre just wide.

 This was another convincing victory from Downley without quite fully flowing, but their defence is looking very solid with Fikayo marshalling his backline with great aplomb and the midfield looking dominant too. They did show flashes of exciting play so all in all another very pleasing performance.

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Some description11th September League Holmer Green 0 Downley 6Some description

Downley Dynamos began their Under 14 campaign with a visit to Holmer Green, the venue where their two Six a side teams had had such success at the previous week. And this time, as an eleven a side they started the season in fine form with a disciplined and skilful performance. 

Early on the game didn’t create many chances as the teams settled. However, slowly but surely Downley began to see a lot of possession  and most of the play was camped in the Holmer Green half.  And it was with the first meaningful strike on goal that Downley took the lead on 23 minutes, and the wait was worth it. Charlie did good work in the centre of midfield and played a fine ball out to Jed on the left. He cut inside played it to Tom, who feigned the defender, cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from 20 yards.

Tom then brought a low save from the keeper from a free kick after Ben was felled on the edge of the box. Then Charlie again became the play maker in midfield clipping a lovely ball down the right wing, and this time Tom cut inside onto his left foot, and hit a low shot that squirmed under the keeper for 2-0.

Early in the second half Holmer won a free kick on the edge of Downley’s box, and from the kick the ball beat the Downley defence but Dan was alert in goal to make a good save as two forwards bared down on him.

Downley were soon back in their stride though, and from Jimmy’s corner Fikayo headed over. Another fine move involving Ben, Jude and Tom ended with the latter just thwarted but it didn’t delay Tom too much as he was soon taken out in the box, and he then got up and converted the penalty with ease for the first hat-trick of the season.

He was then involved in what would probably have been the team goal of the season after numerous quick passes with Jed, Ben and Jude setting Tom up, but although he scored he was sadly offside.

Jimmy then had a low shot saved as Downley now laid total siege on the Holmer goal. Fikayo, excelling in his new centre back role won the ball well inside his own half, shrugged off the challenge and played through Jed, whose pace sent him totally clear and he beat the keeper coolly. From Charlie’s throw Jed then had another shot saved, and Charlie himself hit a powerful 25 yarder that the keeper turned onto the bar.

Austin then slid Jimmy in, and his toe poke finish made it 5-0, and Nathan soon headed on cleverly to send Jed through again, but this time he blasted wide. Austin then fed Nathan, who worked his way into the box only to be taken out by the nonplussed defender, and this time Jimmy made no mistake with the penalty.

Jed still had time to be sent through again, and although he rounded the keeper, from a tight ankle he could only back heel the ball, which would have worked a treat but the defender got back and cleared it off the line.

 

This was an impressive performance by Downley – the new look back line were excellent- in particular with Fikayo and Cole looking strong in their new positions- in midfield Charlie bossed the centre of midfield with Nathan and Jed buzzing around causing all sorts of problems with their energy, and Tom was a constant menace further forward. But this was a fantastic first performance from all 14 of the players and let’s hope they can keep their discipline and desire going for the season.

 

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