Under 16s in a nailbiter with Brooklands & Rochdale
Probably our best game of the season?
Both teams were equally matched and the final score-line was a good representation of the match as a whole. Mellor could have shaded it at the end if Daniel Jones had managed to find the target with the last move of the game but in many ways this game was all the better for ending in a draw.
Last time these two teams met Mellor were understrength and went 9-0 down before they scored their first goal. This time around Brooklands/Rochdale took the lead again but by the end of the first quarter they had only managed two goals to Mellor’s one, scored well by Ben Tipping. The visitors were well organised and strong. They had flair players in key positions which meant Mellor had to do some serious defending and had long periods without the ball. However, when possession was regained Mellor were clever and busy and probably had the edge in terms of speed. Both goalies were busy throughout and both keepers had excellent games. This had the effect of both teams cancelling each other out score-wise. Brooklands/Rochdale could never pull more than two goals ahead and Mellor could never quite snatch the lead off them. By halftime it was 3-4 to the visitors and still all to play for.
Josh Pink was having a storming game and kept Mellor’s goal tally ticking. Drew Bickerton was clever, sharp and aggressive and Will Tadman was a tower of strength. But the real story was in defence where Ben Hodgson, Josh Haining, Rory Fell and Nick Hughes had to battle constantly. To their credit they performed brilliantly. Behind them in goal Will Macdonald thwarted Brooklands/Rochdale time and again – especially up close. The trouble was that the visitor’s keeper was also performing well at the other end. The two teams continued to land punches but there was no knockout blow and the third quarter ended 6-7
In the final quarter the pattern continued. For every goal that Brooklands/Rochdale scored Mellor replied to draw level. Finally, with the scores level at 10-10 and seconds to go Will made a great save and fed the ball out to Dan Jones who sprinted into the opponents half. He weaved his way through the defence and shot agonisingly wide. The whistle went and that was it. Two great teams had battled their way to a very honourable draw. Tempting as it is to give the whole team the man of the match award, that rather defeats the purpose. So it’s a joint award this week, for his enthusiasm, skill and goalscoring ability Josh Pink takes the award and shares it with Will Macdonald who managed 14 saves at the other end.
GOALS : Ben Tipping 1, Josh Pink 6, Daniel Jones 1, Josh Poke 2
ASSTS : Drew Bickerton 2, Daniel Jones 2, Josh Pink 3, Will Macdonald 1
SAVES : 14
Man of the match – Josh Pink + Will Macdonald.