MADRID NERVOUSLY EDGE PAST COOKHAM DEAN TO THE KNOCK OUT STAGES"
Friday April 10th 2009 became a historic date for Cookham when Cookham
Dean's Under 12 Football Team took to the field at the floodlit Alcala De
Henares Stadium to play Athletico Madrid's Academy.
The Athletico team enjoyed a two year age advantage which
brought with it a distinct physical presence with a number of their boys
towering at 5ft 10 ins plus. These imbalances did not weigh on the minds
of the Cookham boys as they matched their European opponents trading
tackle for tackle.
Athletico were happy to engage in the "dark arts" of shirt
pulling and elbowing which Cookham took as a compliment and a sign that Athletico
were not having everything their own way. Such tactics were directly
responsible for Athletico taking the lead when one of the Cookham
defenders was elbowed in the groin which took him out of the passage
of play from which Atletico took the lead.
The Cookham boys responded positively to this setback continuing to
frustrate their continental opponents with the Cookham defense and
midfield repelling wave after wave of attacks. It was not until the last
ten seconds of the match that Athletico settled the tie scoring with the
last kick of the game.
The final whistle blew and all of the Cookham Dean boys left the field
with their heads held high to the applause of the Athletico
supporters who formed a "line of honour" for the Cookham
team.These Spanish supporters knew they had been involved in a tough match
as the Cookham boys refused to yield to an Athletico team with such a