IHMFA at Ellesmere – 1
Oswestry School – 2
Date: Monday 18th September 2023
Competition: U19s League
IH Manchester football academy scorers: Joseph Lelong
The Ellesmere College players kicked off their fixtures on Monday with the first home game of the season.
Ellesmere welcomed Oswestry School to the college to play in the opening U19’s league fixture. Having only been 1 week since the players came back together and with new arrivals to the team included in the starting line up, it was always going to be a test for the players and the coaching staff. The visitors, having been together for pre-season for 6 weeks, started strong and were a physical side to come up against, in what was, for some of the Ellesmere players, their first ever game in the UK.
Oswestry broke the deadlock, going 1-0 up early in the first half. However, the Ellesmere side dominated most of the play, looking calm on the ball, and put into practice what they had worked on towards the end of last season.
The home side created a number of chances, but just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal until a freekick was awarded just outside the box and Joseph Lelong picked up the ball.
Joseph is one of the returning players this season, and towards the back end of last season spend a lot of time perfecting his free kicks. He willingly stayed behind after coaching sessions to put the extra work in. This all paid off when Joseph levelled the score line with a blistering strike from the free kick.
As the game went on, Ellesmere grew into it, continuing to dominate and create chances. However, a second half Oswestry goal, against the run of play, was enough to win the game for the visiting side sending Ellesmere to a 2-1 defeat in their first fixture of the season.
In what was a disappointing result, lead coach Brandon said:
“Whilst the result wasn’t what we wanted, the performance was a real positive, especially as we’ve really had less than a week to prepare, whereas they (Oswestry) have had a good few weeks together now to train and be ready.
We can take a lot from that game and performance. We were the better team in most parts of the game, but we just need to be more clinical and take our chances. It was great for Joseph to get on the score sheet, he’s worked hard at his free kicks, we saw that last season and I think we all knew what he was going to do as soon as he picked up the ball.
We will take a look at the game and prepare for the next fixture, we’ve only got a few days, so we have to learn quick and be ready to compete”
Ellesmere’s next fixture is on Wednesday 20th September in the U18’s ISFA cup V Merchant Taylors boys School.