Amazingly this weekend’s game was on after a months worth of rain fell in just 48 hours as the resemblance of super storm Sandy visited Northern England, Clifton Rangers also play on the highest ground in the world at least 4,000 feet above sea level and to combine that with the smallest pitch ever (quite clearly the same pitch used for 7 aside) along with hurricane winds, this was always going to be football for the hardy rather than the purist. With Clifton Rangers occupying one place of the bottom the management team decided to give some of the fringe players their opportunity to start a game and impress.
Rico st Hillarie Jack Curran Aidan Wilkinson
Rarman Kirkel Jacob Costello Luke Broadbent
Billy Farley Cain Wilkinson
Subs Alex Macdonald Harry Smith and Briayar Azad Maghdeed
As temperatures dropped below -2 with a wind chill factor making it nearer -50 the game kicked off bang on 10:00. The game started at a frantic pace with both teams struggling with the conditions (and to be fair it kept them warm) and for the first time this season the young lions were on the back foot and conceded first on 8 minutes. The home team worked the ball well around the edge of the box before firing low into the corner giving Joe Moutell no chance. With a little bit more composure Clifton should have extended their lead missing two good opportunities as they played the elements better. But as the half wore on the young lions started to make inroads and create some chances of their own, and on 16 minutes Billy Farley found some space and delivered a great cross from which Cain Wilkinson coolly found the bottom corner. With half time approaching Luke Broadbent continued his good goal scoring form to fire home in a crowed penalty area to give the young lions a somewhat fortuitous half time lead.
With the wind and slope now in Almondburys favour the second half was just about one way traffic, the only problem to the players was the tiny pitch. Briayar Magheed warmed the palms of the goalkeeper with a stinging shot which the keeper did well to tip over, the resulting corner lead to 4 or 5 others as Almondbury camped in Clifton’s area and eventually the pressure told when both subs combined to make it 1-3 on 40 minutes. Within 5 minutes Harry Smith tapped home from another Jacob Costello corner to score his second and the team’s forth. With Alex Macdonald finding the perfect pass to man of the match Jacob Costello rounded off a superb display by netting the team’s fifth and final goal. The last few minutes passed without incident and much to the fans joy the referee blew up bringing an end to what was a very cold match for those stood watching.
Editor’s thoughts. Simple this week boy’s, great team performance in what were very difficult conditions and you didn’t let your heads drop when going a goal down. Special praise this week goes to Alex Macdonald who gives the same week in week out, does the dirty side of the game as well as the beautiful side, and the two boys up front who have now scored 40 between them owe much to this man’s vision and passing.
Chief Editor j.s