Ossett Albion U8’s travelled to Upton Gala in confident mood following their cup and league double. This gala was always going to be a tough gala with teams such as, defending champions Sheffield Rangers, Kirkby Knights, Upton United and Moorthorpe Rangers, to mention a few.
One or two players found themselves playing in unusual positions due to the absence of goal machine Mitchell and wing wizard Sam however, they didn’t disappoint. Albion cruised through their group stage with 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. They managed to score 10 goals and concede only 3 goals to reach the quarter final stage. Wil, Edward, Jack, Tom, and George all managed to get themselves on the score sheet. Ben, Adam and George took their turns in defence and stood strong to keep their conceded goals to a minimum. Goalkeeper Lewis continued his final form with a number of saves including a breath taking save, getting a hand to a bullet of a shot from Sheffield Rangers in the last few seconds of the match, to earn Albion a 0-0 draw against a very big strong side.
Albion were drawn against Upton United in the quarter final. Albion had already recorded a league double over this team earlier in the season however, this was Upton’s gala and they were determined to progress as far as possible in their own competition. Albion continued to knock the ball around well and managed to record a 2-0 win to progress to the Semi-final.
It was now the business end of the gala and all the pre-tournament favourites (Sheffield Rangers, Moorthorpe Rangers, Kirkby Knights and Ossett Albion) had progressed. Well it had to happen sooner or later and it did! Albion were drawn against Moorthorpe Rangers. Moorthorpe were determined to set the record straight and make amends for their cup final defeat to us last week.
In the group games Albion had played some great football, but on occasions had been second to the ball. The lads were reminded that this was Moorthorpe and if they wanted to progress to the final they had to be fitter and stronger than their opposition and win their battles which would be very difficult as this was their 8th game in very hot conditions. The match was end to end and both teams were creating chances. Jack was winning the ball in midfield and creating the chances for Wil and Edward however, the Moorthorpe defenders refused let Albion have things their own way. Moorthorpe finally broke the dead lock to give them a 1-0 lead and were now in confident mood to progress to the final. Albion were having none of this and following some good play were rewarded a free kick on the edge of the box. The well organised Moorthorpe team sensed the danger and created a wall of defenders to stop the threat. Charlie hit a great free kick that found the head of an unfortunate Moorthorpe defender to bring the scores level. The game finished 1-1, which meant penalties. We had practised penalties in preparation for last week’s cup final and to be honest, we couldn’t hit a barn door! But this was a semi-final shootout and the boys didn’t want to become a Gareth Southgate, Chris Waddle, and Stuart Pearce etc. Every player scored their penalty to record a 7-5 win, including another good save from, Albion’s number 1, Lewis.
The other semi-final had also gone to penalties, which saw defending champion’s Sheffield Rangers edge out Kirkby Knights to progress. Albion had already had a 0-0 draw against Sheffield in the group stage. The lads were reminded that they needed to play like they did against Moorthorpe and win their personal battles. The first half was very evenly matched and the teams cancelled each other out. They all knew at half time that they were 6 minutes of hard work away from the cup and continued to compete for every ball. The magic moment finally came with a couple of minutes left. The ball dropped to Jack on the edge of the box. He could have been excused if he had tried to get the ball onto his right foot but instead he hit a first time shot with his left that looped over the keeper. 1-0 Albion! They were now winning in the final and every child in the team put their bodies on the line to ensure Sheffield didn’t find an equalizer.
The whole team can be very proud of themselves and fully deserve their win.
BIG WELL DONE TO ALL THE LADS!!!!!!!!