Bridgewater U11s were moments away from the semi-final of the AJIS 7-a-side Cup on Thursday at Bridgewater. The team played the game of the season and were unlucky to run out of steam in the dying stages of the match.

It had all looked so different early on, when goals from Ethan C and Daniel in the opening 5 minutes put the hosts into a deserved 2-0 lead. However, this only served to ensure that Kings had to up their game all the more. Matthew in goal pulled off a string of great saves to keep the visitors at bay, but on the stroke of half time, Kings pulled a vital goal back.

With the game poised evenly at half time, both teams knew the next team to score would hold a huge advantage. Both teams pressed for that crucial goal, with Matteo, Archie and Alfie forcing saves out of the busy Kings goalkeeper. Meanwhile, at the other end, Harper and Archie were terrific at the back and Matthew was in inspired form in the Bridgewater net.

Unfortunately, with time running out, Kings fired a speculative shot that was to take a bizarre slice of luck and end up in the Bridgewater goal for 2-2. With the younger Bridgewater players starting to really tire, free kicks were building up as desperate tackles went in to stave off the Kings attacks. Sadly with a minute to go, it was one of those free kicks that created havoc in the Bridgewater penalty area. Four players got in each other’s way to clear the ball, but could only watch it ricochet into the back of their own net.

It was an unfortunate end to what had been a brilliant performance all round by both teams. It was a real shame that both teams could not progress to the semi-finals and we can only wish our worthy opponents the best of luck in the next round. Well done Kings of Macclesfield, but next time Bridgewater of Worsley will be back for another tilt at the AJIS Cup with renewed confidence.

Last minute heartache for U11s

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