There's no shame in losing this one -Cheadle are always really strong in this age group with a great bunch of talented lads in their squad - they'll not slip up too many times this season.
That said, we started well and fired ourselves into an early 3 goal lead only to then concede 7 with no reply - that 4 goal margin stayed with us until the final whistle but it never felt like we'd catch up. With a couple of key injuries and absences the spine of our team was twisted, sometimes broken, and you need to be on your A game to get anything from this fixture against a team that can defend so strongly.
Defensively we slid well - but far too early. Against a team that can break so quickly we were clinically punished on all but a handful of occasions. We'd lost some of our grit in midfield forcing us to weaken our attack, and our defence, so an uphill challenge became a bridge too far for us although we should take some positives that we remained in the game throughout.
The big plus this week was the performance of Jack Royle - not for bagging 4 goals but for the way he fought for the ball. If his continual cuts and off ball movement had been spotted the score could maybe have been closer. Jack, this was your best game for the club. A big shout to George Shonfeld too who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the final quarter and fought hard to fire a final quarter hat-trick.
We'll meet Cheadle again, who also had 1 or 2 key players missing today, and it will be another great encounter. Today wasn't our day and most clubs will be saying the same when they face them this season. We go again on Saturday - see you all at training on Wednesday!