Courtesy: FAWWales pipped at the post against England
With a photo finish deciding the Grand National at Aintree on the weekend just across the border in Deeside, North Wales the Welsh Futsal squad were involved in a dramatic finish to their International Futsal fixture.
England as a nation have been playing International Futsal for a number of years and recent results have seen them defeat Switzerland in a double header and narrowly losing to France. The game which was billed as the England Development Squad to assist the inexperienced Welsh squad with their preparations for the UEFA Futsal EURO qualifiers turned out to be a slightly more advanced test as the opponents fielded players from the full England squad with world cup qualifying experience under their belts.
In an impressive start to the game building on their previous performance, Wales started well, comfortable in possession under pressure and creating some good early scoring opportunities. Captain Eric Ramsay led the team well and Elliot Thomas orchestrated some good early attacks for Wales. The pace of the game was frantic and despite their early promise it was England that took the lead. Wales drew level with a Jonny Nelson set piece attack before England managed to take the advantage exploiting defensive mistakes by Wales which will frustrate the squad.
Both teams continued to create opportunities and England went on to score on three more occasions in the first period. Wales themselves managed to breach the England defence with an impressive strike from Tyrrell Webbe before Elliot Thomas also showed composure to place his shot past a number of scrambling England defenders. Wales could have scored further goals in the first half in particular through Tyler Mills who went very close despite being fouled in the process of trying to shoot in the penalty area.
The half time score was 5-3 to England but Wales looked confident that they could improve on this score line and build on the encouraging performance. The second half resumed and saw Wales concede again at the start of the period. Not to be deterred they responded and played very well to gradually claw back the deficit. Two goals from Dean Maynard made the game very close at 6-5 before Tyrrell Webbe scored his second to tie the game level at 6-6 with only 2 minutes of the game remaining.
Cue a dramatic finish and with Wales in the ascendance perhaps a lack of experience and time spent together as a squad Wales let this encouraging performance slip from their grasps. Whilst in good possession and surging forward Wales lost the ball resulting with England breaking away to score and dramatically take the lead with only moments remaining. Wales desperately tried to hit back and surged forward but to no avail. England managed to complete the win with a final goal in the dying seconds and secure the victory.
A highly entertaining game resulted in a very encouraging performance for Wales and a feeling of frustration at a missed opportunity. Some very encouraging signs against a number of Full England international Futsal players will give the young Welsh dragons confidence that they are on course to enter the International Futsal arena.Wales Team
1. Lee Jones
2. Eric Ramsay
3. Taylor Harding
4. Joe Dyer
5. Elliot Thomas
6. Tyler Mills
7. Gareth Delve
8. Matt de Cae
9. Jonny Nelson
10. Dean Maynard
11. Tyrrell Webbe
12. Luke Brimfield
Welsh National team (Photo courtesy: FAW)
English National team (Photo courtesy: FAW)
Wales vs England (Photo courtesy: FAW)
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari