Bridgewater returned to the picturesque Fulneck School, Pudsey on Friday to try and emulate the U9 result from earlier in the week. From the kick off it was clear that the hosts were going to struggle against the experience and organisation of the U11 football team from across the Yorkshire/Lancashire border.
Bridgewater were under instruction to play the ball around at the back and into the midfield, before going wide and getting in crosses. In the opening ten minutes, the team executed this to perfection and played some fabulous football that even Mr Rooney was impressed with! Incisive passes, through balls, over-lapping runs and perfectly timed one- twos lit up the Bridgewater play.
The movement from the front three of Jaydon, David and Reagan was mesmerising, whilst the build-up play from the back from Craig, Alfie and Harper was a joy to watch. When the changes into the defence were made with Thomas and Jackson coming on, the football continued to flow. Meanwhile, Josh and Matteo were dominant in midfield and were instrumental in linking the play from the back to the front. In fact, goalkeeper George goal had so little to do in the first half that he could have played in midfield at times.
David opened the scoring in the first two minutes, finishing off a lovely move and a cross from Jaydon. Reagan chipped in a delightful second, before Matteo chested in a David cross. Jaydon added a fourth before half time, but the score line was secondary compared to how well the team were retaining possession and creating chances. In the second half, David had a host of chances, but found the opposition keeper in sparkling form. Nevertheless, their keeper was powerless to prevent further goals from Josh and David, who finished with four.
Much credit must go to the Fulneck team who battled from start to finish and deservedly picked up a consolation goal late on. I have a feeling that the bond between the two schools formed in Malaga in June will continue to develop down the years. Both games this week were played in a tremendous sporting manner and despite the long journey, the experience was most definitely worth it. The U11 team will be back in action in the coming weeks against Cransley Prep and a big game against AKS Lytham in the AJIS Plate quarter- finals.