A game of two halves
By Karl Spencer
A talented bridge team makes life difficult for the new look oranges but roach were just too strong!
We were hosted today by bridge hawks who are a decent top tier team from the north bury league. The roach lads seemed a little tired before kick off possibly due to taking part in a cross country race two days before but they were still confident. Bridge on the other hand were not about to give respect to roach at their own ground and the bridge lads started really well passing the ball about. Roach had some good possession too but it just wasnt clicking right. The first 5 minutes had roach pinned in their own half causing for solid new signing nick and superstar goal keeper thomas to keep the bridge team from scoring. Half way through the first half and the introduction of oli, kayden and the lightning quick winger malachi and the roach game seemed to click with better movement of the ball however bridge were still playing really well generating end to end football. Malachi used his pace and quick feet to good use asking questions of the bridge defence that at times they struggled to deal with. Some might say against the flow of play roach found themselves getting a shot away at goal which was blocked by the bridge defence coming out of the area but unfortunately for them it landed at the feet of our third new signing BIG SAM who just simply doesnt miss the target so much so that before he connected with the ball coach Spencer remarked "pull that out the net" and he wasnt wrong as sam slotted a clinical shot passed a very talented bridge goalkeeper. Roach were leading albeit possibly not deservedly. After the restart and bridge found themselves on the attack with their winger being brought down 5 yards outside of the roach area. Bridge looked confident about scoring and no wonder why as they struck a rocket of a free kick but it takes more than a powerful shot to beat the very talented roach goalkeeper thomas as he dived and parried the shot away from the top corner....outstanding save! Half time came with just the one goal separating them. The half time team talk revolved around trying to motivate the lads to play their football as they had done for the end of the first half. Big blow for Roach with captain benji carrying an injury and being unable to continue...get fit soon benji! The lads went to walk on but the body language implied being down by 10 goals. Coach strudwick pulled the lads back off and gave the lads the motivation they were looking for. The lads looked energised and took to the field. From the kick off roach looked hungry with some great energy and work down the wing by returning winger dylan using his lightning pace to great effect and causing the bridge defence no end of headaches. He wasnt the only one as harry was playing some of the best football we have seen from him passing and moving with outstanding vision. It didnt take long for the roach pressure to pay off with the ever hungry oliver in the area when the ball dropped to him and he sent it into the back of the net. Oliver further punished bridge with a follow up goal for his second and oli wasnt just happy scoring with some brilliant link up play with his team mates keeping the ball alive like any world class team can. Bridge tried desperately to stop the pressure on them and mount some attacking football but the roach lads had smelt blood and were relentless. With all bridge players back in their own half roach took a number of brilliant corners with the woodwork stopping more than one attempt. On one such corner the bridge lads cleared the ball outside the area where defender kayden was waiting and hit the ball sweetly with his left foot (which apparently he cant use) sending the ball like lightning through the bridge defence and passed the keeper into the bottom left corner. The game was clearly beyond a bridge fightback now and the roach lads continuously hit the bridge half with pace and vigour with bridge again having to clear their lines and this time the ball made it to the halfway where again the ever reliable kayden was waiting again. He looked like he was going to shoot, surely not, surely he couldnt score from there? BOOM! He connected with the ball and with inch perfect precision managed to just make the ball drop down under the post past the diving keepers hands.....GOOOOAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!
The roach lads were playing some outstanding football and any attempted attacks by the bridge team were quickly wiped out by big shaqeel who is becoming an outstanding defender who never quits until he has got the ball from the other team. The final minutes were approaching with harry again holding the ball up well in the bridge area but with a big shove in his back the referee had no choice but to point to the spot...penalty. Harry had put in a blinding performance today and he deserved a goal so the duty fell on him to convert. Harry stepped up and smashed the ball almost through the back of the net and the game was done. The first half had been fairly even but the second had been all roach. On to next week for our next game against our own roach black and hopefully our next win. Two games, two wins, two clean sheets. Well done boys!!