WRFC U13 Warriors ground out a 6-6 draw at home today against SYL Division 1 promotees, Motspur Park FC, before winning 4-2 on penalties.
Warriors shrugged off their underdog status to press early, winning a corner in the first 32 seconds of the match, before Kyle put the team ahead 1-0 in the fifth minute. As the game gathered pace, Charlie succumbed to a double injury, earning himself leg and rib bruises in two separate incidents, as Warriors sought to cement their lead.
Motspur Park levelled two minutes later with the first of several high lobs that tucked in neatly under Leon’s crossbar to make it 1-1 – but then went on shortly afterwards to miss a penalty, clipping the outside of the upright. However, Charlie’s injuries and the penalty appeared to unnerve Warriors and there followed two goals from Motspur Park in the 12th and 25th minutes, which had Worplesdon on the ropes. Trailing 3-1 down in the 39th minute, Matt broke through in stoppage time. only to be tripped inside the box, with Marc securing the penalty confidently to make it 3-2 to Motspur Park ahead of the break.
The half-time team talk from the Gaffer emphasised that Warriors were still in the game and that a win would come through hard work and self-belief. There were times in the second half when both appeared to waver, as the score-line continued to yo-yo.
It took Warriors eight minutes to equalise, with Matt scoring at close range. 50 minutes in, a decidedly back-in-action Charlie scored a peach to put Warriors ahead once again – a cheeky long-range effort that caught the Motspur Park ‘keeper well and truly off his line, on the edge of his box. 4-3 to Warriors!
The groans were audible as Motspur Park equalised only six minutes later, in a goalmouth scramble that saw the opposition take about four, close-range shots at goal. Various Warriors’ bodies were thrown at the ball, Leon frantically scrambling to get his hands on it each time. Despite these heroic efforts, Warriors just couldn’t clear their lines and Motspur Park got their hard-earned equaliser: 4-4.
The next four minutes were probably the worst for Warriors. Having lost their slender lead, the team conceded two further goals at 58 and 62 minutes, The latter involved a ‘yo-yo’ goal kick out from Leon which found an unmarked opposition striker who was granted enough time to take a touch in plenty of space, look up and then lob the ball back over Leon, from where it came. Warriors had frozen and were now losing 6-4, with only eight minutes plus stoppage time to play.
The crowd got behind the team, urging them on and it was Kyle who got Warriors back in the game at 66 minutes, with a close range effort that capitalised on a shot unleashed by Marc. 6-5 and minutes to go! Kyle emerged as hat-trick hero to clinch the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game, with another clever tap-in. 6-6 and psychological advantage Warriors!
No more extra time to play these days in the early Cup rounds, so it was straight to penalties.
Marc opened the Warriors’ tally, with Motspur Park’s #15 equalising…..
Jack scored number two for Warriors, with his opposite number 4 shirt equalising….
Matt converted penalty number three and then Motspur Park’s #10 shot wide of the post….
Charlie strode up confidently and struck home Warriors’ fourth and final penalty…..
All the pressure was then on Motspur Park’s #7, who shot high over Leon’s crossbar.
Thanks to Cristian for refereeing, Luc for running the line, Martyn for collecting match subs, Margaret for completing Prawn Sandwich, Adam for Pitch Marsal duties and Mel for half-time oranges. Team MoM went to Nick today for his support and patience.
Back to League duties next week – after a run of four back-to-back wins since the start of the season on 11th September….