Bridgewater U9s headed to Wilmslow to take on a traditionally tough opponent in Pownall Hall School. The game turned into a classic with the outcome of the match ebbing to and fro at various stages. Bridgewater set off out of the blocks like a train and threatened to steam roller their opponents in the early stages. Luca C in the Bridgewater goal was a spectator for most of the first half, with Toby and Alfie preventing any potential threats.
The Pownall goalkeeper produced a string of impressive saves in the face of wave after wave of attack from an exuberant Bridgewater team. However, he was helpless to prevent a stunning long range strike from Alfie, that rocketed into the roof of the net. Moments later Luca B saw a similar effort go narrowly wide and Tommy-Jack went close on several occasions. On the stroke of half- time, Alfie doubled the lead with another fine strike to put Bridgewater 2-0 up at the break and nobody could say that this was not well deserved.
Despite the score line, Bridgewater knew the next goal of the game was going to be crucial. Much to the credit of the hosts they looked dangerous and with their first two real attempts on goal, levelled the scoreline only minutes into the second half. A brilliant strike from distance left Luca C powerless to react, whilst moments later defensive hesitation resulted in the equaliser being prodded home. An excellent clearance from Toby and a lightening turn of speed from Alfie to prevent another goal, proved to be the turning point in the game. Alfie sent in a through ball to Alexander, who chased the ball down; causing the keeper to drop the ball into the back of the net!
With the lead restored, confidence also seemed to return to the team. Great wing play from Josh saw Joel fire over from close range. A superb cross from Joel found Anton in space, only to find the keeper once again in sparkling form. The pressure on the hosts’ defence intensified and Alexander again caused havoc in the Pownall defence, resulting in an own goal from a last gasp clearance.
With time running out, Bridgewater finished the game as a contest with a fifth goal and a fourth from the impressive Alfie. It looked like Josh had won a penalty, drawing a handball from the stranded full back. However, the referee awarded a free kick wide on the angle of the area. With the goal line packed and the wall expecting a driven shot, Alfie calmly chipped the ball over everyone and into the far corner of the net. The “Messi” type touch of genius was the perfect way to the end game for the jubilant youngsters. An impressive all-round team performance once more earned praise from the opposition coaches who admired the shape, set up, discipline and passing style that the team are developing. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of the performance was the brilliant response to losing the two-goal lead, as this team certainly showed that they have the desire and heart to match anyone. Well done once more boys!