Our first game of the 2019/20 season was over in Bolton against Ladybridge Lions who won last seasons Bury & Bolton top division. With a squad of 18 we only managed to take a 13 players due to injury / illness and other commitments.
The starting line-up: Ciaran in goal, Sean, Harrison, Saif and new signing Matthew across the back, Joe, new signing Ben, Tommy, Rahman and Jack across the middle and Jackson up front. Isaac and new signing Owen were subs. Sam, Bailey, Fortune, Ewan and Luke all missing.
The game got underway and once the lads had settled down it was pretty even going with most efforts being from distance. 10 minutes in and one of the Ladybridge struck a mad shot from distance which was swerving all over the place. Ciaran opted to punch clear. Straightaway you could see him in pain. The ball went out and Ciaran was unable to continue. Joe stepped in to be the keeper and Isaac went onto the left. Ciaran being Ciaran said he’d come off for a few minutes to see if his arm felt better although then admitting he was unable to feel his fingers. The call from the Ladybridge lads was to test the keeper…
21 minutes in and Ladybridge won a corner, god knows what went on in the box but the ball came off the bar, pinged about in the box, there were shouts of handball from the Royton lads but the ball ended up in the net. 1-0 to Ladybridge.
28 minutes in and Ladybridge clipped a big ball over the top. The Royton back line was a little too far up the pitch and were caught chasing back – 2-0. Slotted into the bottom corner.
30 minutes in and Tommy took a knock and was unable to carry on – just as he came off Ladybridge made it 3-0. It wasn’t all one way traffic though, the Royton lads had a scramble in the opposition box with both Matthew and Jack missing their chance from a corner. Isaac also hit the outside of the post with an instinctive shot. Just before half time, the ball ended up landing at Jacksons feet who was just outside of the box. The Ladybridge lads were trying to clear their box from the corner they’d just defended and Jackson struck a sweet low drive right into the bottom corner. 3-1.
Considering we’d lost our keeper 10 minutes in leaving us with just 1 sub and having a player carrying a knock then it wasn’t a bad half time score at all. Ladybridge had the luxury of throwing lads on when they broke sweat with the new regulation 7 subs…
The 2nd half got underway and 7 minutes in Ladybridge had played the big ball over the top again. Saif was just unable to get his head on it and they managed to get a 4th. The lads never let their heads drop though and continued to battle away and press. 25 minutes in and the tired legs were showing – the ball went back to their keeper who had an age to pick his pass out – again a massive boot over the top bypassed all of our midfield. There wasn’t a thing Joe could do and Ladybridge made it 5-1.
There were a few meaty challenges then starting to come in for some reason with a number of our lads taking heavy hits. There could easily have been a red shown when Rahman burst down the right wing, feeding the ball through to Owen. The Ladybridge midfielder then went in with a 1960’s style crunching challenge with both feet off the ground to take Owen and the ball out of play. With 7 minutes in and 30 yards out the ball came to Owen, with no options in front of him and tired legs, Owen spotted the keeper off his line and hit a worldie, right over the keeper and into the top corner. Goal of the game by far. The game ended 5-2 but what an effort. If they can play like that every week then we’ll win more than we lose.
Man of the match was between Ben and Harrison. Ben ran his socks off, easily covering every blade of the astro and I’d say probably covered the most distance by anyone on the pitch. Harrison, dropped back from centre mid to centre half. His vision and passing was superb as were his defensive challenges. Ewan and Luke who were both out injured came down to watch this game and awarded MOM to Harrison.
Next week it’s Littleborough at home who also lost their opening game.
News on Ciaran is that he’ll be out for about 6 week with ‘green stick syndrome’ which is pretty much a fracture to one of the bones in his forearm.
|September 7, 2019||9:00 am||North Bury Junior Football League U15's Premiership 2019/20||2019/2020||saturday|
|Ladybridge Lions U15’s||5|
|Royton Town AFC U15’s||2|