On a tight pitch that had a reasonably good surface our boys started like they meant business against a Wilmslow side that we had drawn 3-3 with at home a month ago. With the midfield three of Nathan H, Ryan H and Thomas Da controlling all the first and second balls and Thomas H being a constant threat with his pace and excellent movement it was just a matter of when we scored not if. After Thomas H was unfortunate when a right foot thunderbolt rebounded back off the post the honour of scoring fell to Thomas Da when after Ryan H won the ball in midfield the ball broke to him and he hit a beautiful right footed shot that nestled in the corner of the net.. This was no more than the boys deserved and they led 1-0 at the end of the first 20mins.
The second 20mins started with us yet again being in the ascendency and with some better finishing and improved decision making in the final third we would have extended our lead. Against the run of play Daniel W was bright and alert to make two excellent saves to preserve our lead at the end of 40mins.
The final period began and playing downhill Wilmslow started to come more into the game and Thomas Dy and Thomas M had to be alert and lively to make a couple of excellent tackles and blocks to keep our lead intact. They started to throw caution to the wind by pushing three up front at times and playing the ball long. We were coping with this admirably and indeed created 4 or 5 good opportunities with the best of them being after a fine shot from Thomas H, which the keeper did well to parry, the 'sniffer' Thomas Da was alert enough to be on hand only to place the rebound over the bar.
Yet again with time running out the boys had the misfortune to concede an equaliser when a shot from outside the area took a deflection to deceive Daniel W and make the scoreline 1-1. Both teams now pushed forward in the hope of a winner, although we had a couple of long range efforts which just missed the target we had to be thankful that Daniel W made a fabulous save in the last minute to ensure the game ended 1-1.
The referee, who had an excellent game, came over after the game and said it was a pleasure to referee such an outstanding game for U9s and that we were unfortunate not to come away with all 3 points.
All the boys contributed to a fine team performance, with yet again many chances created. The structure of the team and some of the combination play was excellent, we just need to have a little more composure and improve our decision making when in sight of the opponents goal (Will come with age I'm sure of it !!). One thing is for sure we are going to give someone a real hiding when we do get it right.
For his concentration, when he had little to do early on, and for his outstanding saves during the second and third periods (in particular the last minute save) the man of the match was Daniel W.
Urmston Meadowside Bulls away next Saturday kick off 9.30am then a Sale Communities tournament on Sunday at Sale High School.