Year 8 travelled to Norton on the back of a much-improved performance against Pindar, with confidence high. The game started extremely well, with St Augs dominating the game in all the right areas, with the influential Luca Stuttard, Josh Marshall and Oscar Jennison playing some lovely football in the centre of the pitch. Kobi Malone was battering away attack after attack by the fast and skilful Norton players, and it was this combination that led to the lads almost taking an early lead.

Kacper Jura was rewarded with his fine form with a start up front, and was the battering ram that led the attack early on. Ed Chamberlain and Theo Dickinson were beginning to form a formidable partnership at the back, with their almost telepathic connection allowing them to sense danger before it had even happened. Patrick Jurcyzk looked like he had never been away after missing the previous game, and his tenacious tackling was clearly causing the Norton wingers some grief.

A lightning counter attack from Norton caught the defence completely by surprise, with the winger crossing the ball for the opposite winger to easily tap in, with no goalkeeper in the world preventing that, and the team were quick to gee up Niklas Smith in goal. Niklas became like a man possessed after that, rushing out with rapid speed to mop up any and all through balls that came his way. The wily Norton striker had sensed this however, and this time took an early shot, catching Nik off his line. 0-2.

Josh Marshall certainly had a point to prove, and his passionate rousing of the team led to superb build up play which found Josh in front of goal, and the keeper pulled off what can only be described as a worldie to prevent him reducing the deficit. Half time approached and St Augs were dominating again, desperate to find a way back into the game.

A slight injury forced Niklas Smith off just after half time, and Ed Chamberlain heroically stepped up, however with the dimming light and the end to end fashion of the game, Norton found a quick fire 3 goals to put the game seemingly to bed. Nik came back on, much to the delight of Ed who wanted to get back into the thick of it, as Oliwier Kobus had stepped into centre back, however we were missing his Rolls-Royce defending at left back, his speed preventing a great number of attacks. Max Jenkinson and Owen Browne were linking up very well down the left-hand side, with some quick interplay bringing Luca into the game to release the tireless Kacper and Oscar.

Harvey Correia and Mackenzie Close on the right flank were similarly providing a fresh burst of life, and the Norton players couldn’t cope with their composure on the ball and calmness when both defending and attacking. Luca was irrepressible in the centre of midfield, with his feet too quick for the often-clumsy challenges of the defenders, and a resulting free kick smashed into the back with a huge amount of force, which unfortunately became a theme of the day, and the game frittered out into a 9-0 loss. There were a huge number of positives to take from the game, and a few reminders to never stop giving up.