Sat 17
Under 18s
Bury FC Boys & Girls
L Robinson (18'), R Melish (22'), (57')


By Wayne Gates
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Darren and Carol's lads put in the effort - but it just wasn't to be...

With the new management team in charge, this morning was another chance for Darren and Carol to assess their troops - and this was going to be another tough challenge as Bury FC B&G were going to be the visitors to The Skool for this one. The rain had held out and as the coaches set off to the game, they were optimistic of their chances. With a few new faces - and some old ones - reappearing at training in the week, things are looking up for this lot - so today was going to be interesting...

As both teams completed their COVID checks - and the supporters did the same - the players were out there warming up and raring to go. Darren had decided to go with the usual 4-4-2 shape for this one - and with options on the bench, his starting 11 saw Tomy take his place between the posts with a defensive wall of AJ, Jack, Zac and Ethan Walsh in front of him, the plan was to stifle their attacks as often as we could. The midfield quartet was made up of Harry, Ryan Melish, Ethan Earnshaw and Layton and with Lewis and Corban up top, we had pace and power throughout the team. The 'Judy' was made up of Tom Berry, Jake and Ryan Taylor and as kick-off approached, the lads got themselves ready. All the coaches urged from their troops was that they worked hard for each other, battled for the ball and gave 110%. The referee - dressed in a striking pink - called the captains forward and in the blink of an eye, we were underway...

The game was a feisty one - with both sides playing gritty, determined football - and there were a few misdemeanours with players sin-binned and the visiting Manager joined by one of their parents being sent from the ground by the match official - but when the whistle at the end, it was the team in white that had claimed the points. Mainly down to their superior finishing - but also due to us losing our concentration for a critical period in the middle of the first-half that saw the Bury team score three good goals. Tomy was playing well in there - but their No.9 was awesome and his touch was on-point throughout the 90 minutes - and they raced away before we even got into the game. That said, we scored a peach of a goal when Lewis finished off a good move from down our right - but when the whistle went for the break, it was the away side that came in leading...

Our coaches then got about their troops during the interval - reminding them that they needed to believe in themselves a little more and not sherk out of challenges. We needed to move the ball about the pitch quicker and when we did have the ball, we had to provide options. There was still that bit of us reacting to the provocation out there - but it is a lot better than of late and the lads can be commended for that. If we could get the next goal, then this was back open - so the lads drank their drinks and were back out there ready to go again...

The Wanderers had a renewed vigour from the restart and when we did manage to get the ball behind their tank of a No.16 (he was huge and a really good player) then we were giving them something to think about. Darren had made some changes to the personnel and the greys pressed on trying to grab a goal. We did manage to notch another couple - but they weren't just any goals. Oh no! They were both stunners. We managed to win the ball deep inside our own half and in an instant, we had moved the ball out to the right, all across the pitch and back again - into the path of Ryan M - and he made no mistake in lashing it home from all of 30 yards out. A stunning strike that left their No.1 standing as it flashed past him..

We then managed to pull it back to 3-4 after more good work in our midfield saw the ball fed into the feet of Ethan Earnshaw. He dropped his shoulder to dummy his marker and he put his pass on a six-pence - to see Ryan charging forward. He managed to evade the last-ditch tackle that came in and calmly stroked the ball into the back of the net from about 10 yards out. A great goal and with the home fans dreaming of the come-back, we were right back in this now...

But the concerted effort being put in started playing in the leg muscles and as the game wore on, the fitness of the away side started to count. They were getting to every second ball before us and with the pace down their wings causing us issues, they managed to grab their fifth - and probably clinching - goal of the game. Pushing forward in search of an equaliser, we left ourselves a little short at the back - and they capitalised on it by surging forward and slamming the ball past a helpless Tomy to go 3-5 up. Surely that goal clinched the points...

It did. They did score another one before the final whistle but that crucial fifth goal had deflated us so when the referee decided he had seen enough and blew his whistle for the last time, it was the visitors that had claimed the victory - but we had given it a good go. In patches we had looked really good - but we need to do that for the full 90 minutes if we want to be successful. This was a start though and we had shown at least some fight and spirit to restore our pride. The elbow-touches were done with pride and as the players left the arena, it was the people making the journey across the A58 that were the happiest...

Ryan Melish was awarded the MOM for his tenacity and two great goals - and most of the lads can go home knowing that at times, they had at least matched these tough opposition. We will take that forward and when we come out again next time, we'll be looking for more of the same. When Wanderers TV managed to grab the boss, he had this to say: "Me and Carol are very proud of them all today. We had players missing due to work and other commitments - but overall we're becoming a 'team together' - and once we do that, the performances and results will follow. Onto the next one. We'll work them hard in training and with a few tweaks here and there, we'll come out raring to go again"

And with that, he was gone - and as The Skool emptied, that was it for another Saturday. A good effort from the lads - and we're proud of you regardless...


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Match details

Match date

Sat 17, Oct 2020




Ryan Melish

Player of the match

Ryan Melish