Sat 22
Under 12's
W
-
L
League
Farnworth Hurricanes
N Flavahan (12'), (22'), (42'), E Loal (35')
*** THIS WAS MORE LIKE IT ***

*** THIS WAS MORE LIKE IT ***

By Wayne Gates
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Farnworth Hurricanes were the visitors to The Skool for this one...


The journey over to Ladybridge a fortnight ago proved fruitless - but the kids had played well enough to keep the mood good and as the morning skies provided us with a grey outline yet again, they had another chance to show their mettle. Farnworth Hurricanes were the visitors to The Skool for this one and as the coaches sipped on their first brews of the day, they were already pondering. Training had been good in the week - with the added benefit of securing the signature of MJ Entwistle from Bromley Cross - so Tim and Wayne knew that if their troops played to their full potential, this could be a good morning's work...

As to be expected, it was bleak - with the wind howling and the occasional flashes of side-ways rain - but as people started arriving, The Skool was already a hive of activity as our u10's had just won but it was down to business for us now and as the kids set about their warm-up's, there was a look of determination in their eyes. and when the starting 9 were announced, it saw us switch things slightly from that last outing. We were still going with a 3-3-2 formation that saw Davian once again take his place between the posts - but the three in front of him today were made up of Thomas, Jessica and Lucas. There was a starting place for debutant MJ in the midfield trio and he was joined by Ben and Rio and Niall was partnered by Saffron up front. The bench was as strong as it's ever been - with Ainsley, Davey, Emmanuel, Jamie, Ashton and Leo to choose from when needed - and as the teams made their final preparations, the crowd prepared themselves for a cracker of a game. They were not disappointed...

The opening exchanges saw both sides getting the ball down and trying to find a pass - but it was the team in red that were into their stride the quickest - and that man MJ saw two stunning efforts fly just off-target as he very nearly opened the scoring. The weather was definitely playing it's part though as the wind was swirling around the pitch and making the ball change direction - but the Wanderers kept pressing and it wasn't long before the visitors wilted to it. Ben took hold of the ball in the middle of the park and as he looked up, he spotted the run of Niall through the channel. At precisely the right moment, Ben slipped in an inch-perfect pass that meant our striker didn't even have to check his run and as their keeper advanced, Niall slotted his shot underneath him and into the back of the net. 1-0 and the Wanderers were off...

The visitors were trying their very best to get back into it though and Davian was called upon to make two world-class saves as they came at us like a steam-train - but we had a swagger to our play today and with each and every one of the kids in red giving it their all, the proof was in the pudding - some of their football was exquisite. Thomas,Jess and Lucas were dominating their forwards and withthe guile and eye for a pass in our midfield, MJ, Ben and Rio were spraying the ball about with ease and always putting the away side on the back foot. So it was no surprise when we got our second goal of the game - and it was that man Niall that grabbed his brace with another fine finish on the turn. The ball was fed into him and as the defender was on his back, our man spinned off him expertly before slamming his shot into the bottom corner from about 10 yards out. A great goal and we were in control now...

Changes were made throughout the first half and whoever came into the fray slotted in and carried on the hard work. Saffron and Jess were playing superbly - neat and tidy and not allowing their markers any time to think - and when the whistle went for the break, it was the team in red that were coming off for their drinks the happier...

As they re-filled their lungs as the same time as trying to shelter from the biting wind, the coaches reminded their troops that although that had been a fantastic first-half, it was only half a job done and we had to go back out there and do that all again if we wanted to come off at the end feeling like this. Focus. Concentration. And just keep doing what you've been doing. The last few weeks really have seen us finding our feet in the higher section and now that we were becoming accustomed to it, we were starting to put in the performances. Let's just go and do it again...

And the players responded. Because from the re-start, we were back pinging the ball about and finding feet every time. Pushing forward at will, the kids were working just as hard off the ball as on it. The passing was slick - and it paid off when we grabbed our third of the game. Playing some neat 1-2's through the heart of the midfield., the ball was slid into the path of Emmanuel and he burst through their defence like a hot knie through butter. Approaching their box, he looked up and picked his shot - rifling the ball past their keeper's out-stretched hand and into the roof of their net! A stunning finish and as his team-mates ran to celebrate with him. the smile on his face said it all. He knew that was a peach....

Give the Hurricanes their dues though - they never gave up and when we took the foot off the gas, they were giving us things to think about. But whenever they did get it into areas of concern, we had players like Jamie, Leo and Ashton working hard to get back in and help out. All over the pitch, the players in red were putting in a real shift and it was showing. The Wanderers fans gathered behind the respect tape were responding as well as they could see the improvements that have been made over recent weeks. This had been a good day all-round so far...

It got even better - and it was a repeat scenario of our opener. Having won the ball in the middle of the park, Ben once again sought out the run of Niall between the channels and like a whippet, our striker was onto it. Sprinting past his man, he was clean through on goal and as their keeper came out to narrow the angle, our striker slid the ball underneath him and as it nestled in the back of their net, he had secured his hat-trick. Superb - and another all-round, fantastic team goal. The team were purring and it was great to see..

To their credit the visitors were still trying though and as the seconds ebbed away towards the end, they managed to grab a consolation goal when we switched off for a brief second and they made us pay as their striker hammered the ball past Davian and into the back of our net - but even that couldn't dampen our spirits today and when the whistle went for the final time, our players were quite rightly looking pleased with themselves. A great day at the office...

The handshakes were done with pride and as they lef the field of play, each and every one of them were quite rightly patted on the back and praised to the hilt. That performance out there was testament to their hard work and committment - and shows how good a team we can be when we play like that. Every one of them played their part - with Ainsley and Davey doing their bit when they came on as well - and if we can now take that forward into every game, we will be more than a match for anyone...

Niall was awarded with the BCH Civils Player of the Match but in truth, they all deserved it today. Both Saff and Jess played their hearts out and MJ looked as though he had been a Wanderer for years with how easy he slotted into the groove. Rio had gelled things together in the middle and whenever the chance appeared, Ben had picked out his pass all game long. We could go on - but you get the gist - we are well proud of each and every one of them out there today...

And the same can be said of you Wanderers fans that came and braved the weather again. That performance was sure to warm your cockles though eh? Same again next week? That's the plan...

So as the dust settles on another weekend, the bosses can celebrate tonight. We're sure they will as well...

COME ON THE WANDERERS!!!

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Match details

Match date

Sat 22, Feb 2020

Kickoff

10:45

Attendance

26
Nial Flavahan

Player of the match

Nial Flavahan