Rugby Borough U9’s Wolves versus Hillmorton Juniors U9’s Clarets–13th December 2020 at Kilsby Lane
As the rain and wind ensued the match got underway with a tentative start from The Clarets having to defend early on from a Rugby Borough attack, however they dealt with the initial pressure and soon found their composure and got stuck into the game.
For a sustained period, the ball was moved from end to end by both teams, finding pockets of space to play into but then not being able to capitalise on the opportunities. The deadlock was finally broken by Rugby Borough from a deflected shot creeping into The Clarets net.
The Clarets kept strong and as a team worked some lovely passes through the Rugby Borough team on multiple occasions, finding shooting opportunities for Max M and Ronnie R, but all of their attempts went either narrowly wide or were parried away by an alert goalkeeper.
Against the run of play Rugby Borough had a lucky break and capitalised on some confusion in The Clarets area leading to another goal.
As the weather battered both teams, both teams made substitutions. The Clarets maintained the pressure, pressing high up the pitch and making some great passes between each other, demonstrating what they have been learning in training sessions. Again, and again breaking through the Rugby Borough team, eventually getting their deserved rewards with a lovely strike from Max M.
As the game continued towards half time The Clarets were awarded a penalty for a handball in the box, however they were unable to convert the penalty to restore parity before the half time whistle went to end what was a frustrating half for The Clarets who based on shots on goal were way ahead of the opposition.
For the second half The Clarets made more substitutions and changed the positioning of some players, this seemed to pay dividends as it wasn’t too long before Max M latched onto a fantastic through ball from Niko M to slot it the back of the Rugby Borough net.
With no let up in the weather both teams battled on, strong defending from Sonny P and Harvey L kept Rugby Borough at bay for extended periods and Charlie H in goal for the second half was called upon to make some critical saves until eventually Rugby Borough squeezed the ball beyond his outstretched leg to regain the lead.
Persistence on the wings from Dexter E and Zavi G created opportunities for The Clarets and with Max M converting an opportunity to secure his hat trick and bring The Clarets level once again.
Both teams battled through the elements to gain an advantage, with Rugby Borough edging ahead with a speculative shot that was struck sweetly and by far their best of the game.
Throughout, both coaches made substitutions to bolster their teams with Arthur T coming into goal for The Clarets for the final period and maintaining a clean sheet during his tenure.
The Clarets continued to pressure and looked the stronger of the teams, continuing to work well collectively crafting passes together to gain ground up the pitch and when required defending strongly, as the match approached the dying seconds their hard work paid off with a final advance that saw the resulting shot narrowly edge the wrong side of the post.
The final whistle blew to end what was a frustrating game, every member of the team played with heart in some of the worst weather possible, they didn’t deserve the defeat as they played the better football but in the words of the ex-Tottenham Legend and football commentator Jimmy Greaves “it’s a funny old game”.
Man of the Match: Niko M