If spirited comebacks and battling performances counted for victories, Chatteris Town Under 18’s would currently be in a very promising position. But a winless league season was compounded by an agonising penalty defeat in the Youth Cup to local rivals March Town United U18’s, after a thrilling 4-4 draw where 120 minutes of pure effort did not disappoint the West Street crowd.
From now, though, what can The Young Lilies do to end their unfortunate campaign on a high?
Scoring goals does not seem to be the main issue, but conceding is a weakness. Although Julian Young’s team have netted 12 in the last five league and cup games, they have leaked 16, which has to be improved upon if they want to finish on a positive note. Compared to the 48 conceded in the league alone so far, the award for the worst backline might not be a way off. Strengthening on defensive frailties may not be considered as important as attacking threats, but in Town’s case, this should be valued as a key aspect to be worked on.
Consistent skill and quality. Seen in some instances, but not enough shown. Even though there have been some bright sparks that light up the play, there is still a dull patch that has overshadowed the youth team’s displays this term. To compete with the rest, there has to be a mentality to prove your worth, which is something that has been uncommon on the pitch for many. Teamwork is vital in football, at any level, but this seems to be a long-term struggle, with most players on different wavelengths and sometimes out of position. Three points cannot be achieved if a team does not regularly play like one.
The desire to win should boil within every player who steps onto a football pitch. In the cup, this was clearly apparent; winning tackles, getting stuck in where it matters. In the league, it’s a different story. Not because of their position in the table, but seeing the general attitude of the side. Even when fighting to stay in the match or for a point, the belief does not seem to be shown, and this has to be a commodity if Young’s men are to come back stronger.
If something will be won for Chatteris Town Youth this year, it should be the enjoyment of victory, not the wooden spoon.