U-12 Strikers Shutout the Southend Blue Devils
On Tuesday night, the U-12 Chatham Strikers were finally back at home after a 3 game road trip. The game was likely their biggest of the season so far as they were hosting the 2nd place Southend Blue Devils, and were looking to maintain their hold on 1st place. Chatham lost the early season matchup in London 1 – 0 during a torrential freezing cold downpour in May, but redeemed themselves with a 1-0 this go around with London.
Chatham has not lost on their home field this season and came out attacking early on with many quality forays into the Blue Devils end. But neither team could generate much offence in terms of shots on net , as both sides showed why they are two of the stingiest defenses in the league, allowing less than a goal against per game. The 1st half ended in a scoreless tie and the game would likely now be a survival of the fittest to see who could withstand the heat and not wither in the sun.
After a few back and forth rushes, Chatham gained possession in the Southend half, and a stray clearance from a Blue Devil defender rolled out towards the Chatham Midfield. Logan Kucera pounced on the rolling ball and launched a high lob from a good 40 yards out towards the Southend goal. The ball kept sailing directly over the Southend goalie’s head and just under the crossbar for a 1 – 0 Chatham lead. It was Kucera’s league leading 7th goal of the season. Chatham would enjoy a few more scoring chances but could not get that 2nd goal to cushion their lead. Southend sent everyone forward in the last minutes of the game and pressured and trapped Chatham in their own end at times. Kaylee Boulley made some timely saves in the dying minutes to preserve her league leading 4th shut out and secure Chatham’s 1 – 0 victory and strengthen their hold on 1st place in the division.