St Margaret’s of Warrington visited Bridgewater on Friday 12th October for a pre-Halloween football challenge match. With several players making their debut for the U10s team, all were determined not to turn in a horror show performance.
As it turned out, St Margaret’s were playing only for the first time and were no match for the more experienced Bridgewater team. With a strong line up to kick off the match, Bridgewater dominated possession and created a series of chances. It was not long before a driving run resulted in a powerful shot from Matteo nestling in the bottom corner of the net. Moments later, neat combinations between Craig and Jaydon found Harper in space and he fired in from the edge of the area. Craig added a third following good work from Matteo, before Harper scored again to put Bridgewater 4-0 up at half time.
In the second half, debutants Harry and Tobias joined David and Toby to form a new look line up. Whilst Bridgewater remained in control of the game, St Margaret’s finally managed to open their account with a free kick that evaded the scrambling dive of keeper George. Some resolute defending from Harry and Tobias restricted scoring opportunities for the Warrington youngsters, whilst giving Toby and David a platform to go forward in attack. Finally, with time running out, both teams added to their respective tallies and it was a jubilant Toby who scored the fifth goal for the hosts.
During the last quarter of the game, the original line up were given the task of seeing the game out. With instructions in place to keep possession and work the bail around the pitch, Bridgewater played some of the best football of the season. In fact, it was almost as though Matteo, Harper, Craig and Jaydon were back in the Valencia sunshine and playing like a Spanish team. The movement, support play, communication and positional awareness was a pleasure to watch. There is no doubt that if unleashed to attack at will the team would have scored on many more occasions. As it was, all players from both teams enjoyed the game and took positives from the performance and the result. Whilst it is nice to win, the attitude and astute understanding of the context of the game was the most pleasing element of the match. The first team is starting to look like a proper footballing side and with the debutants coming through, squad depth is definitely improving, which can only be good for the future.