Sat 05
Under 18s
Whitworth Valley
H Campbell-Hurst (27'), G Ellenteme (41')


By Wayne Gates
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Whitworth Valley came to The Skool and left with all three points in the heat..

The 3-3 draw in Worsley on Wednesday night definitely gave Darren and Gaz plenty of optimism for this one - but it was going to be another tough challenge for sure. Because today was going to see us welcome 4th in the table Whitworth Valley to The Skool and we knew we would have to be right at it if we wanted at least a share of the spoils here. Not only that but we were going into this with a bare eleven - so it was going to be hard to say the least. And another factor to add in was the fact that it was about 80 degrees out there as we arrived and with the Wanderers Tea Bar in full flow, the welcome of a cold drink was very appealling. The scene was set. The players of both sides were here. Now let's get this on...

There wasn't much need to warm up really - but a few stretches would have been nice - and as the lads gathered to find out their positions, one thing was clear. It was great to see Connor back in a Wanderers shirt and after a lenghty time away, we were pleased to have him back amongst the ranks. Tomy was starting in net with a back four of AJ, Reece, Zack and Ryan T in front of him. The midfield quartet was made up of Jack, Tyler, Harry and Germaine and the top two that were there to fire the bullets saw Connor partner Harvey. That was it. You boys have to do the business now. The drinks were drunk with gusto and as many of them made sure their hair looked nice, they entered the pitch ready for action...

The opening exchanges saw both sides trying to get the ball down and play - but it was obvious that the weather was going to play it's part here today. It was blistering and as the game wore on, we were going to be running on empty. And that's exactly how it proved to be. The away side raced into a three-goal lead - but we slowly clawed our way back and a neat finish from Harvey saw him add to last week's debut goal to see us eat into their lead. 1-3 and was that the start of the comeback?

All of the faithful home fans thought it really was back on when Germaine then scored another screamer to see the score go to 2-3. He picked the ball up in the middle of their half and dribbled it towards the left-hand side of their goal - beating at least three Whitworth defenders in the process - before arrowing his shot back across where he came from and beat their keeper from about 22 yards out. It really was a great finish - and we were definitely back in this now...

Half-time: BREIGHTMET WANDERERS AFC 2-3 Whitworth Valley Juniors

Darren and Gaz got their troops in quickly and reminded them that they just needed to do the right things now. We proved we could get into them and we just had to be clever now. That sunshine was going to zap us now and with them having the option of freshening things up at regular intervals, we needed to converse energy, make the right runs and play the right passes. We have it in us - we proved that in midweek - so this was going to need a big 45 minutes now. The drunks were again drunk with a passion and they were back out there ready to go again...

The next 45 minutes are worth not typing about really though. As expected, the legs began to get heavy and the visitors showed us why they are riding high in the table. Despite some massive efforts from our back-line, the energy and the drive of the Whitworh strikers was making it hard for us to keep up with. They managed to grab their fourth and then their fifth goal before proceedings ended - and when the final whistle was blown, in truth everybody just wanted to get out of the glaring sun...

The fist-pumps were done with pride and as the lads came in, the coaches just told them that we can forget this one. It was always going to be tough and the odds were stacked against us from the off - but the players involved out there did their very best to compete and that's all that we can ask for. We travel to Astley & Tyldesley Tigers next weekend so as long as we do it again, then every Wanderer will be happy...

Onwards and upwards. This squad have already declared that they want to take The Wanderers into u21's football - so with the addition of a few new faces, things are looking promising for the future of these lads. And we can't wait to see it. Let's get this one down first yeah?


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Match details

Match date

Sat 05, Jun 2021


Reece Brooks

Player of the match

Reece Brooks