Heartbreak for the Yellows
The U15 Yellows went down to Three Bridges after a penalty shoot out in the Invitation Cup Final, in what was an entertaining game betwen two good sides.
The lads had the better of the opening exchanges, forcing the Three Bridges keeper into a couple of excellent saves, before we took the lead midway through the half, thanks to a Cameron Berrie strike.
This seemed to galvanise our opponents, and they started to put us under more and more pressure, with the excellent left winger causing us a fair few problems.
We had to defend a couple of very dangerous corners, and Brandon Farley did very well low to his right to hold a rasping drive from just outside the area. Although we were grateful to a poor miss from Bridges firing wide of an open goal when they looked certain to score.
Having weathered the onslaught we gradually recovered our poise, and from one superb reverse pass, we almost fashioned another chance, only for the ball to hold up on the surface allowing Three Bridges to clear.
We opened the second half brightly and went close to increasing our lead in the opening minutes when Cameron beat the keeper but saw his effort drift agonisingly wide of the right hand post.
And ten minutes later the scores were level. A long ball over the top split the backline, and a last gasp tackle saw a penalty awarded, and despatched with some power beyond Brandon.
Bridges were now flying, and put us under a fair amount of pressure with ball into the area, but once again our defence was in top form, winning all the headers against what looked to be a physically bigger side.
Having seen off the onslaught we found our way back into the game and on three occasions Cameron got beyond the Bridges defence, but despite doing everything right, he was denied by the keeper, and full time came with the scores level.
We started brightly in extra time, and five minutes in a great delivery from a corner was met by a bullet header by Joshua Deane to put us back in front, and for a while we were in the ascendancy, and looked as though we could go on and increase our lead. Half time in extra time saw us with a 2-1 lead.
Bridges threw people forward in the second half leaving themselves open at the back, and we almost increased our lead but Cameron was again denied by the keeper, and with just over five minutes remaining we left the number seven open in our area, and he hammered the ball home for 2-2.
And so the game went to penalties. Six great penalties opened the shoot out, before we missed, and there then followed another couple of great strikes with no further misses, and the cup went to Three Bridges.
The lads were superb on the day, and with a little bit of luck would have picked up the trophy in normal time. Once it went to penalties then it is a lottery, and unfortunately it wasn't to be our day.
The boys will come back stronger and hopefully will go one better next year