Despite not playing in four weeks, Berkhamsted Raiders Under-12 Greens gave a dominant display – particularly in the second half – in their 6-1 victory over mid-table Cassiobury Rangers.
The first goal came after nine minutes as Raiders made the sort of fast start that has been key to so many wins this season. Beau Kempster hit a deep corner and Zac Wallis made a perfectly-timed run to fire an unstoppable header.
If the opening goal was about power, the second after 18 minutes was about intricacy. Liam French received the ball just inside the Rangers half, jinked twice to avoid tackles before calmly sliding a pass through the narrowest of gaps between two defenders. Top scorer Finnlee Ferguson anticipated it and coolly rolled the ball under the advancing keeper.
Six minutes into the second half it was 3-0 when Noah Dix flicked on a throw-in and Charley Hardy swivelled to score with a dipping half-volley.
In the 44th minute, Cassiobury failed to deal with one of many probing Raiders crosses, and Kempster swept the ball in for 4-0.
The visitors pulled one back but Raiders made it 5-1 in the 55th minute with probably the goal of the day. Kempster got away down the right and hit a cross which dropped about 12 yards out. French met it first-time on the full, volleying the ball with the outside of his boot from a narrow angle and hit it so sweetly it was in the back of the net before the keeper had time to move.
There was time for one more, when Marcus Aspell intercepted a goal-kick and calmly stroked a pass into Ferguson, and he lobbed the keeper.