The air was cold as we arrived to meet our keen arch rivals, Stockport. We last played this team in March, a week before lockdown when we narrowly beat them in the cup semi finals …. Much of the team on both sides remains the same as we move to the new age group. We knew a tough match would follow.
With no face offs now allowed, the pace seems a little different but that wasn’t going to stop the side playing their hardest. The tension mounted as we prepared for our first match as the new u16. Spangly new kit, looking good, and several players with new gloves and boots … we were ready.
Stockport start the match under the new rules with good, precise passing, leading to a great first few saves from Ned. Shots from Ollie and Jamie were unsuccessful and a fast break led to Stockport’s first goal, quickly followed by another. Mellor regained possession and Drew scores his first goal for Mellor, the transfer fee (packet of wine gums) was worth it ;-) ….
First quarter finished 3/1 to the home team.
The second quarter was nip and tuck all the way. Jamie scored a behind the back flick assisted by Josh. Stockport score again making it 4/2. George does a superb dummy and then fires in our 3rd goal. It is soon 5/3 with Jamie bringing it back to 5/4. Stockport has possession, Sam intercepts and Josh levels the game on the whistle. 5 all at half time.
Third quarter starts with Stockport and another great save by Ned. A long pass to Jamie, leads to a good battle in front of goal with Josh fighting hard for a loose ball, which George collects, shooting just wide of the goal. Stockport take possession leading to a goal. 6/5 , we pull back again with an assist from Drew and a goal from Jamie. Stockport take it to 8/6 but we keep up the pressure, bringing it level with another goal from Drew and Jamie. George takes us to 8/9 the first time we have taken the lead but that is soon pulled back, there is very little separating these teams.
We start the final quarter level but Stockport take the lead 10/9. A Stockport offside gives us possession which leads to a long shot from Jamie and we are level with two minutes left.
The defence, which have played superbly all through the match take it up a notch, not giving Stockport an inch. An interception gets the ball to our midfielders, who get up the pitch and Jamie scores, giving Mellor the lead.
With 2 minutes left on the clock Stockport call at time out, possession is with them close to goal, Mellor refuse to give up and mange to get the ball down the pitch, a tense final minute for those on the sidelines but we stay strong and take the win! Final score 11/10 to Mellor.
A true team effort, defence, midfield and attack all played well. We dropped a few passes and lost some ground balls but we got the win. The lads showed strength of character, Dan remained calm on the sidelines …. Rick managed to keep quiet from the parents bench. If this game is anything to go by, this teams show a lots of promise. Roll on the season …..
Your intrepid match reporters, Phil & Heather.