Each season, the Cheltenham Youth Football League awards Sportsmanship trophies to the team voted to be the most sporting in their age group that season.
Sportsmanship is defined by the way players, managers, coaches and spectators adhere to the FA Respect Codes of Conduct. This can range from how we behave on the sidelines during the course of matches, to how we are on the pitch. It will take into consideration, contacting officials before the game, the players taking part in hand shakes before and after, and much much more.
At every fixture that we take part in, the referee reports back to the league, a mark on our overall sportmanship performance. At the end of the season, each manager (of the 22 league teams in our division) are asked to vote for their top 3 choices for Sportsmanship of the year. The votes from other team managers, are combined with the referee ratings to decide a winner.
Our very own Under 9s team have been voted the 2011-2012 Sportsmanship of the Year winners, for our age category!!!
This is fantastic recognition for us, and I value the contribution of every player, parent and coach. Its great news, and I am very proud. Well done everyone!!
Panthers entertained Leckhampton and Charlton at Parton Park for their final 2 games of the season. Six points from these 2 fixtures would have lifted Panthers above this Leckhampton side into 12th.
The game plan went by the book in the first fixture. It was always going to be the tougher game, but the team lined up and controlled large periods of the match. Leckhampton efforts on goal were few, and tended to come from break aways. Shun-Ta Cheong getting back on a number of occastions to break those up effectively.
Panthers took the lead in the first half, when Ben Murphy intercepted a Leckhampton goal kick. The ball span free to Josh Bird, whose shot took a big deflection and looped into the back of the net. Josh was also influential in the 2nd goal, running with the ball down the right wing and crossing low, only for a Leckhampton defender to slice the ball into his own net.
In the 2nd half, Josh got on the scoresheet again, working well with Shun-Ta Cheong who put him through on goal, and Josh finished well. The scoreline was somewhat tarnished late on, when a break put their striker one on one. Alex Fulford in goal, rushed out to attack the through ball, but the ball deflected to a free Leckhampton player who could roll into an unguarded net.
The line up was changed for the Charlton Rovers game, and Panthers never got settled in the first half - getting out-muscled, losing possession easily and not passing effectively. Charlton grew stronger and created the chances.
Charlton got themselves in front, when a Panthers goal kick went straight to their striker who came forward and slotted in the corner. In fairness, Panthers were lucky that they were only 1 down at half time.
The game changed for the 2nd half with 5 changes for Panthers, and was mostly played in the Charlton half. However, Panthers struggled to get the decisive touch to put the ball in, despite the chances they created. Eventually, Josh Bird broke free himself to finish well, and get Panthers the draw.
It was a shame we couldn't quite get the 2 wins, especially after the hard work was done in part one of the game plan. The manager needs to take the wrap for the tactics :). Needless to say, Josh Bird picked up player of the week for his contribution and goals going forward.
Panthers travelled over to Whaddon Road to play Lakeside in what turned out to be the most emphatic win of the season so far.
The game started brightly with Panthers having the pressure, and that went on to be the story for most of the game. Shun-Ta Cheong broke down the right wing and crossed to Austin Plemel who turned and shot just wide of the post. However, Austins next effort resulted in the opening goal of the game. This time cutting in from the left flank, Austin shot along the floor from the left edge of the area, and beat the keeper at the near post.
Panthers continued to create chances, before netting the second of the game. This came from Ben Murphy breaking out of midfield, and as he drew defenders toward him, he played the ball through the middle for the on-rushing Josh Bird to go one on one with the keeper, placing a shot into the corner. HT 2-0.
The second half continued the same way. Anna Barnes played a ball down the left to Josh Bird, who cut inside the last defender, and floated the ball into the opposite corner for his second of the game. Then Josh turned provider, releasing Toby Scott down the right wing, whose cross come shot, beat everyone and dropped under the bar for 4-0.
Some great closing down by our forward players, put pressure on the Lakeside keeper, who lost possession, allowing Ben Murphy to roll the ball over the line of an unguarded net. Finally Josh Bird completed a deserved hat-trick with a goal of his own making, coming in from the right flank and drilling the ball across the keeper.
Lakeside did manage a couple of corners, and a free kick on the edge of the box, which Josh charged down, but other than that, the game went all the way of the Panthers.
Everyone played really well, so the player of the week award, quite rightly went to Josh Bird for his hat-trick.
Panthers entertained Cleeve Colts at Parton Park for a friendly fixture, played over 4 x 15 min periods.
This was the ideal opportunity to give some of the players who are not registered for the league, a run out.
The opening 5-10 minutes of the game was mostly Cleeve pressure, with Panthers not keeping to position and given possession away easily when they had it. This led to one break of 3 away players through on goal, but Ethan managed to save.
After 10 minutes or so, Panthers started to find there feet, and get some good forward moves going. Luke Thurston prodding he ball goalward, which was saved, and the rebound from Robin just wide. Charlie Holliday drilled a cross which almost went in the near post, but that was saved too. Luke also had three more efforts in the first period, but couldnt quiet beat the keeper. One of which rebounded to Anna Barnes whose shot was also saved by the keeper.
However Panthers continued to leave themselves exposed, and a second break away leaving 3 players through on goal resulted in the opening goal for Cleeve.
Cleeve doubled their advantage in the 2nd period, in which the play was much more even, by a freak goal. A ball was launched foward from a Cleeve midfielder from about 5 yards into the Panthers half, and dropped into the far corner of the net. 0-2.
Panthers best chance in this period fell to Charlie Holliday. Robin Hanman broke down the right, outpaced the defence and drilled the ball across the box. The keeper half got a hand to it, but it went through to Charlie at the far post, who swang a boot, but missed the ball completely.
In the 3rd period Panthers came to life. Ethan Streatfield had a change from playing in goal, and tested their keeper early, before Ben Murphy smashed home Panthers first, after being played in by Luke Thurston. Ben almost added a 2nd, when a shot from a bit further out, hit the post and bounced straight into the keepers arms.
Tom Mason and Robin Hanman were linking up well, and following some good work down the right, Tom slid the ball in for Robin to finish high into the net. 2-2.
Later in the game, Cleeve got themselves back in front, when a shot went straight across the box to another player to tap in at the far post. But Panthers kept on coming. Charlie hit the post, and a James Bennett flick missed the goal by a fraction.
Eventually, in a goal mouth scramble, the ball was free for Ben Murphy to lift over a floored keeper, to level 3-3.
The result was about right, and it was a good run out. The score maybe kept down, by a very good keeper at the Cleeve end. There was some great forward play at times, but mirrored by some defending that can be worked on! While he didn't get his name on the scoresheet (quite), Luke showed some great awareness and positional play to give himself the opportunities that he did have. Luke had a good game, and earned himself player of the week.