The Young Farmers started the new league season in fine form, as they cruised past Odd Down U18 to secure all three points at The Creek, writes Richard Lloyd.
Following their FA Youth Cup exit last week, the Young Farmers were keen to make an impression in their opening league game and it was evident from the opening exchanges, they were going to take the game to the opposition.
In the 16th minute, following some clever wide play, the Odd Down forward attempted to strike from range, but this was well blocked by the returning Allen. From the resulting loose ball, Pollinger played in Jenkins, who glided past the the Odd Down full back and curled the ball into the top corner. 1-0 Manor Farm.
For the next 20 minutes, the Odd Down players did an excellent job of congesting the midfield and attempted to breach the Manor Farm defensive line with the long ball, but Courtier and Captain, Stenner, were diligent and consistently neutralised the threat.
With around 10 minutes to play before half-time, Ponsillo moved into top gear and linked up with the proficient Cummings to play some exceptional football and the Odd Down defence had to work overtime to stop him from scoring.
At the beginning of the second half, Odd Down earned themselves a free kick around 30 yards from goal. The Odd Down midfielder opted to square the ball to his team mate, who produced a wonder strike from range to level the game. 1-1.
The Young Farmers responded immediately, lifting the tempo of their play to completely outmanoeuvre the opposition. In the 52nd minute, devastating Number 10, Thomas, sailed past the first Odd Down centre back and sent the second the wrong way, before drilling the ball home to restore the lead. 2-1 Manor Farm.
The Odd Down penalty box was now under siege, with Tierney and McCarthy peppering the flanks and Thomas very much in the mood, as the Young Farmers searched to add another.
In the 56th minute, a move started by McCarthy was completed when Ponsillo squared to Jenkins to increase the lead. 3-1.
Odd Down threw players forward almost straight away, in attempt to get back into the game, but Turner did an excellent job of regulating play and transitioned the ball into the attacking third with pace.
In the 70th minute, Odd Down cleared the danger, only to lose possession to Selwood, who’s perseverance would be rewarded, when he drove the ball into space and hammered the ball past the Odd Down goalkeeper. 4-1.
A flurry of opportunities followed, but Odd Down resisted well and continued to play some good football. However, in the 80th minute, an attempt to switch play was intercepted by Jenkins, who beat his opposite number for pace and fired home to complete his hat-trick.