The final 4-0 scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the game as Berkhamsted Raiders Under-13s Blues bowed out of the South Bucks League Cup away to Explorers at the weekend.
The home side are two divisions higher than this Berkhamsted outfit, making them the underdog in this cup clash, but to the naked eye there was very little between the two teams despite the very flattering final result for the hosts.
Explorers knew how to exploit their significant size and power advantage, and they twice scored goals from particularly long range in the first half.
But Berkhamsted worked out how to combat that and the second-half saw the visitors come back into the match.
In the second period, Berkhamsted’s captain Ryan Colmer and his defensive colleague Oli Sharpling shut the door on the home side.
And with Jude James working hard to break up play and set Berkhamsted moving forward, the Raiders really began to test Explorers.
The pace of Berkhamsted’s Paddy Read and Finnlee Ferguson carved out a series of chances for the Raiders but they couldn’t break the deadlock.
On another day, the rub of the green might have led to several goals and they could have even taken Explorers to extra time.
Raiders manager Darren Heneghan said afterwards: “We certainly didn’t deserve to lose by four goals.
“When we’d worked out how to combat their physical advantage, we dominated the second-half and at the end of the game even the referee said the score didn’t reflect the game.”