Teams

Under 15s Park

Manager: Martin Payler | Head Coach: Mike Rice

Contact: Martin Payler p4ylr@yahoo.co.uk / mike.rice@circlecreative.co.uk

Under 15s Park

Contact 07917 877241

At Ashridge Park U14, it’s not just about football. It’s about life skills – respect, gaining confidence, teamwork, understanding nutrition and diet, gaining fitness and a lot of fun and laughs along the way, for both boys and parents.

Who are we??? ….Ashridge!

Head Coach
Mike Rice - FA Licensed Coach Level 1, Youth Award Module 2

Latest team news

Apr 06, 2019

Ashridge Dodge the Holiday Blues

Ashridge Park 4 Spencers Wood Hurricanes 3

Ashridge Scorers: Reg Ryan (2', 80' pen), own goal (19'), Dan Baker (77')
Star Player: James Riley

Another catch-up game this morning, with the original fixture having been called off due to snow in February. With the Easter holidays underway, the absences were significant: with Jack G, Antonio, Tayseer, Jamie and Dillon all missing, our attacking options were limited, but with Jack C returning for his first game of the term, and James Riley declared fit after multiple hospital visits for an infected insect bite, we were at least able to get eleven players on the pitch. Spencers Wood were also without substitutes, and they came into the game still in last place in the division despite some slightly improved results in recent weeks.

The goals started flowing right from the off, though not necessarily as a result of any quality football being played. In the opening minute, Spencers Wood attacked down the Ashridge left; the defence seemed to have numbers in place to deal with the ball into the box, but some indecisive play and a poor touch saw the ball ricochet across the area; Joe then fumbled the pick-up as the forward closed in, and the ball broke for a Spencers Wood player to turn it towards the goal, just beating the desperate attempt to clear it off the line. Ashridge levelled immediately; a break down the left saw Alex lay the ball off to Reg on the edge of the area, and Reg cut neatly inside a defender to open up a shooting chance, his swinging effort towards the near-post saw the goalkeeper get both hands to it, but only manage to push it into the net. Both sides continued full of attacking intent; for Ashridge, Marcus was playing almost as an auxiliary forward and saw plenty of the ball around the edge of the box, but the final pass for the home side kept going astray; whilst Spencers Wood were able to make use of the central spaces Marcus had vacated to launch some counter-attacks of their own. On eleven minutes they re-took the lead, winning a corner on the right which was swung in to the back post, where a free-header somehow found its way between Alex and the post he was guarding. Ashridge responded and found some searching balls through the Spencers Wood defence into the right channel were Bertie was making some good runs; however our diminutive no 7 lacks the pace of our usual forward line, and the defence was able to get back to recover the ball. Just before the half-way point of the half, Ashridge finally did put in an incisive move, with Reg finding Dan on the edge of the box, and Dan sliding the ball through for Bertie to check back and slot across the keeper, but the ball instead of nestling in the corner thudded against the post; Ashridge were slow to follow in, and Spencers Wood were able to hack the ball clear. Ashridge were level within a couple of minutes, though, a corner from the right was fired in to the box by Dan, eluding various players and squirming to the back post where Marcus got something on it, before a Spencers Wood player slid in and put the ball past his own keeper with Marcus waiting to pounce. 

Not much change to the pattern for the remainder of the half, with Ashridge pressing forward at regular intervals, but with Reg often dropping deeper to link play, very few clear-cut chances emerged; Dan perhaps having the best of them as he found his way through on the right of the box, but pulled his shot wide of the opposite post from a tight angle. Spencers Wood continued mainly to look for the long ball to launch counter-attacks, and Ashridge gradually started to get to grips with the tactic and clear their lines; although they nearly imploded again just before the break, when three chances to clear the ball were spurned, with the last breaking back off another Ashridge player to leave the Spencers Wood forward in on goal, fortunately his snatched shot skewed across goal and well wide. 2-2 at the break.

The visitors suffered a significant blow at the start of the second half, with their most reliable defender forced off with a shoulder injury, leaving them a man short. Ashridge pushed James Riley into central midfield with Marcus joining Jack C in the centre of defence. Ashridge became dominant, and play was encamped in the Spencers Wood half. There was an early sight of goal for Reg, as James Riley played the ball in behind the defence, but our top scorer slightly sliced his effort and it went wide of the right post; shortly afterwards the favour was returned, with James breaking through in the left channel but taking his shot early and missing to the right of goal. Other chances came and went: James broke free on the right of the box and fizzed the ball across the box, but too fiercely for Reg to get on the end of it; Bertie had a shot comfortably saved by the keeper; and Will had another effort easily saved after a corner broke to him in the box. All of this ended roughly half-way through the half with Spencers Wood taking the lead again from a rare attack, breaking with pace down the left, Ashridge seemed again to have covered the situation but the ball broke across the box and was forced home by the arriving forward, again just beating the despairing lunge from the last Ashridge man on the line. 

Ashridge continued to have the better of possession as they searched for a third equalizer, increasingly pushing either Jack or Marcus further up the field to supplement the midfield. Chances continued to come and go; Dan blazed over from a tight angle on the edge of the box; Reg also snatched at an effort from a similar position. Inevitably, the home team were vulnerable to swift counter-attacks as they pressed, and were grateful for some slightly wayward finishing from the no 9 who got into shooting positions on a couple of occasions but missed the target. With ten minutes to go, Ashridge had a strong shout for a penalty as Reg was felled as he cut inside from the right edge of the area, but the referee ruled it was just outside the box, and Reg fired the resulting free-kick over the bar. Bertie conclusively proved it wasn't his day when a corner from the right found Will, whose effort was blocked only for the ball to squirt out to Bertie on the left angle of the six yard box, and his first time volley on the turn looped up and hit the top of the crossbar. Finally with the clock ticking down, a lofted ball from the centre circle found Dan breaking into the box just right of centre, Dan held off the defenders challenge before slamming the ball into the top right of the net to level at 3-3. Ashridge continued to push forward, and in the final minute the ball was played again into the path of Dan's run on the right edge of the box, he headed the ball past the first covering defender and was about to do the same to the next man when the defender levered the ball away with his forearm - penalty given (to the audible disgust of the Spencers Wood staff and players). Reg stepped up and side-footed home centrally with the keeper diving away to the left. Barely time for the restart, and Ashridge scraped home 4-3.

For all the action and goals in this game, it was not a high quality affair, with too many misplaced passes and defensive errors heavily contributing to most of the goals. A relief then to come away with the points, rather than any huge satisfaction. Very good to see Jack C back in action after so long, and he gradually got himself back into the swing of match play with some good tackles and clearances, and some good carries out of defence. Good to see Bertie have the chance to play a full 80 minutes and he did his utmost to support Reg in the forward line today, getting into some good positions; he was most unfortunate to be denied by the woodwork twice. Dan was his usual energetic and influential self; whilst Will and Alex both did some good covering work when the central midfield pairing got into advanced positions. Today's star player recognition goes to James Riley for his second-half contribution from central midfield; he helped us to dominate the possession and territory in this period, and carved out some good opportunities for the team.

 

Oct 06, 2018

Ashridge Out In Shoot-Out Drama

Ashridge Park 1 Curley Park Rangers Spitfires 1  (pens 2-4)

Ashridge Scorer: Reg Ryan (60')
Star Player: Reg Ryan
Sponsor Performance Rating*: Chilli Massala - performance built gradually from a slow start to an intense finish
(*in recognition of our shirt sponsors, the Sultan Balti Palace)

A break from the league programme to take in a cup-tie coincided with a change in the weather; just as we arrived at St Crispins, the rain began to fall, and continued to do so with varying intensity throughout the game. Our opponents were an unknown quantity having transferred from the North Hants League this season - so although they'd been put in the division below us, there was no guarantee that they would be at a lower standard. We welcomed Jack C back to the side after injury and illness, with Tayseer being the one to miss the game this week.

We set up in our usual 3-4-3 formation with Reg, Jack C and Antonio leading the attack initially. The early exchanges were well-balanced, with both sides having opportunities to attack, and the Curley Park forwards showing some nice touches on the ball, and some good pace which kept and Alex and Tim busy on the Ashridge left, and James Riley on his toes to clear up behind them. Ashridge were first to go close, with Marcus feeding Reg on the left, but with angle rapidly narrowing his shot came back off the outside of the left-hand post and out for a goal-kick. Ashridge had plenty of possession in this period, but struggled to create clear-cut chances, with players delaying passes and running into traffic, or when they did release the pass they could not finesse them to find their target with sufficient accuracy. The threat remained at the other end, and became real on 15 minutes after Alex deflected a dangerous cross behind for a corner; a high delivery from the right to the back post found a queue of Curley Park players competing to turn the ball home.

The game remained well-contested for the remainder of the first half. For Ashridge, Reg fired over the bar on the turn after a corner was knocked down by the visitors' defence; whilst Jack G worked his way past a couple of defenders but didn't fully connect with his left-foot shot, which the keeper was able to gather comfortably. Curley Park responded with another sharp break resulting in a further corner on the left, and another good delivery was met with a smart clearing header from Jack G. Ashridge began to crank up the quality with Antonio taking over the right flank from Jamie and beginning to get some better passes into Reg and inside to Jack and Will, who also began to find Bertie in space on the left. An equaliser seemed inevitable when Bertie fed Reg in on the left of the box, Reg drove to the by-line and stood up a brilliant cross taking the goalkeeper and much of the defence out of play, but Mason got underneath his header and missed the target with the goal gaping. A defensive error then nearly let Curley Park in again, but the forward dragged his shot well wide with only Joe to beat; and then another through ball saw the visitors ask for a penalty when a player went to ground as he closed in on Alex's covering work, but the referee rightly ruled that the player had slipped and there was no foul. Ashridge responded again, and once again came close when a cross from the right resulted in a melay in the penalty box, but Ashridge just couldn't force the ball over the line before the keeper gratefully gathered. 1-0 to the visitors in a good contest at half-time.

Ashridge switched formation to 4-4-2 for the second period in order to have another look at the Marcus / Jack C partnership in central defence that had performed so well a few weeks back against Westwood. This allowed us to release James Riley into central midfield in the hope that we could begin to win the battle in that part of the pitch and put some serious pressure on the visitors' defence. So it was to prove, though initially James struggled to adapt to the new role and the restricted space available, and it was actually Dan alongside him who started to push us on to the attack with some good forward surges, whilst Antonio also looked lively getting forward on the right side of midfield. Marcus and Jack impressed again at the back, with Jack's physicality seeing off some of the threat the opposition had posed in the first half, with Marcus's reading of the game complementing this extremely well. James Roberts and Tim looked more comfortable in the wider full-back roles, and Ashridge were able to shut down the supply to the Curley Park forwards at an early stage. With James Riley beginning to impose himself and launch the ball forwards, Reg's pace was becoming a real threat to the visitors, and whilst they saw off a few moves well at the expense of throws and corners, an equaliser was beginning to look like it was just a matter of time. It duly arrived on the hour, as Marcus cut out a forward ball and played a pass over the top of the Curley Park back line; Reg raced onto it and beat the keeper to the ball, slotting it past him inside the left-hand post.

Ashridge really turned up the heat for the remainder of the game. Jamie returned on the left side of the midfield and the passes really began to find their mark; whilst Dan moved up front alongside Reg to give the Curley Park defence another threat to deal with. With Jack G now alongside James in central midfield, Ashridge dominated possession and chances flowed. A nice move developed down the right with James Riley, Antonio, Dan and Reg all involved; the ball finally being cut back to Antonio in space near the penalty spot, but unfortunately he leant back on the shot and blazed it over the bar. Reg tried his luck from the left angle of the penalty area but didn't quite get the height on it and the keeper was able to gather; before James Riley's free-kick from the right eluded everyone before being clawed away by the keeper with a last desperate lunge, with the return ball across the box also eluding everyone and squeaking narrowly wide of the right post. Jamie came closest of all as a slide-rule pass from Reg put him in on the left of the box, he cut back past one defensive challenge before seeing his shot cleared off the line - Jamie still claims it was in, but with no goal-line technology we will never know! Corners and throws came and went, and to their credit Curley Park defended very well under siege, making it to the final whistle at 1-1.

With no extra time, the game moved directly to the penalty shoot-out. Curley Park went first, scoring to Joe's right, before Reg levelled. Joe saved the next to his left, before Antonio placed his penalty high to the right of the keeper's dive giving Ashridge the initial advantage. The turning point was Curley Park's third penalty which thundered down off the crossbar but just had the forward momentum to bounce back up into the top of the net. Jack G couldn't convert Ashridge's third, and Jack C went too high with the fourth, so with Curley Park netting both of theirs the game was done.

A much-improved performance today, in what was a thoroughly entertaining game against spirited opponents, who had a good-humoured following too (always makes the game more enjoyable!). By the end we were utterly dominant, and I think had their been extra-time we most likely would have gone on to win. Clearly we are not quite scoring enough goals and remain very reliant on Reg to get those that we do score, so more work needed on support play and finishing in training soon! Call-outs for all those who took penalties today - not everyone was brave enough to step forward and those that did deserve the plaudits whatever the outcome. For the game itself, Marcus and Jack C impressed again with the central defensive partnership in the second half, and I'm sure we will try that combination again with James Riley beginning to get the feel for the midfield role by the end - just a bit more adjustment needed on the range of passing required there! Antonio showed some good qualities on the ball in the wide areas, but was pipped to the Star Player award by Reg - full of energy, he harassed the Curley Park midfield when not in possession, gave them plenty to worry about when he had the ball, and demonstrated some incisive passing (of the type we were working on in training last night) as well as getting his goal. So, to use a well-worn phrase, we can now concentrate on the league (!), starting next week at Spencers Wood.

 

Mar 23, 2019

Beating Hearts

Hearts of Teddlothian Lions 0 Ashridge Park 5

Ashridge Scorers: Reg Ryan (8', 22', 71'), Dan Baker (25'), Antonio Baciu (80')
Star Player: Alex Ayton

The last of our original scheduled fixtures (with four rearrangements to come) saw us take the long trip to Teddington once more to face Hearts of Teddlothian Lions. Over our past meetings fortunes have fluctuated, though few of the meetings have been close - Ashridge winning 4-0 twice at U12, only for Hearts to triumph 5-2 and 4-0 the following season. Hearts had clearly lost some influential players as well as their management team since our last meeting, and found themselves in the lower half of the table with six wins and ten defeats from their games so far; but they came into this game on the back of a good win at Berks County. Ashridge continued to suffer from availability problems in defence, with James Riley and Jack C injured and Tim unwell, so Will and Alex stepped into the full-back roles, with James Roberts and Marcus renewing their central defensive partnership previously seen in the 5-0 win at Pinewood.

The game started on a sightly lethargic note, with Ashridge winning the territorial battle, but not hugely pressurising the ball, whilst Hearts' passing was laboured, and allowed the Ashridge midfield and back line to pick off possession with relative ease. It took some five minutes for the visitors to find the next gear and build some pressure around the Hearts box, some nice passing ending with an under-hit shot from the edge of the area, which the keeper gathered without difficulty. On eight minutes Ashridge hit the front; again turning over possession just inside their own half, moving the ball quickly to the left flank where Dan beat one player before sliding a pass outside the last defender, leaving Reg to race into the box and slot past the keeper from a tight angle. Possession remained largely with Ashridge, though Hearts mustered a few raids of their own, which the Ashridge defence dealt well with on the whole, though a couple of corners were conceded needlessly (better communication needed!). From one of these, Hearts came close to levelling on the quarter-hour mark, as a solid header came in, but Joe reacted well, blocking the ball up onto the crossbar, and then gathering the rebound.

Ashridge pushed on again, and took complete control of the game in the middle part of the half. First Jamie played Reg in through the centre, and after leaving the defenders trailing in his wake, he slid the ball to the right of the keeper to find the net again. Three minutes later and Ashridge made it three, a solo effort from Dan, who wriggled free on the right flank, beat another man on the bye-line before slotting past the keeper from a very narrow angle. The rest of the half continued in the same pattern, with Hearts most dangerous player (the no 29) well shackled by Jack G, Dillon and Will on the Ashridge right, whilst Alex and Marcus dealt with all attempts to break through on the opposite flank. A couple more corners were just about dealt with, with one shot well over the bar being the only meaningful attempt on Joe's goal. At the other end, Ashridge continued to slice open the Hearts defence, but didn't find another finish - a couple of easy saves for the keeper, and a shot over the bar from Reg being the main incidents - and Ashridge reached the break comfortably in control at 3-0.

If the visitors were expecting a reaction from the home team after half-time, their worries were to prove unfounded. Hearts rarely penetrated in the second half, with the defence comfortably dealing with any potential threats, and instead Ashridge piled forward in the opening minutes of the half, with Jack and Jamie running at the defence from the central areas, and Tayseer and Antonio looking lively in the wide areas. The shooting was less special however, with several efforts off-target, and a couple more hit tamely at the keeper. Indeed, the closest Ashridge came to extending the lead was when the home keeper nearly spilled a corner over his own line, but he just grabbed the ball in time despite the Ashridge claims. The game then went through another tepid period where not a great deal happened, and only really awoke again in the last 15-20 minutes when Dan returned to the fray, this time up-front alongside Reg - this injected a bit more energy and threat into the front-line, and opened up spaces for Antonio to attack on the right, where Ashridge began to link up with more purpose. The goal-threat began to emerge again: first Reg was felled five yards outside the box on the left, and Antonio's free-kick was struck with pace but rebounded off the wall and the follow-up went wide; then with 15 minutes to go Dan was felled inside the box and a penalty awarded. An initial debate started between regular penalty-take Antonio and Reg who was on a hat-trick as to who was to take it, but both were then trumped by Joe, who decided he needed a bigger piece of the action and stepped forward despite the manager's admonitions. The spot-kick was down the middle and saved, but fortunately for Joe looped up in the air and spun out for a corner, preventing Hearts from taking any advantage of the unguarded net at the other end. Ashridge then nearly inflicted some damage on themselves when Marcus blasted a clearance straight at Alex's head, the ball rebounding for the Hearts right-flanker to try his luck, but he put the ball high and wide from a narrow angle. 

Ashridge dispelled any lingering doubts about the result in the final ten minutes. Dan again led a counter-attack from just inside the Hearts half, beating one player, out-pacing a second, and then tucking the ball to his left where Reg took it on and fired left-footed into the top left-hand corner for his own hat-trick and Ashridge's fourth. More pressure ensued around the Hearts box, and in the final minute, a clearance fell to Will on the right flank midway inside the Hearts half, and his lofted ball into the box was met acrobatically by Antonio, whose cushioned volley on the turn looped over the keeper and into the net to complete the scoring. No time for more than a couple of passes from the restart, and a satisfying 5-0 win for the visitors.

Not the stiffest challenge we've faced this season, but one negotiated in reasonable style. First mention must go to Reg, who has found the net with such amazing consistency this season, now up to 30 goals in 17 games, scored almost entirely in two's and three's. Alongside him, Antonio is hitting new peaks of form in recent games, and is starting to look the player we initially thought he would be when he joined us at U11 level. Dan and Jack G (plus Jamie in the second half) were crucial in this victory, getting through a massive workload and injecting the energy we needed to make the result so comfortable in the end; Dan in particular played a crucial part with a goal, two assists and winning a penalty into the bargain. Given the absence of so many of the usual back line today, particular credit must go to the back four; great that they claimed our second clean sheet of the season. Marcus and James Roberts both did what we have come to expect of them: Marcus is so good at reading situations and covering for others who have had to move out of position to challenge for the ball; James is a battler who wins so many challenges, and is also starting to use the ball really well when won. But my main praise today goes to the two deputy full-backs: Will has had to do this a number of times recently and on every occasion has done the job wonderfully well; great positioning, good determination in the challenge, and excellent distribution (really nice to see him get an assist today). The star award goes to Alex, who is less familiar with the role, but filled in admirably in this game, getting in some headed clearances, many good blocks and tackles, and who managed to find a pass at the end of it when it was on, or an emphatic clearance when not. It is some credit to him that we barely missed Tim's solid presence today.