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Downton U16s 3-2 South Wonston
Testway League, Saturday 21st April 2018
The U16s completed the season unbeaten - an amazing achievement in their first season together - with a hard fought win over South Wonston.
The visitors were the first to score, a cracking shot past keeper Sam Proudfoot, and the Robins found themselves in a very unfamiliar position, 1-0 down at the break.
A towering header from Dylan Gilchrist, his first goal of the season, after a perfect cross from Ronnie Weeks, brought the Robins back level, before Ronnie hit the perfect shot into the corner.
Another goal from the Robins put them three up - the ball bouncing off of Brad Walters from a keeper clearance and into the net. They were then hugely unfortunate not to go further ahead after Jo Whale hit a free kick across the box, Freddie Smith drove it from 25 yards right onto the crossbar.
The visitors, who had played fantastically well throughout, grabbed a goal back late in the game, but the Robins hung on to record their 14th win of the season. Given how well they played, it was fitting that South Wonston were the only team to take points off them earlier in the season in 3-3 draw.
Huge congratulations to the boys, invincibles in their inaugural season. And a massive thank you to all of the teams in the division - while the Robins managed to go through the season without losing a league game, there were some very hard fought wins and some fantastic football played by our opposition throughout. All are a credit to the Testway league with their talent and application. Good luck to all for next season.
MOTM: Ronnie Weeks
Worthys U16s 0-8 Downton U16s
Testway League, Saturday 17th March 2018
The Robins got back to winning ways in emphatic fashion, scoring eight goals in an action-packed game.
With the snow starting to fall, it took 15 minutes for Downton to start the scoring. Top scorer Lee Johnson slotted home after a wonderful through-ball from Felix Woodroffe, before Freddie Smith followed up his own corner to put the Robins two-up. Fred turned provider, again for Lee, cutting through the middle of the pitch to slot home with aplomb.
Despite the snow settling, the boys turned up the heat in the second half, Freddie grabbing his second ahead of Lee grabbing his hattrick, latching on the ball after fine work from Marley Ortner. Ronnie Weeks got on the action, grabbing Downton's sixth after more good work by Fred, who then scored his own hattrick, heading in from a cross from the impressive Felix. Fred also got in on a hattrick of assists, threading the ball through for Theo Sawyer to grab Downton's eighth goal.
MOTM: Freddie Smith
Downton U16s 0-6 Braishfield Bees
Testway Cup, Semi-final Thursday 8th March 2018
Downton U16s finally came unstuck against first division leaders, Braishfield Bees, in the semi finals of the cup.
With most players available but perhaps with not enough games recently, the Robins started well - Lee Johnson having an opportunity to open the scoring - and for the first 20 minutes or so, the teams were evenly matched.
But the experience of Braishfield, who haven't lost a game for over a year, started to show, with 3 goals either side of half time. It was encouraging to see the Downton lads continue to put huge effort into the match and not let their heads drop too much. Given that this is their first season together, their efforts in winning their league and reaching the semi-finals of the cup shouldn't be overshadowed by one match - and clearly Braishfield are a strong and talented team.
With many of the U16s now eligible to pay for the reserves, there will be much more to come from the vast majority of the players, and they can hold their heads up high given their excellent progress this season.
MOTM: Bradley Walters
Downton U16 9-0 South Wonston
Testway Cup, Quarter-final, Saturday 3rd February 2018
The Young Robins turned on the style in a well-earned quarter final cup victory over South Wonston.
It was a free-kick from the returning Bodhi Fearne, dropping to top scorer lee Johnson that started the scoring off in the tenth minute. Felix Woodroffe, wearing the Captain’s armband, stooped to head home a cross from Adam Castle on the 24th minute, and Lee again struck just before the stroke of half time.
The second half was all very much Downton. First off, Freddie Smith scored an outstanding goal from 25 yards, curling the ball right into the top corner.. Adam got on the scoresheet following one of his customary runs, before Lee went even better with his next goal, latching onto a pass from the impressive Max Allen to crack the ball in from the edge of the area – almost certainly the best goal scored this season.
Having got his hattrick, Lee then thread the ball through to Freddie for his second. Lee then grabbed his fourth, and the team’s eighth, another assist from Max. Finally, Ali Cruz hit yet another fantastic goal, lobbing the keeper from all of 30 yards.
The boys played with a real freedom, enjoying their football against a South Wonston who are clearly one of the better teams in the league. On the day, though, they simply couldn’t handle an impressive midfield trio of Fred, Felix and Joe Whale. The manner in which both Max and Theo Sawyer rampaged down the wings created a number of opportunities, and great space, for Ronnie Weeks, Adam and Lee. The defence of Bodhi and Tom Softley were resolute – and goalkeeper Sam Proudfoot, often the unsung hero, was solid throughout, gaining another clean sheet.
Clearly, for both the quality and the quantity of his goals, Lee Johnson was the standout player in a standout team. The next round will see the Robins up against one of the higher teams in the first division, and the boys are no doubt looking forward to the test.
Man of the Match: Lee Johnson
CK Andover 0-9 Downton U16s
Testway League, Saturday 27th January
Downton's under 16s grabbed the league title in style - impressive throughtout their inaugural season, the championship theirs with a handful of games left to play.
With captain Bodhi Fearne out through injury and Felix Woodroffe starting on the bench, the captain's armband went to Freddie Smith. Adam Castle got the goals flowing in the 7th minute, knocking in a cross from Ronnie Weeks, and again in the 10th, this time taking advantage of a wayward shot from Lee Johnson.
Adam returned the favour for Lee to score in the 11th minute, before Joe Whale scored from a cracking freekick; Ronnie rounding off the goals after Lee drilled the ball across the penalty area.
The boys clearly settled down a little after the break and it wasn't until the 60th minute where first Lee and then Ronnie added to the tally. Freddie pulled the ball back for Theo Sawyer to tuck away his fourth goal of the season.
And in the final minute came the moment of the match, epitomising just how close this team has become. Theo was awarded a penalty for a clear foul in the box and Fred was left with the decision on who should take the kick. The management team were thrilled when he handed it to Marley Ortner, who promptly stepped up to score his debut goal for the Robins.
A fine win against a competitive CK Andover and an apt way to grab the league title. No time for drawn out celebrations though - the quarter final of the Cup awaits!
MOTM: Theo Sawyer
Worthys U16s 0-4 Downton U16s
Testway League, Saturday 13th January
Downton Under 16s cemented their position at the top of the table with a hard-fought win over Worthys, despite a number of key players missing.
Adam Castle scored a fine solo effort in the 13th minute, seeing his cross-shot bounce off the keeper and into the net. Top scorer Lee Johnson followed this up 8 minutes later, striking from the edge of the box after fine work by Bradley Waters.
Dylan Gilchrist was enjoying his outing in the center of midfield, and laid on Adam's second goal in the 55th minute. And it was Dylan again who played the ball into the area for Bradley Waters to get this first goal in a Downton shirt.
MOTM: Bradley Waters
Downton U16s 3-0 Amesbury Youth
Testway League, Saturday 6th January
The Under 16s won a key game against a decent Amesbury side which puts them in pole-position at the top of the table.
For the first time in several weeks, Downton were able to put out their strongest team, with Ed Nash returning to the side, while new signing Bradley Waters starting on the bench.
Top scorer Lee Johnson got the Robins off to a fine start, scoring from an Adam Castle pass in the 14th minute, before being teed up by Bradley, following strong work by Freddie Smith and Tom Softley, for a great shot on the edge of the area.
The Robins could've gone further ahead - Joe Whale flashing a strike just wide, while Fred hit the cross bar towards the end of the half.
Lee grabbed his hattrick in the 52nd minute, his third hattrick of the season, taking him to 20 goals - a great performance today, with Jeff Sofley picking out Tom Softley for his work rate at the back.
MOTM: Tom Softley
Downton U16s 4-2 Lyndhurst U16s
Testway League, Saturday 2nd December
The Robins returned to the league in the second game against Lyndhurst in as many weeks.
The boys started tentatively, finding it difficult to get a hold of the game, until Ali Cruz crossed in for Lee Johnson to score in the 25th minute. And it was Lee again, this time getting onto the end of a ball from Theo Sawyer, who put the Robins two up 10 minutes later.
Adam Castle, on his own scoring run, grabbed the third for Downton in the 52nd minute thanks to a ball from Ronnie Weeks and while that should've been game over, the boys then relaxed and let the visitors back into the game, with two goals in the 65th and 70th minute.
Nerves started to show, and weren't settled until Felix Woodroffe set up Lee for his hattrick and another win for the still unbeaten Under 16s
MOTM: Freddie Smith
Lyndhurst U16s 0-2 Downton U16s
Testway Cup, Saturday 25th November
The Under 16s went through to the next round of the Testway Cup in the first of a double-header against Lyndhurst.
Adam Castle opened the scoring in the 5th minute, knocking the ball in after Lee Johnson broke away down the right. That was the only goal of the first half that neither team managed to dominate, both having opportunities to grab a goal.
In the second half, it was Adam again who gave the Robins a 2-goal cushion - a stunning strike from 40 yards out, dipping into the goal and giving the host's keeper no chance.
With only two division 2 clubs making it through to the next round, there'll be another tough test for Downton in the coming weeks.
MOTM: Adam Castle
Downton U16s 2-0 Amesbury
Testway League, Saturday 18th November
The Robins came up against one of the sterner tests of the season against a sold Amesbury team.
Chances were limited for both teams - top scorer Lee Johnson getting on the end of a pass from Adam Castle to open the scoring in the 9th minute. Both keepers made good saves during the remainder of the first half, with Freddie Smith pulling the best chance for Downton wide of the post.
Just a few minutes into the second half, Adam Castle went on a sensational run, easing past 5 players from within his own half to lay the ball on to Lee Johnson in the opponent's area, which Lee stuck away with his usual style.
Next up is the cup for Downton, against Lyndhurst.
MOTM: Felix Woodroffe
South Wonston 2-9 Downton U16
Testway League, Saturday 11th November
The Under 16s earned a fantastic victory over closest rivals South Wonston, with probably their finest display of the season.
With Ed Nash returning to the side, adding to a strong defence, and nearly all the squad available, the Robins went into the game with a great deal of confidence. So, despite finding themselves one down after a very uncharacteristic error from keeper Sam Proudfoot - who more than redeemed himself with a string of top class saves - the boys didn't let their heads dropped and were soon back on top after top scorer Lee Johnson grabbed a quick brace in the 13th and 15th minute, the second of which followed a long kick by Sam.
Ronnie Weeks added the third a few minutes later after a great pass by the impressive Ed Nash. Lee got his hattrick on the 33rd minute , latching onto a cross from Adam Castle, and Ronnie then added his second, and the team's fifth, again from Adam's fabulous passing.
South Wonston clawed one back after the break, but Downton kept coming. First Ronnie scored with an outrageous chip over the keeper, before Adam grabbed a well deserved goal after quick thinking by Lee Johnson.
Lee added his fourth, running through following a Tom Softley pass. And Captain Bodhi Fearne rose gloriously to head in his first goal of the season from another excellent corner from Freddie Smith.
The whole team was magnificent throughout - Bodhi noting Lee's fantastic scoring performance, while man of the match went to the returning Ed Nash, whose pace and awareness kept the dangerous Swifts at bay throughout.
MOTM: Ed Nash
Downton U16 7-0 CK Andover
Testway League, Saturday 4th November
Downton Youth continued their fine form with another excellent win over CK Andover.
The boys took 10 minutes to get themselves back into the flow of football, Felix Woodroffe scoring his first goal of the season from a fantastic free kick by Bodhi Fearne. Felix followed this up with a tap in from a Freddie Smith corner 5 minutes later. It's fair to say that the Robins could've put themselves further clear, with a number of chances going begging in the first half.
Adam Castle scored a fine overhead kick at the start of the second half before Ali Cruz and then Freddie Smith added two further goals. Freddie's cross was then met by Ronnie Weeks for the 6th - and Fred could've added another, his fine curling effort crashing back off the cross bar. Adam Castle squeezed in a 7th from a Joe Whale lay off.
With Downton's closest rivals, South Wonston, losing ground today, next week's fixture between the two teams will no doubt be defining for the season ahead.
Particularly noteworthy was Bodhi Fearne's all-round play, both in the centre of defence and as Captain. His calming presence and vocal encouragements were noted by the referee as a strong example of being Captain.
MOTM: Bodhi Fearne
Lyndhurst U16 1-3 Downton U16
Testway League, Saturday 14th October
The Under 16s went into half term break with a solid win against a lively and dedicated Lyndhurst team.
Leading scorer Lee Johnson opened the scoring in the first 5 minutes, and soon added another as the Robins threatened to run riot.
The energetic Ali Cruz came on for Lee after 30 minutes and it was his cross that was deflected between keeper and the onrushing Freddie Smith to put Downton 3-0 up.
With the midfield being well marshalled by the trio of Fred, Felix Woodroffe and Joe Whale, the Robins rarely looked in trouble in the first half.
However, in the second period, Lyndhurst looked revitalised and quickly grabbed a goal back, with the Robins' defence stretched one time too many.
Both sides had further chances - each of Fred, Joe and Felix all missing the target after good set up play - but the Robins ran out, still unbeaten and at the top of the league.
Both Captain Bodhu Fearne and Jeff picked up on Fred's work and impact, naming him man of the match.
MOTM: Freddie Smith
Worthys U16 1-4 Downton U16
Testway League, Saturday 7th October
The Under 16s remain unbeaten after a sluggish win over Worthys U16s.
The boys were possibly expecting a more straightforward game, and full credit to Worthys who set themselves up well and proved solid opposition.
Lee Johnson opened the scoring, nipping behind the defence from a long kick from Sam Proudfoot.
Downton then found an extra gear at the start of the second half, Adam Castle knocking in a great cross from Bodhi Fearne.
The home team managed to pull one back after a little bit of defensive disarray.
After what seemed like the 10th high quality corner of the match from Freddie Smith, Ronnie Weeks finally got on the end of one and buried it forcibly. Fred turned provider again, laying on Theo Sawyer to lift one over the keeper.
Sam Proudfoot was singled out by Captain, Bodhi Fearne, for his magnificent penalty save - twice in two games - while the manager gave his match aware to Dylan Gilchrist, starting his first game for the Robins and proving to be a solid performer throughout.
MOTM: Dylan Gilchrist
Downton U16 5-0 Amesbury U16
Testway League, Saturday 30th September
Dowton U16s continued their great start to the season with a stunning performance against a very effective Amesbury side that had also started the game unbeaten.
After having a goal ruled out for offisde, Ali Cruz started the scoring in the 9th minute, before Joe Whale took advantage of a goalkeeper error to tap in the second.
Lee Johnson smashed in a goal after a neat pass from Freddie Smith, before Ronnie Weeks hit another from a Joe Whale delivery to give the Robins a 4 goal advantage at half time.
Keeper Sam Proudfoot pulled off a stunning save from an Amesbury penalty. It was left to Theo Sawyer to put the icing on the cake, knocking in a fantastic free kick from Max Allen.
Not only was this the best performance so far from the players - an excellent footballing show from them all - but the Chairman also wanted to thank the coaches and parents for an fantastic response to the Silent Weekend request from the FA.
MOTM: Ronnie Weeks
South Wonston U16 3-3 Downton U16
Testway League, Saturday 23rd September
The Under 16s dropped their first points of the season in a fantastic match against a very strong South Wonston team.
The boys started a little bit nervy, still only their third game that they've played together. It was for Joe Whale, playing in an unfamiliar forward role, to open the scoring, cracking a shot in from the edge of the area.
This seemed to wake up the hosts, first scoring after a long through ball on the 28th before striking again after a run through the middle.
The players regrouped at half time and were soon in the lead - Adam Castle getting his first ever goal for Downton, then Ronnie Weeks adding his first of the season too.
South Wonston scored soon after Ronnie's goal to level at 3-3 and so it stayed - Adam having the chance to put the game to bed, but saw his stunnig strike rebound off the crossbar. A fair result, given the excellent all round play of both teams.
MOTM: Adam Castle
CK Andover U16 0-9 Downton U16
Testway League, Saturday 16th September
Downton Under 16s continued their winning start to the season with a resounding 9-0 win over CK Andover.
Despite a few first-teamers being unavailable, the Robins started well, Ali Cruz scoring his first goal of the season after ten minutes. Lee Johnson followed up with a cracking goal on 15 minutes, and Joe Whale showed off his dancing footwork to score the third on 21 minutes.
The floodgates were creaking as Lee Johnson added his second on 32 minutes, before Freddie Smith, in classic predator style to match his boots, scored an eight-minute hattrick either side of half-time. Lee then completed his hattrick on 60 minutes, before Theo Sawyer wrapped up the scoring with a well-deserved goal in the 68th minute.
The manager singled out Freddie Smith for his all-round play, including two assists and a hattrick, with the impressive Theo Sawyer gaining man of the match.
MOTM: Theo Sawyer
Downton Youth U16 1-0 Lyndhurst U16
Testway League, Saturday 9th September
The Robins got off to a winning start in a tough match; a historic occasion, since it was the first time in 112 years that Downton had put out an Under 16s team.
Captained by Bodhi Fearne, Downton started nervously, the team clearly getting used to playing for the first time together. With Freddie Smith and Felix Woodroffe playing in unfamiliar roles in the middle, the team were soon on the attack with first Adam Castle and then Lee Johnson coming close.
Lydhurst weren't without their own threat, yet Downton's goalkeeper Sam Proudfoot played solidly throughout - a no-nonsense performance, with both handling and footwork showing why great things are expected of him in the Downton set up.
The only goal of the game came from the ever-impressive work of Ronnie Weeks, feeding the prolific Lee Johnson whose goal was taken from the edge of the box with great aplomb - his, and Downton Under 16s, first goal in the red of the Robins.
Captain Fearne pointed out Ed Nash for his great work on either side of defence, while man of the match went to Felix Woodroffe, the rock of the midfield throughout.
MOTM: Felix Woodroffe