Today’s game was against fellow rivals Shafts Youth a team which seems to be our bogey side as currently we have never beaten them, a team full of young hungry players it was a must we was up for it.
The early signs were good, we created chances and looked threatening, after good build up play the ball made its way to Ryan Smith on the edge but his powerful shot just flew over the bar, then moments after that a corner was delivered in and Lee O’Donnell fired into the net but the ref rightly disallowed the goal for a foul in the build-up.
A first start in a long time for Liam Rose saw him nearly finish off a decent move but his effort was cleared away, Rose looked hungry in those first 15 minutes of early pressure from the Dell and looked as desperate as anyone to get us a goal.
That was as good as it got for a while as the rest of the half became a sort of backs to wall match without really being put under too much pressure.
Shafts dominated with the ball and their pressing was much more intense than ours, we just couldn’t get the ball down and find the right ball to our forwards.
But we defended well and can’t fault the lad’s effort it just seemed like we was second to every ball all over the pitch.
Shortly before half time a sickengly clash of head’s between a number of players saw Ryan Smith come off worse, first signs looked like just a bloody nose but on closer inspection on the side line and with Ryan desperate to come back on the decision was made when he gave me a distant look like he was somewhere else, James Thomas came on his place with 5 minutes of the half to go.
Ryan wisked away to Hospital to be treated for a suspected broken nose.
Half Time With the hill to our advantage this half the hope was we could finally force their keeper into making some saves or even better picking the ball out of the net.
Early doors seen Kieran Hamm booked for a poor challenge but seconds later he flashed a decent effort just wide of the post.
It was hoped this would spur us on but similar to the first that was as good as it got as Shafts continued to dominate with the ball and their youthful exuberance was causing us problems.
After a decent move they put a ball into our box and with it bouncing horribly Jason was called into action pulling off a great save the clearance from Sam Yates was also extremely good timing both players preventing a certain goal.
Minutes later the two was called into action again as a defensive mix up or lack of talking nearly cost us, as their striker found himself 1 on 1 with Jason, Jason pulled off a great save but with the ball looping over him it looked like it would creep over the line but Sam Yates made a great goal line clearance to keep it at 0-0.
With 20 left on the clock we was given a lifeline, their defender was given his marching orders as he decided to squeeze Kieran Hamm’s head with his Hands, sensing our chance to nick the win we changed formation slightly to give us more upfront but disappointingly we never tested the defence never mind their keeper as Shafts continued to dominate with the ball even with 10 men.
We could of nicked it at the end when Machin was put through only to blaze over when other players were screaming for the layoff but to be fair to Machin he was in a good position it was just his technique was bad.
So that’s how it ended 0-0, a better result for us than our opponents and fellow rivals who would have loved to have seen us lose so all in all not a bad day just another performance were we felt we should have done so much better.
Not very many good performance’s today but 2 notable ones were Sam Yates and Jason McLaughlin, M.O.M went to Jason for some superb saves to keep us in the match.