Burpham Harriers 1 – 2 WRFC U14 Trojans
Sunday 19th March 2017
After last week’s unexpected loss, Trojans were this week engaged in a top of the table clash with the League pacesetters Burpham Harriers – and had their work cut out to prevent a further defeat. The last game between these two saw Trojans humbled and beaten 4-0.
A midday kick-off at Burpham’s Sutherland Park on a rare dry day saw both teams show exactly why they are at the top of the table.
Despite the lack of rain, there was a very strong wind blowing from one end of the pitch to the other. Judging by the impact it had on the preceding match one thing was clear. The tactics of the day were simple; win the toss, get a lead by half time and then defend it.
Part one and Harvey stepped up as Captain for the day and greeted the home Captain. The referee flipped the coin and Trojans win. “We’ll turn around please ref!” was the call, as the teams changed ends.
Part two and the game went as expected, with a strong Harriers team quick out of the blocks and holding their own, forcing Trojans onto the back foot. This clearly wasn’t part of the plan. The team, defending as one, dealt with the onslaught and then got a foothold in the game. Using the electric pace of Adam as an out ball, the game switched ends and was now wind-assisted and taken to the Harriers’ end. A succession of corners saw Tristan fire one in, only for it to be cleared straight back to him. He crossed it back in and whether he meant it or not, into the top corner it flew. 1-0 Trojans.
The game continued with a lot of midfield battling between these two evenly-matched teams. Very little for either goalkeeper to do. Then a break down the Trojans right wing saw Aaron battle through a couple of missed tackles before finding himself one-on-one with the Harriers’ keeper….only one winner: 2-0 Trojans. Soon after this the half-time whistle blew.
The team talk consisted mainly of keeping the plan going and now doing the dirty work of defending the lead against the expected onslaught with the wind behind.
Harriers didn’t disappoint and started quickly, getting the Trojans camped in their own half, although with resolute defending the score remained the same.
Shortly after this came the game’s controversial moment when a through ball bounced into the area and as Finley advanced the ball was headed over him in to the now unguarded goal. From the side line there was more than a suspicion of offside and when the flag was raised there was no surprise. The referee was obliged to speak with the linesman, went over and then inexplicably awarded the goal. It later transpired that in his opinion from the half-way line he felt able to overrule the linesman, who was level with play.
Despite this setback, the Trojans didn’t let his affect them and continued to repel the constant attacks. This was without doubt one of the highlights of our season and even with three and a half minutes of added time, the Harriers were unable to further breach the Trojans defence. Final score 2-1 win. Today’s Man of the Match was awarded to the whole squad for the way they played as one.
It was clear how much this meant to the opponents as some were inconsolable as they lay on the pitch at the final whistle.
Thanks to Andi Scanlan for rushing to our game from his to run the line and to Sean and Jack Crooke for their support on the day with no game themselves.